Australian businessman and free-market advocate Ron Manners, who was recently honored by Queen Elizabeth II as an Officer of the Order of Australia for his services to the mining industry and to young people via his extensive philanthropic contributions to education, will be the second recipient of Atlas Network’s annual Sir Antony Fisher Achievement Award.
“Ron Manners’ extraordinary commitment to liberty has helped thousands of people improve their understanding of the benefits of a free society,” said Brad Lips, CEO of Atlas Network. “While his focus through Mannkal has been educating young people in his beloved home country of Australia, his tireless dedication to creating a prosperous and peaceful world has inspired people of all ages around the globe.”
Manners, who is currently managing director of Mannwest Group, began his distinguished career in mining as an electrical engineer, training at Kalgoorlie School of Mines before he took over the family business in 1955. He founded Croesus Mining in the 1980s, and between 1972 and 1995 floated several Australian listed mining companies before joining the board of a Canadian company with operations in Mexico, Brazil and Turkey.
In 1997, Manners founded Mannkal Economic Education Foundation, an educational charity that provides scholarships to Australian students to attend conferences, participate in study tours, and connect with the ideas of liberty both domestically and internationally. Manners was inspired by the economic insights from the Foundation for Economic Education and the practical, immersive learning methods of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Commonwealth Study Conference. More than 2,000 students have participated in Mannkal’s programs, and many have gone on to highly successful careers in both the public and private sectors.
As the elder statesman of Australia’s liberty movement and the author of 5 books, including his most recent memoir The Lonely Libertarian, Manners’ knowledge and experience has been shaped by his natural curiosity and his belief that individualism and personal responsibility are powerful drivers of change. “I believe that economic literacy, and an appreciation of free markets and small government is of the utmost importance to the next generation of business leaders,” said Manners in the Spring 2020 issue of Atlas Network’s Freedom’s Champion, “so that they can more adequately combat overbearing government regulations and increasing tax burdens.”
Sir Antony Fisher, Atlas Network's founder, championed the ideas of free enterprise, individual liberty, and opportunity for all. He dedicated his life to fighting socialism by laying the intellectual groundwork for lasting political change to take root by establishing independent research institutes that focused on innovative, market-based perspectives to public policy issues. In 1955, Sir Antony founded the Institute of Economic Affairs in London, and through his efforts, other think tanks began to proliferate throughout the world. He founded Atlas Network in 1981 and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth shortly before his death in 1988.
The 2020 Sir Antony Fisher Achievement Award will be presented on Thursday, November 12 during Atlas Network’s gala Liberty Forum & Freedom Dinner.