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Freedom of Speech is Over-Rated

When

Too often, the big issues feel ill-served by parliamentary question time or the 24-hour news cycle. Big issues and bigger ideas deserve informed and passionate consideration. Beyond the soundbites, beyond the sloganeering, beyond the posturing, there’s the debate.

The Wheeler Centre and St James Ethics Centre combine once again in 2012 to bring you another series of Intelligence Squared debates.

Established in 2002, IQ2 has spread from across the globe, bringing the traditional form of Cambridge and Oxford Unions-style debating – with two sides proposing and opposing a sharply formed motion – to Melbourne Town Hall.

Arguing for the proposition will be Marcia Langton, Michael Gawenda and Catherine Deveny. Speaking for the opposing side will be Julian Burnside, Gretel Killeen and Arnold Zable.

Featuring

Michael Gawenda

Michael Gawenda is a former editor in chief of The Age. He is a Walkley Award winning journalist, columnist and former foreign correspondent. He is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Advanced Journalism at the University of Melbourne. He is the author of American Notebook, A Personal and Pol... Read more

Julian Burnside

Julian Burnside is a Melbourne barrister. He joined the Bar in 1976 and took silk in 1989. He specialises in commercial litigation, and has acted in many very contentious cases – the MUA Waterfront dispute; the Cash-for-Comment enquiry; cases for Alan Bond and Rose Porteous – but has be... Read more

Gretel Killeen

Gretel Killeen is a writer, performer, voice artist and journalist. She is currently completing her directorial feature film debut. Known to many as the host of one of Australia’s history-making television shows, she is also a bestselling author, journalist and humorist. She has directed documenta... Read more

Catherine Deveny

Catherine Deveny has been a comedian, writer and professional speaker for 23 years. She’s the author of seven books and over 1,000 columns for the Age newspaper, and is an ABC regular. She has appeared on Q&A five times — sitting next to John Elliott, Tony Abbott, Corey Bernardi, Peter Dutto... Read more

Marcia Langton

Professor Marcia Langton AM holds the Chair of Australian Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne. Her doctoral fieldwork was conducted in eastern Cape York Peninsula during the 1990s, and her experience of the statutory land claim and native title system in this region was informed by a d... Read more

Simon Longstaff

Dr Simon Longstaff is Executive Director of St James Ethics Centre and chairs the Intelligence Squared debates in Sydney and Melbourne. Simon Longstaff spent five years studying and working as a member of Magdalene College, Cambridge, before returning to Australia in mid-1991. Having won scholarshi... Read more

Arnold Zable

Arnold Zable is a highly acclaimed novelist, storyteller and human rights advocate. His works include Scraps of Heaven, Violin Lessons, The Fighter, which was shortlisted for a Victorian Premier’s Literary Award and a New South Wales Premier’s Literary Award, and his most recent work The Wat... Read more

Location

Melbourne Town Hall

90-120 Swanston Street Melbourne Victoria 3000

More details

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Acknowledgment of Country

The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land on which we live and work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past and present.