Former Prime Ministers launch Ramsay
Centre for Western Civilisation
The Ramsay Way 2018 | 01 3
The new Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation,
funded with part of Paul Ramsay’s $3 billion
bequest, was launched in November 2017.
Before his death, Paul had proposed that a significant part of
his personal fortune be spent on funding an academic centre
to revive the liberal arts and humanities. It is the biggest
philanthropic gift in the history of education in Australia and
universities are currently vying for the chance to offer a new
western civilisation degree.
The new Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation will offer
a western civilisation arts degree in two or possibly three
universities in NSW and the ACT, as well as fund 30 generous
scholarships at each selected university.
Paul had a great love of Australia and a deep sense of
gratitude towards the country in which he grew up and
thrived. But he was troubled that so few Australians shared
his appreciation of the civilisation which has contributed so
much to the success of Australia as a nation.
After meeting with one of his oldest friends, Tony Clark, and
then Prime Minister Tony Abbott in January and February
2014, Paul commissioned a proposal to create a Centre
that would foster a new generation of leaders with a deep
knowledge and appreciation of Western civilisation and a
desire to defend and promote it.
Three and a half years later, Paul’s dream is becoming reality.
On 20 November 2017, former political opponents John
Howard and Kim Beazley joined forces with Tony Abbott in
Sydney to launch The Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation.
All three men sit on the board of the Centre which will create
and fund a new Bachelor of Arts (Western Civilisation) to be
taught in select Australian universities.
In addition to the undergraduate scholarships, the Centre will
also offer postgraduate scholarships for studies in Western
Civilisation at prestigious international institutions, will
conduct summer schools and will sponsor public lectures by
outstanding international and Australian speakers reflecting
on our civilisation and the great issues confronting Australia
and the West.
Speaking about Paul’s vision, Mr Abbott said, “The creation
of the Centre is the first step in fulfilling Paul’s wish, who
believed very strongly that the Golden Age is before us, not
behind us, if we hold on to the values that have made this
Former Prime Minister John Howard said, “Australia is a
magnet to millions of people because it brings together so
many of the constituent elements of Western civilisation
including political, religious and economic freedom. The new
BA in Western Civilisation that the Centre is developing will
give students the opportunity to study that extraordinary
“This is not a left or right think tank,” said former deputy
Prime Minister Kim Beazley. “The values of freedom, human
rights and representative government have their origins in
Western civilisation. Yet the historical, philosophical and
cultural base of that tradition is of diminishing saliency in our
academic institutions. It does not need dominance. It needs a
The degree will cover the development of Western
civilisation, including art, architecture and music, through
the study of its great texts, according to the Centre CEO
Professor Simon Haines.
The new home of the Centre will be 171-173 Macquarie Street,
Sydney, next door to the Australian Club. Originally part of
Horbury Terrace, a charming row of late Georgian terrace
houses built in 1842, it will now be the Centre’s administrative
headquarters and host public events.
ON 20 NOVEMBER 2017, FORMER
POLITICAL OPPONENTS JOHN
HOWARD & KIM BEAZLEY JOINED
FORCES WITH TONY ABBOTT
IN SYDNEY TO LAUNCH THE
RAMSAY CENTRE FOR WESTERN
CIVILISATION. ALL THREE MEN SIT
ON THE BOARD OF THE CENTRE
WHICH WILL CREATE & FUND A NEW
BACHELOR OF ARTS (WESTERN
CIVILISATION) TO BE TAUGHT IN
SELECT AUSTRALIAN UNIVERSITIES.
Former Prime Minister John Howard OM AC with his wife Jeanette Howard, NSW Premier
Gladys Berejiklian & former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the launch of the
Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation.
Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation CEO
Professor Simon Haines outside the
Centre's new home at Macquarie Street,