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Elders in Conversation: Barry Jones


Event Status

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.


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. He was a Victorian MP for five years, a Federal MP ... Read more

Jill Singer

Jill Singer is a journalist, broadcaster, author and lecturer. She lectures in journalism at RMIT University following 25 years as a reporter in print, radio and television. As well as winning awards for television broadcasts on architectural and medical issues, she won the Walkley Award in 1992 for... Read more


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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Centre stands. We acknowledge and pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their Elders, past and present, as the custodians of the world’s oldest continuous living culture.