The Festival of Questions: Questions for the Nation: Melbourne
What are the most important questions facing Australians – today and in the future?
In the first session of our 2017 Festival of Questions, we bring together some of the sharpest thinkers we know to help us think through some perplexing questions about the world – and society – we live in.
Each of our speakers present their ideas on the issues Australia needs to confront head-on. Why isn't democracy working? What happened to Australian fairness? And is civil debate worthy of our hopes for progress?
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.
Julian Burnside AO QC is an Australian barrister who specialises in commercial litigation and is also deeply involved in human rights work, in particular in relation to refugees.
Geraldine Doogue is a highly accomplished Australian journalist and presenter whose career in print, television and radio includes Four Corners, the Australian, Life Matters, Compass and Saturday Extra.
Jack Latimore is an Indigenous researcher with the Centre for Advancing Journalism. He is currently involved in the development of several projects aimed at improving the quality of Indigenous representation and participation in the mainstream media-sphere. His journalism work has appeared in Koori Mail, Guardian Australia, Overland and IndigenousX.
Shireen Morris is a lawyer, postdoctoral fellow at the University of Melbourne Law School, and a senior adviser on constitutional reform to Cape York Institute. She is the author of Radical Heart (MUP, 2018), the co-editor of The Forgotten People: Liberal and Conservative Approaches to Recognising Indigenous Peoples with Damien Freeman (MUP, 2016) and the editor of A Rightful Place: A Roadmap to Recognition (Black Inc, 2017). Shireen is a regular commentator on TV, radio and print media.
Helen Razer was a broadcaster and is now a writer. Her appointments in radio were at the Triple J national network and ABC Melbourne. Her books include A Short History of Stupid, co-authored with national affairs correspondent Bernard Keane, a 2015 work on the history of bad Western thought shortlisted for the Russell Prize; and Total Propaganda, a popular work on Marxism recently published by Allen & Unwin.
Helen has written on social and political matters for the Age and Australian. She now contributes news and cultural analysis to outlets including Crikey, the Saturday Paper, Daily Review, Frankie, SBS and Atlantic digital publication Quartz.
Over the past five years, Jamila Rizvi has firmly established herself as an eminent voice of young Australian women online. She is a columnist for News Limited, and a regular commentator for 3AW radio, as well as television shows including The Project and The Drum.
Jamila is the former Editor-in-Chief of the Mamamia Women’s Network websites. Prior to entering the media, Jamila worked in politics for former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Minister Kate Ellis. In 2014 she was named one of Cosmopolitan’s 30 Most Successful Women Under 30; in 2015, she was listed as one of Australia’s 100 Women of Influence by the Australian Financial Review and in 2017 was named one of Melbourne’s Most Influential Women Under 40 by the Weekly Review.
Jamila lives in Melbourne with her husband and an impossible toddler. Not Just Lucky is her debut book.
Deborah Frances-White is a stand up comedian, writer, speaker and podcaster. She is best known as the creator and host of The Guilty Feminist Podcast – which has had 20 million downloads in its first 18 months. It has just been nominated for a 2017 Aria Award for Best Podcast. She is currently writing a Guilty Feminist book for Virago at Little, Brown.
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.
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