What is Australia?

Australia is a constitutional monarchy created by the Majority of Electors of 1900. The Governor-General is Head of State and Elizabeth II is Sovereign.

Since the creation of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1900 the Crown of Australia has been worn by six monarchs: Victoria, Edward VII, George V, Edward VIII, George VI and Elizabeth II.

Peoplepower: the Majority of Electors

200 years ago Napoleon’s master, Prince Talleyrand, said, “There is someone more intelligent than Voltaire, more powerful than the emperor–and that is the people.”

100 years later in 1900, this became true in Australia. Today, it is still one of the enduring truths of our Commonwealth.

The Majority of Electors was the original power in 1900 that created The Constitution and is still, the only power in Australia that can change The Constitution.

In contrast to other political realities like in Iraq, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, Fiji or even the Vatican, the USA, India and China, the fact is that the Electors of Australia have been able to hold, without interruption, the ultimate constitutional power in Australia for over a hundred years!

This continuous record of peoplepower and political stability is unprecedented in modern world history.

Australia is the name given to an agreement between The Majority of Electors of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, Tasmania, and Western Australia to unite in one federation under the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia.


So who really created what we now know as ‘Australia’?

On July 5, 1900, Australia was legally created by an Act of the Westminster Parliament known as the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act. The Act was proclaimed to commence on January 1, 1901.

At that time, the population of Australia was under four million and consisted of a number of colonies which regarded themselves as British. This Act was the product of a vision which began fifty years earlier in the self-governing colonies. The Constitution of Australia is also internationally regarded as one of the cleverest agreements ever designed.

It was crafted in Australia by our own people. It was a product, not of war nor of revolution, but of many years of business discussion, political debate, legal argument and peaceful referendum.

The First Convention

Two Conventions were held in 1891 and in 1897-98. Delegates to the 1891 Convention were appointed by the colonial parliaments and met in Sydney.

The Convention President was the Premier of New South Wales, Sir Henry Parkes whose image is on the five dollar bill.

The draft of a Bill for a Constitution was approved by the Convention.

This Bill was drafted with the help of Sir Samuel Griffith, Premier of Queensland, who later became the First Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia.

The Second Convention

The second Convention was held in Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne in 1897 and 1898. Delegates to this Convention were elected by the Majority of Electors.

Barriers between brothers: shall they remain?’  •  The Argus (Melbourne), 1 June 1898

Barriers between brothers: shall they remain?’ • The Argus (Melbourne), 1 June 1898

The document produced at this Convention became the new Constitution and many features coming from the first Convention were included.

In 1899, the draft of the Constitution was approved by the Majority of Electors in a state by state referendum–each held in New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and Queensland. New Zealand which was represented at the first Convention did not join the Federation.

Western Australia voted to join in 1900. Thus, the Constitution was designed, not at Westminster but in Australia and by our own electors.

In the words of the Eleventh Chief Justice of the High Court, The Honourable Murray Gleeson AC: “The Commonwealth Constitution was not drafted by civil servants in London, and presented to the colonies on the basis that they could take it or leave it. Its terms were hammered out in Australia in a process of public debate, and political and legal negotiation, by the leading figures of the day.”

The Senate of the Parliament of Australia offers an online copy of The Constitution here and a picture of the founding document can be seen here.


The Third Convention

One hundred years later, in 1998, a third Convention was held. From 2-13 February 1998, 152 delegates from all over Australia met at Old Parliament House in Canberra to discuss whether Australia should become a republic.

Seventy-six of the delegates were elected by the Majority of Electors in a voluntary postal ballot. The other seventy-six were appointed by the parliament whose members were also chosen by the Majority of Electors.

The delegates come from every State and Territory and had a wide diversity of backgrounds and interests. The Convention was chaired by the Rt Hon Ian Sinclair MP, with the Hon Barry Jones AO MP as Deputy Chairman.


It was finally resolved at the third Convention that a republican model of an appointed president be put to the people in a constitutional referendum.


On 5 November 1999, the Electors of Australia were asked:

“Do you agree with A proposed law to alter the constitution to establish the Commonwealth of Australia as a Republic with the Queen and Governor General being replaced by a President appointed by a two-thirds majority of members of the Commonwealth Parliament?”

The result of the constitutional referendum, as decided by the Majority of Electors, was: NO!

You can visit the Electors of Australia here …

You can visit the Governor General of Australia here …


You can visit the Queen of Australia here …

You can visit the Prime Minister of Australia here …

Are you a speed thinker?

To find out if you are a speed thinker first give your quick answer to these five questions. Answer quickly with either a YES or a NO:

• In any situation can you instantly know how you feel about it?
YES                                         NO
• When criticised can you quickly defend your opinions?
YES                                         NO
• Is it easy for you to see the mistakes in the thinking of others?
YES                                         NO
• Are you good at convincing others when you are right?
YES                                         NO
• In deciding, can you see the obvious alternatives and choose the best one?
YES                                         NO

If you answered YES to any of these questions then chances are your thinking is much slower than it need be and you can easily double your speed of thought.

Why is this so?

It’s because the traditional, critical thinking we learned at school is judgmental.

It’s Black Hat thinking. It’s the ancient, Greek-based logical, European religious right/wrong, method. Vertical thinking. Get the ‘right’ answer and avoid the ‘wrong’ answer. It’s about defending your point-of-view. It’s about keeping yourself ‘right’ – sometimes at any cost. US vs THEM. Defend. Attack. Punish. Exclude. Neutralise. Righteousness is GOOD. Mistakes or mutations are BAD! And, of course, God is on OUR side.

For a classic example, we see this ancient method entrenched in the Westminster system of politics: We-are-right-and-you-are-wrong.

Contrast the traditional method with speed thinking which is about design.

Design is about evolving fresh possibilities. Creating new options or hypotheses. Lateral thinking. It’s about escaping from your point-of-view to find a much better one – thinking outside the square!

Experimentation. Innovation. Provocation. Escape and search. Applied scientific testing and more accurate measurement. Change. Risk and diversification. Inclusion. Co-operation. US and THEM. Green Hat thinking.

A classic example of this kind of thinking is the international space station. To do this new kind of speed thinking you may need to upgrade your traditional brain software.

What is brain software?

Brain software is the basic program you use to do your thinking. Think of your brain as your ‘necktop computer’. Now, ask yourself this question: What software do I use in my necktop and where did I get it from?

Many people are slow thinkers, not because they are short on brainpower, but because they’re using very slow, outdated brain software. The software they were programmed at school to think with actually slows them down. Many of these people may not even be aware of the origin of this brain software nor how it arrived into their own brain in the first place.

Their brain software is the  2500-year-old Greek and biblical software – logic – which was developed by the Vatican and then, very successfully, spread around the world during the second millennium.

The history of papal hegemony is meticulously recorded in the Vatican archives. These records reveal a global effort maintained by centuries of sustained military crusades supported by covert papal inquisitions and the ongoing investment in their feudal missionary system. The export of logic around the world is Europe’s greatest cultural success story.

The downside is that this pre-scientific brain software is so, so sluggish that it makes it very difficult to change your mind, to escape from your point-of-view. Many people are still stuck with logic as their dominant thinking software, so that’s about as fast as they can go: thinking at the speed of logic.

In addition to logic, what is also needed in today’s world is: thinking at the speed of design.

Why be interested in increasing your own speed of thought?

If you don’t upgrade your brain software then you’ll be stuck with what you’ve got.

Although this sounds a bit like a TV advertorial (But wait there’s more!) I’ve listed some of the many real benefits that can come from increasing your own speed of thought:

• be more open-minded
• be better able to escape from your point-of-view
• be able to see more opportunities
• be faster at solving problems
• enjoy making decisions
• increase your survival skills
• be fitter in the marketplace
• be more effective at planning
• get much better results
• find it easier to be creative
• be faster to take advantage of changes in circumstances
• get things done quicker
• think more and worry less
• lower your stress levels
• increase your family’s peace and happiness
• see information in new and more useful ways
• generate better and better alternatives
• apply speed of thought to your personal and family life
• be better at sports and career problems and opportunities
• be a speed thinker!

How can I double my Speed of Thought?

A simple way is by daily training.

If you wish you can get this training pro bono from the School of Thinking.


There are two basic meanings of success:
1. You-Lose, and
2. I-Win.

You-Lose is the kind of success a boxer enjoys in an Olympic Champion title fight. For him to win the title – be Olympic Champion of the World – and collect the Gold Medal he has to see that the other fighter fails to win. This kind of situation is called, by games theorists, a ‘zero sum’ game and is where success for one player means failure for the other.

Backgammon is also a zero sum game as are Olympic sports and professional sporting competitions like cricket, football, basketball and baseball.

I-Win is more like what happens in life itself. At home (whether in a relationship between lovers or families), or at school, or at work, I can be successful by playing I-Win without anyone having to lose or fail.

- I-Win can happen without my mate having to fail.
- I-Win can happen without my customer having to lose.
- I-Win can happen without my neighbour having to suffer.

That is because in the ‘game of life’ there is always a third party which we will call The Banker.

When there is a banker who always pays out and collects after each encounter, two players can co-operate and laugh all the way to the bank. Mountain-climbing is a non-zero-sum game where I-Win can happen without my partner having to fail, or fall.

Blackjack at the casino is a non-zero-sum game and a novice player can always be spotted because they do not yet understand the difference between playing You-Lose and I-Win with their fellow players, against The Banker.

In a non-zero-sum game there are only consequences.

The Banker always pays and always collects according to how you play the game or, more precisely, according to which strategy you choose.

There are many strategies in the game of life and some succeed more than others but there is only ONE dominant strategy which ALWAYS succeeds in beating any other strategy.

It is The #1 Law of Success and the one we’ll explore in this masterclass.


Here we explore a new zero sum game to mimic life and called The Game. Those who become skilled in this simplest of all games will become skilled in the #1 Law of Success which is more successful in life than any other strategy. In The Game the Banker makes the following payoffs:

NICE/NASTY: Banker Pays WINNER 1 million points.
NASTY/NICE: Banker Fines SUCKER 200,000 points.
NICE/NICE: Banker Pays Both 600,000 points as REWARD
NASTY/NASTY: Banker Fines Both 20,000 points as PUNISHMENT


OK. What’s the science behind all of this? The Game has its biological origins in what scientists now call Game Theory.

We see how succeeding in life–survival & making a living–is largely a strategic matter.

Success in life consists of how well we manage the unfolding series of encounters with others. In each encounter we can cooperate and be NICE or we can defect and be NASTY. We see examples of those who always play NASTY, others who always use NICE and still others whose strategy is a mix of NICE and NASTY.

We are introduced to the Rules of The Game and also to the risks and rewards of life which are represented by REWARDS and PUNISHMENTS: a series of points paid out or deducted as fines which the Banker always pays out after each encounter or round of the game. We are now ready to play and try out different strategies. With instant feedback from the Banker we soon see that there are always four inevitable outcomes which, in Game Theory, are called: The Winner, The Sucker, The Punishment and The Reward.

The Temptation to Win is one with which we are all familiar. Exemplified so well by Gordon Gecko in the movie Wall Street, this tactic is all about Victory. It’s the I-Win-You-Lose philosophy where for you to win the other loses; you beat the opponent, you conquer the adversary. “Greed is Good” is the motto of this strategy and in the Game it is the strategy where the other played NICE and you played NASTY.

He becomes the Sucker and you become the Winner. Your Temptation to Win has paid off and you collect the Banker’s highest payment, 1 million points. The Skase’s and Bond’s of the eighties were high profile players of the Temptation to Win strategy and the Adlers, Vizards, Pratts and AWBs may be more recent examples.

The chance of having the biggest possible payout attracts many people to this NICE/NASTY strategy called the Temptation to Win. It seems, intuitively, to be the best strategy and in Game Theory it’s called ALL NASTY or always play NASTY. If life consisted of only one round or one encounter, it would be the one to always use. But life is unfolding. There are many encounters and repeated rounds in the game of life. We see that this iteration of the game, its repetition, soon shows Temptation to be a flawed strategy with only short term gains and much greater long term losses.

All Winners eventually become Suckers and Suckers always suck. The reason for this is because ‘what goes around comes around’ and ‘those who live by the sword die by the sword’. If you are NASTY to me in this round, then you can be sure that I will be NASTY to you in the next round. This is how the Temptation strategy, which seemed so attractive in Round I, always becomes a problem to the Winner in later rounds when revenge is sweet and the other side gets their ‘payback time’.

In Game Theory, the sure knowledge that there will always be ‘payback time’ in future rounds of the game is called The Shadow of the Future.

This Future Shadow is the key to the game. Only those who understand this inevitable cybernetic feedback feature of the game can have access to the most successful strategy of all which we call the #1 Law of Success.

The problem with the Temptation strategy is that its short term upside is soon diminished by the long term downside. This is why obsessed Winners eventually become Suckers.

The Sucker is the biggest loser of all in the Game. You become a Sucker when you play NICE and the other plays NASTY. You get ‘caught with your pants down’ and you’re ‘a sitting duck’. The Banker saves his biggest fine for the Sucker, a hefty 200,000 and it’s called the Sucker’s Payoff.

Yet, there are those who actually play a strategy called ALL NICE or ‘Always play NICE’. These Suckers always suck. They actually reward Temptation. They make it intelligent behaviour for the other to always play NASTY and collect their 1 million prize. In Darwinian evolution, Suckers are altruistic and help other members of the species to pass on their genes to the next generation always at their own expense. In biology, Suckers always suck, they die a Darwinian death.

In a sense, all Suckers are blind. That is, they are blind to consequences. They cannot see the Shadow of the Future. They fail to understand the impact of payback time. The greedy Sucker who gives her savings to the Get-Rich-Quick-Merchant is blind to the consequences. The Bloody Idiot (portrayed so effectively in TAC ads) who drinks then drives is a blind Sucker. The smoker who heeds the Marlboro man but not the Cancer Society is a blind Sucker. Blind Suckers who stay blind always end up losers.

This is a fatal disease. Most Righteous Suckers die. They may die in battle or are put to death at the whim of their victorious Winners. They are conquered and crushed by their opponent. Many Righteous Suckers are suffering from PTV, the Plato Truth Virus. I have written in depth about PTV in Software for Your Brain.

PTV causes the host brain to believe that they are ‘uniquely right’, that they have a certain and absolute ‘truth’. Righteous Suckers have usually contracted PTV through any religious or political movement which claims to be the ‘True Religion’ or the ‘Right Majority’. They also are blind to the Shadow of the Future. Some become martyrs, others become dictators. All end up dead. Suckers always suck.

We have all been Sad Suckers and hopefully we learn from the experience. The Sad Sucker played NICE and was tricked. The Sad Sucker played NICE on the understanding that the other was going to play NICE too. He was wrong. She was sucked in. Each reader will have his or her own bitter memories of childhood abandonment, broken trust, emotional betrayal. The young draftee who returns from Vietnam to find no welcoming parade, no grateful public is a Sad Sucker. The faithful wife who trusts her unfaithful husband is a Sad Sucker.

Children are often Suckers because they are so vulnerable and trusting. Whether they trust the pedophile who offers “to take them to mummy” yet is their mortal enemy or their older sister who always takes the bigger slice of cake, children are often suckers.

The important point about the Sad Sucker is to learn from the experience. Children grow up and become players in the Game of Life. They can then choose whatever strategy they wish. They don’t have to remain Sad Suckers and fortunately, most don’t.

The Game always punishes winners. Whatever the outcome of today’s round there will always be future rounds to play and that’s where the Winners get punished. Because the game of life is unfolding it is a cybernetic or feedback loop.

There are many rounds of the game and each player has multiple encounters. There’s always a payback whether you call it karma or feedback or revenge or reprisal or reciprocation or retaliation. This brings us to the best strategy of all:


Tit-for-tat means payback. The Dutch call it ‘dit vor dat’ and the French ‘tant pout tant’. Caesar called it ‘quid pro quo’. To Shylock it was a ‘pound of flesh’ and the Hebrews called it ‘an eye for an eye’. In the Game it is NASTY/NASTY. If you play NASTY then I’ll play NASTY, too. The Banker calls this The Punishment and both players are fined an inconvenient 20,000. But, wait a moment, how can this be the #1 Law of Success? Surely not! It seems very wrong and counter-intuitive.

In both the Game and in real life this is the best strategy of all yet it is one which has a very poor reputation because it is so widely misunderstood. tit4tat is usually considered childish at best and uncharitable, even heartless, at worst. Yet it is the fairest strategy of all and, as it turns out, the most successful strategy in life and, therefore, the only one which qualifies as the #1 Law of Success.

In Game Theory, t4t or the tit4tat strategy is also called the NICE Strategy and has two basic rules:
1 Always play NICE first, then
2 Always match the other’s play thereafter.

In other words, you start by playing NICE then whatever move the other plays, you match it. If he plays NASTY then so do you. If she plays NICE, you play NICE. You never cheat and you never waver.

There are several outcomes for those who use this strategy. Obviously, you always punish Winners. Whenever a Winner plays NASTY you ALWAYS play NASTY, you ALWAYS punish NASTY with matching NASTY. That’s what is meant by ‘an eye for a eye’ but there’s more to Tit-for-Tat than just returning NASTY with NASTY. Tit-for-Tat also means you ALWAYS return NICE with NICE!

This always leads to NICE/NICE. The Winner soon realises that to play NASTY will immediately produce the same retaliation so that he is virtually playing NASTY on himself. To win the 1 million, he has to achieve NASTY/NICE and he now understands that, in Tit-for-Tat, he never can. In Tit-for-Tat there are only two possible outcomes, NASTY/NASTY, the Punishment which will cost him 20,000 every time. Or, NICE/NICE.

This paradox is the nut of the masterclass and takes a little getting used to. The members must fully come to grips with this insight: that tit4tat or an eye for an eye always ends up leading to NICE/NICE.

It is hard for the Western mind to grasp simply because we have been taught that ‘turn the other cheek’ is the better strategy. It isn’t. Turn the other cheek always leads to NICE/NASTY because if one is always going to be NICE then the other is rewarded more for being NASTY than for being NICE.

NICE/NICE is called The Reward in Game theory. NICE/NICE is when both players play NICE and the Banker pays out his second highest payment of 600,000 to each player. It’s not a million but it’s a very nice reward. Only tit4tat/t4t can produce this outcome. If the players are intelligent and are not Suckers who are blind to the Shadow of the Future then there is nothing to stop them playing NICE/NICE in every round of the game and picking up their Reward of 600,000 points every time. This is the I-Win-You-Win philosophy and ALWAYS scores the highest points. t4t is the ultimate strategy and those that ALWAYS play t4t, or NICE/NICE, will ALWAYS be successful in life. Win/Win is the #1 Law of Success.

Tit-for-Tat is how you reward a nice guy. When he or she plays NICE you always play NICE. You NEVER play NASTY. You NEVER yield to the Temptation to Win the million. You build trust and you ALWAYS both succeed.

In selling, the traditional American model, which I have called oldsell is the Temptation strategy. Close the sale and win! Contrast this with the newsell model which is based on the relationship of trust built up by the NICE/NICE strategy. The Japanese use this model and are much more successful at selling than Americans.


This masterclass offers participants a unique strategy called t4t. t4t is the #1 Law of Success. t4t is a counter-intuitive but very powerful strategy to help you to succeed in the unfolding Game of Life. Whenever you decide to use the tit4tat strategy you:

Always REWARD NICE tit4tat – (NICE/NICE)


Always avoid the TEMPTATION to WIN – (NICE/NASTY)

Always avoid the SUCKER’S PAYOFF- (NASTY/NICE).

(These notes are from The Advanced Strategy Masterclass

with Dr Michael Hewitt-Gleeson © 2011).

In April 2010 SOT accepted the first intake of qualified Esquires into the School of Chivalry and the next intake will be in September 2010.

Traditionally, an Esquire is a trainee Knight. Knights of legend capture our imagination with their romance of faith, their spirit of adventure their rigorous training and prowess in battle. From Sir Galahad to Luke Skywalker the knights and their orders of chivalry have enjoyed a peculiar quality which has lasted for 900 years.

Today, we can see a growing conversation around the world on things like “values”, “ethical leadership“, “social responsibility” and “philanthropy” as well as personal training and service to others.

SOT has been researching and providing training on these issues since 1998 and we feel the time has now come to extend this training to qualified SOT members.

The mission of the School of Chivalry is to provide coaching to qualified candidates in the history, strategies, virtues and quintessential skills of chivalrytraining and service.

Part One of the training is: QRH.  Part Two: The Meme of Chivalry.

There will be ten candidates per intake and the next intake is in September 2010. If you are already listed as an SOT Instructor and you would like to be considered as a candidate for this training post your application in the Comments Box below.

In the School of Chivalry, those who successfully complete the training will be prepared for the accolade of knighthood. There are no fees. There is only personal training and service to others.

The motto of the School of Chivalry is:  QRH.

Caravaggio • Knight of Malta

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571 – 1610)
Portrait of a Knight of Malta, Fra Antonio Martelli, 1607-8
Oil on canvas
Galleria Palatina, Palazzo Pitti, Florence


German expert on Thinking Skills–Florian Rustler–asks Michael about teaching thinking and the universal brain software – cvs2bvs …

Michael, you created the School of Thinking (SOT). For some people that might be an unusual concept that you need a school that teaches you how to think. A lot of people are of the opinion that they know already how to think. Why is there a necessity for having a School of Thinking?

••• Click through here for the interview …