If you missed it, you can catch up on this recording or you can listen to this podcast.


Intelligence Squared Debates

View all events in this series

at Melbourne Town Hall

Foreign Aid is a Waste of Money

The Wheeler Centre and St James Ethics Centre combine once again in 2012 to bring you another series of Intelligence Squared debates.

Established in 2002, IQ2 has spread from across the globe, bringing the traditional form of Cambridge and Oxford Unions-style debating – with two sides proposing and opposing a sharply formed motion – to Melbourne Town Hall.

From child soldiers in Sudan to gang violence in Papua New Guinea; tsunamis in the Pacific to earthquakes in New Zealand, we’re confronted with communities in need every day.

Who should we help? How can we be sure our aid dollars reach their destination? Some believe that aid traps communities in a cycle of dependence, holding them back from developing their own systems and managing their own issues. So on balance, do those dollars hurt more than they help?

And with endemic poverty in Australia’s indigenous communities and natural disaster breaking Queensland’s budget – should we ‘take care of our own’ first?

Arguing for the proposition will be Greg Sheridan (Foreign Editor, The Australian), James Goodman (Chair, AidWatch; Associate Professor in Social and Political Change, UTS) and Tim Wilson (Director, International Property and Free Trade Unit, IPA). Against it will be Martin Thomas (Head of Public Affairs and External Relations, World Vision Australia), Samah Hadid (National Director, Global Poverty Project) and Andrew Hewett (Executive Director, Oxfam; Co-Chair, Make Poverty History).

Attending this event? Use #iq2oz to tag your tweets.


Portrait of Greg Sheridan

Greg Sheridan

Greg Sheridan is the Australian’s foreign editor, and one of the most influential foreign affairs analysts in Australian journalism. After 35 years in the field, he is a veteran of international affairs who has interviewed leaders all over the Asia Pacific and America.

Portrait of James Goodman

James Goodman

James Goodman has been on the management committee of the aid-monitoring group AidWatch since 1999. He has campaigned and researched on global justice issues since the mid 1990s and is co-author of a new book on the policy ideas of the global justice movement.

Portrait of Samah Hadid

Samah Hadid

Samah Hadid is the National Director of The Global Poverty Project. She has campaigned widely on social justice and women’s rights issues.

Portrait of Tim Wilson

Tim Wilson

Tim Wilson is the Member for Goldstein. He was first elected in 2016 and achieved the strongest result in the Goldstein’s history for the Liberal Party. As a proud liberal he is committed to economic and social freedom, underpinned by the preservation of our culture and institutions.

He formerly served as Australia’s Human Rights Commissioner. In that role he worked with the government to reform laws to stop and prevent terrorism, improving economic opportunities for indigenous Australians as well as standing up for laws to protect free speech and stop marginalised communities from public harassment.

Portrait of Martin Thomas

Martin Thomas

Martin Thomas is the Head of Public Affairs and External Relations at World Vision Australia. He has worked in the aid and development sector for more than a decade both for World Vision and UNICEF, in Australia and overseas.

Portrait of Andrew Hewett

Andrew Hewett

Andrew Hewett is Executive Director of Oxfam Australia.

Intelligence Squared Debates

The Intelligence Squared debates rage on in 2014 with a whole new range of topics as compelling as they are polarising. In these highly participatory debates, once both sides have had their say, the decision as to who emerges victor lies entirely in your hands.


More about this venue, including large map, parking, public transport and accessibility.

Presented in partnership with