Barry Jones once said that Australia is the only country where the word 'academic' is a pejorative. The academic sector has a vibrant and practical role to play in this complex world of ours. Higher education and research are worthy of your much closer attention. Yes, we can be and should be the clever country. Our progress can be within the highest ethical and moral framework. But this will only happen if we place appropriate emphasis on education, research and innovation within a truly international framework.