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Dr Tim Soutpomassane

Philosopher, Academic and Commentator

Dr Tim Soutphommasane is a human rights advocate and political theorist. He is the University of Sydney’s Professor of Practice (Sociology and Political Theory).

Born in France to parents from Laos, Tim arrived in Australia as a three-year-old and grew up in Canley Vale and Bonnyrigg Heights. He was educated at Canley Vale Public School and Hurlstone Agricultural High. He topped the state in 3-unit economics in the 1999 HSC, and was dux at Hurlstone.

Tim went on to study economics /law at the University of Sydney, where he graduated with a first class honours degree in government and international relations before completing a master’s degree and doctorate in political theory at the University of Oxford.


Tim’s thinking on patriotism, diversity and national identity has been influential in reshaping debates in Australia and Britain. He has been variously described as ‘one of the Australian Left’s intellectual heavy-lifters’ (The Australian), ‘an important influence on the Labour leadership (UK)’ (The New Statesman), ‘an Australian philosopher whose views have caught the imagination’ (The Sunday Times, London) and ‘one of Australia’s most celebrated young intellectuals’ (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).


Tim is the author of five books and he also served as a political adviser and speechwriter to Bob Carr when he was Premier of New South Wales.

He is also a director of The Cranlana Programme, aimed at wisdom and ethics in leadership and was the founding chair of the Leadership Council on Cultural Diversity.

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