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at The Wheeler Centre

Gagging for Freedom?

The Federal Court action against columnist Andrew Bolt has sparked a heated debate between those who believe that his comments contravene the Racial Discrimination Act and those who argue that the legal action is an assault on freedom of speech and democracy.

Whether you agree or disagree with Bolt, the debate has created compelling dichotomies, pitting freedom of speech against censorship, racial discrimination against political correctness. Objective opinions are muddied by subjective reactions to the personalities involved - divisive personalities like Bolt and Geoff Clark. Bolt’s writings are deliberately provocative - but does that mean he should be silenced?

Who?

Portrait of Leslie Cannold

Leslie Cannold

Dr Leslie Cannold’s expertise is gender and inspirational leadership. Her public contributions in these areas have earned her awards for Australian Humanist of the Year and multiple notices as one of Australia’s most influential public intellectuals and women.

Portrait of Jonathan Green

Jonathan Green

Jonathan Green has been a working journalist since the late 1970s. This makes him both very old and reasonably experienced. After an early degree-ending flirtation with public radio, the bulk of Jonathan’s career has been spent in newspapers, beginning with a cadetship at the Canberra Times and taking in a small Cook’s tour of Australian dailies: the Melbourne Herald, the Herald Sun, the Sunday Herald, the Sunday Age and the Age. In mid-2015 he was appointed as editor of the literary quarterly Meanjin.

Portrait of Bernard Keane

Bernard Keane

Bernard has been Crikey’s correspondent in Canberra since 2008; he writes on politics, media and economics.

Portrait of James Allan

James Allan

James Allan is the Garrick Professor of Law at the University of Queensland.

The Talking Point

The Wheeler Centre’s seasonal programmes cover our wide range of readings, panel discussions, lectures and debates.

But some topics require less notice. In 2011 we’ll be hosting more events on the news of the day: rapidly organised discussions of topical issues with leading experts in the field.

Sign up or check in to this website for regular updates about the ideas that have got us talking.

Where?

More about this venue, including large map, parking, public transport and accessibility.