The Wheeler Centre
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The Fifth Estate: Class Dismissed
In the past six months, Australia has seen the passing of two giants of the political stage — Gough Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser. Defined by the dismissal, and with vastly different leadership styles, their respective visions and energy for reform have left a lasting legacy.
In this Fifth Estate, Sally Warhaft is joined by former Liberal MP, founding director of the Australian Institute of Multicultural Affairs and senior adviser to Malcolm Fraser (amongst others), Petro Georgiou; former Labor MP and friend and colleague to both Fraser and Whitlam, Barry Jones; and La Trobe University professor of politics Judith Brett.
Expect an intimate discussion of the vastly different contributions made by Whitlam and Fraser to the political world, and to Australia as a nation — from free education to immigration to Medicare to arts funding.
How do their legacies inform our understanding of the current political landscape? And can leaders like these, with a clear vision and grandeur of ideals, be seen again?
Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer. She hosts the Fifth Estate, the Wheeler Centre’s live series focusing on journalism, politics, media, and international relations, now in its ninth year. 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.
Barry Jones has been a politician, diplomat, public servant, high school teacher, television and radio performer, lawyer, university lecturer and quiz champion. He is also the author of books including Sleepers, Wake! and A Thinking Reed.
Judith Brett is emeritus professor of politics at La Trobe University. A former editor of Meanjin and columnist for the Age, she won the National Biography Award in 2018 for The Enigmatic Mr Deakin. She is the author of four Quarterly Essays: Relaxed and Comfortable, Exit Right, Fair Share and The Coal Curse. Her other books include From Secret Ballot to Democracy Sausage, Robert Menzies’ Forgotten People and Australian Liberals and the Moral Middle Class.
As a member of Federal Parliament, Petro Georgiou served on parliamentary committees including as Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Science and Innovation and Deputy Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Public Accounts and Audit.
Prior to entering Parliament, Petro had been Victorian State Director of the Liberal Party, the Founding Director of the Australian Institute of Multicultural Affairs and a Prime Ministerial senior adviser.