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Incorrigible Optimist

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Photo of Gareth Evans

Gareth Evans

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?

Who?

Portrait of Gareth Evans

Gareth Evans

Gareth Evans is a writer, academic, lawyer and former cabinet minister.

He was a Cabinet Minister in the Hawke and Keating Governments for thirteen years, as Attorney General, Minister for Resources & Energy, Transport & Communications, and Foreign Affairs; Leader of the Government in the Senate for four years; and Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the House of Representative for three years. After 21 years in the Australian Parliament, he led the Brussels-based International Crisis Group from 2000-2009.

Portrait of Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer. She is the host of The Fifth Estate, the Wheeler Centre’s live series focusing on journalism, politics, media, and international relations, and The Leap Year, a Wheeler Centre podcast about Australians' lives in the fog of the Covid-19 pandemic. She is a former editor of the Monthly magazine and the author of the bestselling book Well May We Say: The Speeches that Made Australia.

Sally is a regular host and commentator on ABC radio and has a PhD in anthropology. She did her fieldwork in Mumbai, India, living by the seashore with the local fishing community.

The Fifth Estate

The important stories of the day – off the front pages.

Sally Warhaft hosts a dizzying array of guests from the worlds of politics, culture, international relations and beyond, in a witty and revealing analysis of current affairs.