The Wheeler Centre
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The Show of the Year 2016, Part Two
The horror, the glory, the sublime and the ridiculous – 2016 served it all up in enormous doses. Join us for part two of the Wheeler Centre's annual Show of the Year – celebrating a year’s worth of highlights and lowlights.
What happened in 2016? Well, the Panama Papers dropped. The Louvre flooded. A woman in New Jersey got stuck up a tree while playing Pokémon Go in a cemetery. And Brangelina was reduced to its component parts. What else? England voted for Boaty McBoatface … then Brexit. Brazil impeached its president. Ceasefire attempts failed in Syria and we were rocked by attacks in Brussels, Paris, Orlando and Baghdad. This was the year the United States elected Donald Trump. It was also the year we said goodbye to David Bowie, Muhammad Ali, Harper Lee, Leonard Cohen and Prince.
Closer to home, Turnbull was returned (only just) as Prime Minister. Our census was a mess, but Chloe Esposito triumphed in the modern pentathlon at Rio and the Western Bulldogs won the AFL Grand Final. We were the crowd favourites at Eurovision and we fell in love with Matilda all over again with Tim Minchin’s Matilda the Musical.
Your host for the Show of the Year is silver-tongued songbird Casey Bennetto. For the second half of the year, he's joined by Benson Saulo, Geraldine Hickey, Tim Flannery, Cal Wilson and Danny McGinlay – tackling Indigenous leadership, Leonard Cohen's death, Donald Trump, the Western Bulldogs' win, climate and #censusfail.
Sit back, relax and relive the best and worst as a bevy of Australia’s finest writers and entertainers farewell the year that was – in five-minute bursts of stories and song.
Benson Saulo is a descendent of the Wemba Wemba and Gundjitmara Aboriginal nations of western Victoria and the New Ireland Provence of Papua New Guinea.
Saulo has served as the Australian Youth Representative to the United Nations (2011), and in 2012 became the Founding Director of the National Indigenous Youth Leadership Academy (NIYLA). In 2014, Saulo co-founded Mind Garden Projects, a not-for-profit that supports two schools in New Ireland Provence, Papua New Guinea.
More recently, Saulo was involved as a Senior Consultant with Price Waterhouse Coopers’ Indigenous Consulting (PIC). Saulo has received numerous awards, including the National NAIDOC Youth of the Year Award and the Ricci Marks Award, and has been featured in Cleo magazine's '30 under 30' list.
With an unselfconscious charm and a superb skill for finding the funny in true stories Geraldine Hickey has been described as a ‘deceptively cheery dame who'll quietly take out your innards.’ She is revered in the industry as a comedian’s comedian and has been shortlisted for the ‘Piece of Wood’ award at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival multiple times. A veteran of many seasons of The Melbourne International Comedy Festival, she is also a regular on the club and pub circuit around the country.
Tim Flannery is a scientist, an explorer, a conservationist and a leading writer on climate change. He has held various academic positions including visiting Professor in Evolutionary and Organismic Biology at Harvard University, Director of the South Australian Museum, Principal Research Scientist at the Australian Museum, Professorial Fellow at the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, University of Melbourne, and Panasonic Professor of Environmental Sustainability, Macquarie University. His books include the award-winning international bestseller The Weather Makers, Here on Earth and Atmosphere of Hope. Flannery was the 2007 Australian of the Year. He is currently chief councillor of the Climate Council.
A touring headline comedian for over a decade, Danny has performed on four continents – and gigged for royalty, Prime Ministers and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
He's been on the television numerous times: Utopia, The Project, The Footy Show, Rove [Live], The Circle, Santo Sam & Ed’s Total Football, The Mansion, City Homicide, Stand Up Australia … and he had one line in Steven Spielberg’s The Pacific. He made his Hollywood debut in the Nicolas Cage thriller, Knowing. He appears in the pivotal opening scene – meaning if you list the cast in order of appearance, he almost has top billing.
Despite all of these achievements, he is best known for writing funny things for footballers to run through. He’s okay with this. Go Dogs.
Cal Wilson came across the Tasman in 2003 and has gone on to become one of our most popular comedians, a perennial favourite on television shows such as Have You Been Paying Attention?, Spicks and Specks, Good News Week and Thank God You’re Here. Her stand up shows are as engaging as they are hilarious, often bringing the audience’s stories to life alongside her own.