August 10

Edmund Burke would approve: Senator Cory Bernardi

Among the new generation of parliamentarians, Cory Bernardi, Senator for South Australia, is already making a mark. He plays a considerable role in the affairs of the coalition and of the Senate, and is a prolific and forthright commentator on current affairs.  It is clear that his opinion comes not from polling or focus groups, but on the sound principles to which he is attached.

He is a living and unfortunately rare example of Burke’s great dictum:“Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.”


He will speak on the fundamental issue of the governance of our country at a dinner in Sydney on Tuesday 25th August 2009.The subject of his address reflects his own path to a fuller understanding of the Australian system: “From Indifference to Advocate: My Constitutional Journey”

I mention the following as testimony to Senator Bernardi’s forthright stand on current issues, and not to suggest that ACM has adopted any position on anthropogenic global warming, or on any other matter outside of our mission.  


In  The Australian on 28 July 2009,  Dennis Shanahan, said that Senator  Bernardi, “already sacked by Mr Turnbull for speaking out,” had said the party would suffer for the Opposition Leader's actions in preparing to pass Labor's ETS before Copenhagen. 

"The political price of supporting something you publicly acknowledge is bad for every family, every community and the country, for short-term expediency is likely to be very high. Moreover, it is payable in the most prized of political capital — credibility," Senator Bernardi said in a newsletter to colleagues.

"Senator Bernardi told The Australian he believed changes on the support for an ETS would have a big impact on the Liberal Party. 

Senator Bernardi has spoken out on other  matters of concern to him. He has done so  with commendable courage; many of these issues are contrary to the campaign agenda of much of the commentariat.

…family history will resonate… 


 Senator Bernardi’s family history will resonate with many Australians. His father, Leon, came to Australia in 1958 from the town of Montebelluna in Veneto in northern Italy.

With little English but a great deal of energy, Leon Bernardi was able, as the Senator says, to flourish under our stable political system, a system that  has provided opportunity and prosperity under the rule of law. 

At the youthful age of 28, Leon Bernardi established his first business and, through hard work and determination has provided employment to several hundred South Australians.

Born, raised and educated in Adelaide, his son Cory,  was selected on a scholarship to the Australian Institute of Sport in the sport of rowing.


While studying at university, he was selected as part of the Australian Men's Rowing team, competing at the world championships. Following this, he travelled extensively throughout Europe, Northern Africa and the Middle East and experienced working in many different environments and cultures.

Upon returning to Australia, he owned and operated various small businesses in and around Adelaide. In 1996, he changed careers and became a financial adviser with a leading stockbroking firm. Eventually, he established his own practice and continued financial consultancy until he became a Senator.

In 2000, he was invited by the Federal Government to become a member of the board of the Australian Sports Commission and the Australian Institute of Sport. He was also Chairman of the Australian Sports Foundation, a non-profit foundation that helps deliver grants to sporting organisations.

Senator Bernardi  is married to Sinead, “his  best friend and his greatest advocate.”  As his mother was Sinead is the “bedrock of his family”. They have two sons, Oscar and Harvey.

“Their impact on my life,” he says” goes far beyond that of paternal pride.”  He believes they have given his life a perspective that was not readily available before, the cause to reflect on the society that his children will inherit when they have children of their own.

Senator Bernardi’s dedication to family values led him to writing two books aimed at educating children. “The Money Tree” educates children about financial investment and the value of money, while his most recent publication “Fit for Life!” aims to promote healthy eating and exercise habits in young people.

…political career…

Cory Bernardi  has had over twenty years’ involvement in the Liberal Party, serving as the youngest ever State President of the Liberal Party in South Australia from 1998-2000. He became Federal Vice President of the Liberal Party of Australia in 2005, the youngest in the history of the Party.

He tells the story when president of the South Australian Liberal Party he was approached by the head of the party’s multicultural committee, a man of Chinese background. He said “We are all proud to be Australian and we should acknowledge this by singing our national anthem before each state council meeting.”

Senator Bernardi says the man he was right. “So we began singing our national anthem as witness to our pride in our nation” he says. ” I have to tell you things were a little bit muted at first, but I can report today that we sing proud and we sing strong, and our voice is the voice of mainstream values.”


It is not every day that you see a young man or young woman who is indeed carrying in his knapsack Napoleon’s famous “bâton de maréchal”.The indications of political leadership in our Commonwealth include not only a certain style and an ability to communicate; above all they involve  clear commitments.

Readers may or may not share those commitments, but how good it is to see a member of parliament who is unafraid to declare them.

…dinner details… 

Tuesday 25th August 2009 6.30 for 7.00pm

Venue: Emperor’s Garden Chinese Restaurant, 96-100 Hay StreetHaymarket (Enter on Dixon Street near Hay Street)

Cost: $55 per person. (Includes GST) (Not Including Drinks)

Inquiries: Mr Jai Martinkovits: 02 9251 2500

RSVP: By Tuesday 18th August 2009 please.


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