Western Civilisation has had a profound influence on world history. Shaped by the cultural contributions of the ancient Greek and Roman Empires and Medieval Christian Europe, the West has produced the seminal events of the Reformation, the Enlightenment, the Industrial and scientific revolutions, and the development of liberal democracy.
The remarkable and enduring achievements made in the arts and sciences have not been matched by any other civilisation. The West has given the world a plethora of artistic, philosophical, literary and legal traditions.
These achievements have at their core the use of knowledge in society. According to John Stuart Mill, one of freedom’s main virtues is that its realisation will ensure that opportunities for improvement will always be being brought to notice.
The essential features of our free society- civil society, liberal democracy, the rule of law, individual rights and personal responsibility are the inheritance of Western Civilisation and they must be preserved.
The Foundations of Western Civilisation Program was established in 2011 to defend and extend Australians’ understanding of the influential, historical role of the West in establishing many of the liberties enjoyed by members of our society.
You can read more about our Western Civilisation research here.
To watch our series of films on the British Heritage of our Freedoms click here.
To see our continuing work on Magna Carta and its continuing relevance, see here.
The program has also undertaken a number of education initiatives, including development of a curriculum for schools, about which you can learn more here. Also relevant is our research on education and curricula, here.