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Frank Moorhouse on the Dark Conundrum: A citizen’s guide to ASIO


Award-winning novelist Frank Moorhouse’s glittering Edith trilogy explores the emergence of Australia on the diplomatic world stage, following a young Australian woman who goes to the League of Nations to work in the secretariat.

In today’s Lunchbox/Soapbox, he turns his gaze to the contemporary, expanding on his recent Griffith Review essay to examine the shrouded world of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation. What can the increased budget, new Central Office and expanded workforce deliver? How does ASIO relate to the government of the day, and what special powers can it enact? And just what effect does such ever-increasing surveillance have on our society?


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.


Frank Moorhouse

Frank Moorhouse is the award-wining author of several works of fiction and non-fiction, and is especially celebrated for his ‘Edith trilogy’: Grand Days, Dark Palace and Cold Light. Moorhouse began his writing career as a cadet journalist on the Sydney Daily Telegraph. Later he worked on several... Read more


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