June 13, 2019 Print

With more than 500 people from around the world in attendance, the 7th annual Australian Libertarian Society Friedman Conference in Sydney was an exciting opportunity for pro-liberty activists to celebrate classical liberal ideas, spend time with fellow travelers engaged in policy change, and enjoy a few days in Australia’s most cosmopolitan city. 

"This year’s Friedman Conference pulsed with the vibrant energy of over 450 freedom fighters from all over the world, and was the biggest pro-liberty conference in Australian history,” said Tim Andrews, founder, and president of Atlas Network partner Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance. “The schedule was filled with stimulating speakers, but my personal highlight was the ‘Leaving the Left’ panel, where four speakers accounted their personal journey away from big-government progressivism and how they learned to embrace the ideas of liberty.”

The four-day conference, which took place in late May, was co-hosted by Australian Libertarian Society and Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance and was held jointly with the World Taxpayers Association’s 17th World Taxpayers Conference. Major keynote speakers included Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform and journalist John Fund, and the panel discussions spanned a wide variety of topics, including tax and trade, energy and climate, and free speech. 

“It was my first time attending the Friedman Conference,” said Terry Kibbe, CEO of Free the People and a conference presenter. “I was so impressed by the size, quality, and enthusiasm of the crowd, representing the beautiful diversity of the liberty crowd down under.”   

Avens O’Brien of Ladies of Liberty Alliance had been to the Friedman Conference previously, but she observed: 

“This was actually the first time I learned the precise meaning behind the name! It's not the Milton Friedman Conference, it's the Friedman Conference—representing the different liberty perspectives within one family. The more pragmatic economic approaches of Milton, the anarchism of David, the ‘build cities on the sea’ vision of Patri. The whole conference is about the different kinds of libertarianism within one family, one community, one larger-tent philosophy, and that was very much conveyed multiple times this year, between the speakers and topics, and the organizers articulating that vision.”

Atlas Network was a sponsor of the ALS Friedman Conference, and several staff members were featured in the speaker lineup. Vice President of Training and Events Lyall Swim and Training Manager Alex Cordell led “How to Make a Difference (Activism)”. Director of Development Al Canata spoke on practical strategies for effective fundraising, and Vale Sloane, Associate Director of Institute Relations, moderated a panel on liberty around the world. 

The 8th Australian Libertarian Society Friedman Conference will again be held in Sydney, Australia, 22 - 24 May 2020. Tickets are on sale now