Questions for the Nation: Darwin

Questions for the Nation: Darwin

What are the most important questions facing Australians – today and in the future?

The Wheeler Centre has been roaming Australia, collecting the nation’s most urgent questions and thrashing them out with some of the sharpest thinkers we know. We’ve been doing it in panel discussions at Brisbane Writers Festival, Perth’s Disrupted Festival of Ideas, Darwin Festival and National Young Writers Festival in Newcastle.

At these sessions, we scan the horizons, break deadlocked debates and dust off the issues rotting for too long at the bottom of the nation’s too-hard basket. What are the faultlines and tensions in Australian society, and where do we turn for fresh ideas for the future? Who do we want to be, and how are we going to get there?

In partnership with Darwin Festival, social researcher Rebecca Huntley hosts a discussion on the present and future of the nation. Join academic Curtis Roman, MP Ngaree Ah Kit and artists Cris Derksen, Ian Michael and Patricia Cornelius for their take on the most important question facing Australia today.

Presented in partnership with Darwin Festival.


Portrait of Ngaree Ah Kit

Ngaree Ah Kit

Ngaree Ah Kit is the current Member for Karama in the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly and the Assistant Minister for Suicide Prevention, Mental Health, Disability, Youth and Seniors.

She is 36-year-old Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander woman who was born and bred in the Territory, and spent 16 years working in both Territory and Federal Government agencies, whilst spending her spare time volunteering and advocating for improvement in the areas of youth leadership, Indigenous affairs, and suicide prevention.

In her capacity as Member for Karama she is concentrating on working as part of a team to develop partnerships to deliver quality and sustainable outcomes for Territorians. Her aim is to encourage and empower others to be part of the solutions that they would like to see delivered in the community and to work closely with a range of stakeholders to improve outcomes for all Territorians.

Portrait of Patricia Cornelius

Patricia Cornelius

‘You pay a price to be able to talk about your own country in the works in a really truthful and brutal way. A lot of people don’t want to hear that.’

Patricia Cornelius is a playwright of rare courage and power. As a founding member of Melbourne Workers Theatre, Patricia Cornelius has spent her career drawing attention to marginalised lives and issues surrounding class. Cornelius has written more than 35 plays, including Slut, The Call, Shit and Savages. She also co-wrote the Australian classic, Who’s Afraid of the Working Class? Cornelius is the recipient of the 2019 Windham Campbell Prize for Drama. 

Portrait of Ian Michael

Ian Michael

Ian Michael is a proud Noongar man from Western Australia and a graduate from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. As an actor, Ian’s theatre and creative development credits include HART (She Said Theatre); Wilma, Flashblacks, Northwest of Nowhere, Black Writers Lab (Ilbijerri Theatre Company); Blak Cabaret (Malthouse Theatre); The Kid (Melbourne Theatre Company/Melbourne Ring Cycle); Laika and Wills (She Said Theatre); The New Black (The Arts Centre-Carnegie 18 series) and Jandamarra (Bunuba Films). Film and TV credits include Offspring,Where are the Warriors (Wirrim Films) and Needle (Nexus 6 Films).

Portrait of Curtis Roman

Curtis Roman

Curtis Roman is a Larrakia man born and raised on Larrakia land.  He is the head of the School of Indigenous Knowledges and Public Policy at Charles Darwin University. 

Portrait of Rebecca Huntley

Rebecca Huntley

Rebecca Huntley is one of Australia's most respected researchers on social and consumer trends, and head of research at Essential Media. She is the author of Still Lucky: Why You Should Feel Optimistic About Australia and Its People.

Listen to Questions for the Nation: Darwin


All messages as part of this discussion and any opinions, advice, statements, or other information contained in any messages or transmitted by any third party are the responsibility of the author of that message and not the Wheeler Centre.