Gareth Evans was at the centre of Australian politics for much of his 21 years in parliament, serving as cabinet minister in both the Hawke and Keating Labor governments. His term as foreign minister, from 1988 to 1996, marked a pivotal time in Australian foreign affairs – and the start of an increased engagement with our Asian neighbours.
Since leaving politics, Evans has applied his talents to major posts in international relations, working on crisis resolution, genocide prevention and curbing nuclear proliferation.
What does Evans – whose memoir, Incorrigible Optimist, has just been released – make of the growing rumblings of discontent with the political establishment across the western world? And does he believe we can regain faith in political actors and institutions?