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  • Hachette Australia
  • Hachette Australia

On Life's Lottery

Glyn Davis

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Literary essays

Birth is a throw of the dice. The consequences last a lifetime.
We like to think of Australia as the land of the 'fair go', a land of choice and equal opportunity. But behind the facade of meritocracy lies an uncomfortable truth: much of your life is already decided by the lottery of where you are born and who you are born to. Entrenched inter-generational poverty, like the property of the wealthy, can be handed down from parent to child.

With one in eight adults and one in six children living below the poverty line in Australia, Glyn Davis asks the question: If life is a game of chance, what responsibility do those who are given a head start have to look after those less fortunate?

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Glyn Davis

Glyn Davis AC is CEO of the Paul Ramsay Foundation, which works to end intergenerational poverty. He was previously Vice Chancellor of the University of Melbourne and remains Distinguished Professor of political science at the Australian National University and visiting Professor at the Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford. He delivered the Boyer lectures on the future of higher education in 2010.

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