As a fiction writer I have a rather privileged role, in that when I'm required to give a paper or deliver a speech it is really as a writer that I do it, and as we all know, writers are full of multiple personalities, so I'm able to call upon a number of characters to fulfil this function; to take on simultaneously a number of different positions. At least, I'm not required to present a static self, but a self that is always in transition. One could say it's typical that writers get away with anything. There's no pressure to be a professional commentator. But in fact, it is sometimes a lot harder to be an amateur, for the burden that the amateur bears is that of the responsibility for one's inventions. And I suppose it is ultimately how Australians invent themselves that will determine their personal and collective futures.