The tertiary education system in Australia has shifted over the past few decades towards a system driven by managerialism and motivated by vocational outcomes, rather than the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake. What are universities actually for? And what role do academics play in them? How can academics respond to the social pressures that have shaped universities into what they are today? Francis Bacon thought that wonder is the seed of knowledge: is there any wonder left in Australia's tertiary system?What is the modern Australian university? What should it be? What can it be?