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Getting Older

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at The Wheeler Centre

Elders in Conversation: Barry Jones

Barry Jones is a living treasure. Literally: he’s one of Australia’s 100 Living National Treasures, as voted by over 10,000 Australians.

He led the campaign for scrapping the death penalty, and in 1984, as Minister for Science, was the first Australian politician to raise the issue of anthropogenic climate change. His long career in local, national and international politics has included five years as a Victorian MP, over two decades as a Federal MP (including Minister for Science from 1983 to 1990), and tenure as Australia’s UNESCO and World Heritage Council representative in Paris.

Jones is the author of books including A Thinking Reed, Dictionary of World Biography and the best-selling Sleepers, Wake!. He’s the only person to have been elected to all four of Australia’s Learned Academies (Australian Academy of Science, Academy of Social Sciences in Australia, Australian Academy of the Humanities and Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering). He’s also been a teacher, media personality, lawyer, university lecturer and quiz champion.

Join us at the Wheeler Centre for a conversation with one of the nation’s true polymaths.


Portrait of Barry Jones

Barry Jones

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.

Portrait of Jill Singer

Jill Singer

Jill Singer is a journalist, broadcaster, author and lecturer.

Getting Older

We’re all getting older, every day: ageing starts from the moment we’re born. Our bodies change, our minds develop and our outlook on life evolves.

How do our personal priorities change, as grey hairs accumulate, nests empty and pension plans replace career goals? What kinds of infrastructure are essential for an ageing society? And how might ageing in the 21st century differ from the past?

In one wise week at the Wheeler Centre, we’ll look at ageing from a variety of perspectives – from the personal to the political, with guests including Susan Ryan, Karen Hitchcock and Noel Tovey.


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