Columnist James Macpherson speaks on ‘Woketopia’

Formal Hall James Macpherson 22
Formal Hall James Macpherson 22
11 Apr 2022

Journalist and opinion writer James Macpherson was our speaker at last week’s formal hall dinner at Campion.

The Spectator Australia columnist and former Pentecostal preacher gave a fiery and entertaining speech about modern culture, making points from his recent book, Notes from Woketopia.

He argued that the modern Western world doesn’t engage in debate any more, preferring to reduce arguments to “pithy bumper sticker” statements, and this discourages people from thinking for themselves.

He said a major problem with a world that’s gone insane is we’ve deified tolerance and demonised intolerance.

“Jesus was the clearest example of tolerance and intolerance at the same time,” he said.

“He was tolerant of the sinner but intolerant of the sin. We should be intolerant, not of people, but of bad ideas.”

During the night, Dr Jeremy Bell (in lieu of Dean Dr Luciano Boschiero) handed out the Dean’s Merit List of awards to students who achieved a High Distinction or Distinction average in 2020.


The High Distinction average recipients were awarded to:

Ashleigh Mills

Gareth Cassidy

Deon Testore

Francis Zaar

John-Paul Canavan

Anita Kent

Sophie Ryan in absentia

Warwick Stacey in absentia

Sophia Shogren in absentia

Campbell Evans in absentia

Lara Rayner in absentia


The Distinction average recipients were awarded to:

Simeon Casey Emily Zmegac
Lauren Brodie in absentia Seth Norton
Isabelle Lindsay Hannah Tyson
Eliza Tome Oliver Van Rensburg
Grace Hempel in absentia Kate Harrison
Dougal Sinclair Elizabeth Winsor O’Keefe in absentia
Luke Bassham Basil Dore
Catherine Fanning in absentia Catherine Meese in absentia
Daniel McDonald Julian Vieira
Joshua Barratt in absentia Abigail Pereira
Susanna Kent in absentia Ariel Casanova
Molly McDonald Genevieve Colman
Emily Zmegac Nicholas Brennan
Helen Phillips in absentia Megan Foote in absentia
Jaidan Juanta in absentia Matthias Selbst in absentia
Elizabeth Nunes Naomi McClarty
Paul Murphy in absentia Margaret Bailey in absentia


See photos below: