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Finding Courage and Inspiration at the Friedman Conference: Two Remarkable Keynotes

Picture of Mark Ajero

Mark Ajero

2021 Mannkal Alumnus

I could not choose between two favourite sessions at the Friedman Conference – Tom Palmer’s Welcome and Keynote Address and the Keynote Presentation by David Limbrick. Both of these sessions were on the second day and the reason why I could not choose between the two sessions is that both speakers were able to provide such a powerful impact on the community, the nation, and the world. Tom and David in their sessions were both inspiring and engaging not just because of their influential roles but because the way they communicated was honest, humble, and passionate.

For Tom Palmer’s Keynote presentation, he presented the successes and positive impact of actions of people that underpin libertarian beliefs and values. He utilised multiple examples from different countries to portray the benefits that marginalised people have gained due to the aid of libertarian activists. It is exciting to hear that this is happening on a global scale, especially in countries and areas with vulnerable people. His storytelling provided insight about treating people with dignity but most importantly ensuring that they are empowered by giving them back their rights and freedom. Tom’s talk resonated with me the most as I am passionate about achieving social justice and creating social impacts. Activists, including Tom Palmer, became the voice of the voiceless people around the world, demonstrating kindness, empathy, and solidarity amongst their beliefs.

David Limbrick talked about his contribution to society in supporting what he stands for and what he believes in. David is a Member of the Victorian Legislative Council and as a member of the parliament, we would think that they would act carefully due to the constraints from strict protocols and media. However, David did not shy away from protesting and activism. He joined several protests such as marches against lockdown and the Black Lives Matter movement. Many people may think that this is unprofessional and risky for his image and occupation but hopefully, people who were at the session thought that he was brave and courageous for standing up and supporting what he believes in. I was surprised that he was not aggressive or heated during his presentation delivery, instead he told the truth and had an unfiltered sense of reality.

In the future, I will be applying three significant lessons in my life that I took away from the conference and the two sessions above. Firstly, it is okay to be bold and free with your beliefs, values, and attitudes as long as you are able to justify and defend them. Secondly, it is also okay to have different beliefs from other people. We are never going to be able to change someone, we can only influence them and it is up to them to change. Finally, believe in whatever you want to believe in and do what you want to do as long as it does not hurt or harm anyone!

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