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Love and Vulnerability


Event Status

Friday 27 May 2022, 7pm-8.30pm. Doors and bar open from 6.30pm

At this salon event, we’re taking a leaf out of Otis Redding’s book and trying a little tenderness. Come along for a night that examines, champions and interrogates the power and politics of vulnerability. To open the evening, Andy Jackson will read from his VPLA-shortlisted book of poetry, Human Looking, a ground-breaking and compassionate collection which gives voice to those with othered experiences of the body.

Then, writers Sarah Krasnostein and Rick Morton will discuss structures of care and the fabric of our society. In her March Quarterly Essay, Not Waving, Drowning: Mental Illness and Vulnerability in Australia, Krasnostein examines a society that often punishes vulnerability, but that does have the resources to mend this broken system. Morton’s memoir My Year of Living Vulnerably charts his journey towards embracing the healing and transformative power of love, and his award-winning journalism explores how class, geography, disability and employment impact Australians’ experiences of social inclusion. Together, these remarkable writers will discuss the push and pull that take place across the broad spectrum of social policy, care and human vulnerability, with host Mahmood Fazal.

The evening will close with a powerful performance from Yorta Yorta storyteller, composer and musician Allara, whose work weaves textures of Country and music into healing soundscapes.

Enjoy a complimentary drink upon arrival. The bar will be open before, during and after the event.

The bookseller for this event is Readings

Presented in partnership with State Library Victoria


Please notify us of all access requirements when booking online so we can assist you with your visit. If you require further information, please contact reception on 03 9094 7800 or


Portrait of Rick Morton
Rick Morton

Rick Morton has been a journalist and writer for over 14 years. He is the winner of the 2013 Kennedy Award for Young Journalist of the Year and the 2017 Kennedy Award for Outstanding Columnist. In 2019, Rick left The Australian, where he worked as the social affairs writer with a particular focus on... Read more

Andy Jackson

Andy Jackson is a poet and creative writing teacher and mentor, was awarded the inaugural Writing the Future of Health Fellowship, and is a Writers Victoria Patron. He has featured at literary events and arts festivals in Ireland, India, the USA and across Australia, including Melbourne Writers Fest... Read more

Sarah Krasnostein

Sarah Krasnostein is a multi-award winning writer. She is the best-selling author of The Trauma Cleaner, The Believer , the Quarterly Essay, Not Waving, Drowning and On Peter Carey. She holds a PhD in criminal law and is admitted to legal practice in Australia and America. Her awards includ... Read more


Allara is a powerful Yorta Yorta winyarr. She is a storyteller, composer, director, producer, musician and soundscape designer. With humour and integrity, Allara uses the double-bass and sound samples from Country to weave textures for healing in her work “I am Sovereign, I am Free”. Allara̵... Read more


Hansen Hall and Conversation Quarter, State Library Victoria

328 Swanston Street, Melbourne Victoria 3000

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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.