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Lunchbox / Soapbox

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at The Wheeler Centre

Belinda Hawkins on Every Parent’s Nightmare: Jock Palfreeman’s Story

In 2009, young Australian traveller Jock Palfreeman was found guilty of the murder of Andrei Monov. Monov was the son of a family well connected in the Sofia legal fraternity. Palfreeman claimed he went to the defence of gypsies being attacked by Monov and a bunch of soccer hooligans. The prosecution claimed what Palfreeman did to Monov was cold-blooded murder.

Walkley award-winning ABC journalist Belinda Hawkins covered the harrowing true story of an Australian father’s fight to save his son from a life sentence in a Bulgarian prison – through her work on ABC’s Australian Story and subsequently in her book Every Parent’s Nightmare.

Today, she outlines this case of many twists and turns, where vital evidence was kept out of court and crucial witnesses never called, and the many futile attempts by Jock’s father, Simon, to get justice for his son. She also reminds us of the dangers we all confront when travelling into worlds very different to our own.


Sometimes there’s nothing better than a good rant. Every Thursday, the Wheeler Centre hosts an old-fashioned Speakers’ Corner in the middle of the city, where writers and thinkers can have their say on the topics that won’t let them sleep at night.

Featuring some of our most compelling voices across just about every sector of human endeavour you can imagine, the themes dominating Lunchbox/Soapbox are proudly idiosyncratic. BYO lunch. Ideas provided.


Portrait of Belinda Hawkins

Belinda Hawkins

Belinda Hawkins has reported on national and international events for ABC TV and SBS TV for almost 30 years, filing from countries as diverse as Nigeria, Eritrea, Cuba, Germany and Russia. For the past 12 years she has been a senior journalist with ABC TV’s Australian Story program.

Lunchbox / Soapbox

We love exploring ideas at the Wheeler Centre, and encouraging others to do the same. That’s why every Thursday lunchtime we hand the microphone over to the great thinkers, dreamers and orators of our time.

With a dazzling range of passionate speakers and unusual topics, our soapbox provides a platform for the eclectic, topical and enlightening stories you won’t hear elsewhere. This is the most memorable lunch break you’ll have all week.

If you’re in need of sustenance of body as well as mind, the MOAT lunch cart will be serving delicious $10 lunchboxes in the Performance Space from 12.20pm.


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