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at The Wheeler Centre

Past Imperfect: Writing Australian History

For this Fifth Estate discussion, Sally Warhaft brings together two prominent historians for a conversation about their careers, and how they have each navigated the changing tropes and traditions of Australian history writing. What role do contemporary historians play in shaping the way all Australians remember – and reckon with – the past?

Geoffrey Blainey is the author of more than 40 books, including The Rush That Never Ended, The Story of Australia’s People, and, perhaps most famously, The Tyranny of Distance, which has been in print since 1966. Clare Wright is an eminent academic and broadcaster and the Stella Prize-winning author of The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka and You Daughters of Freedom. Both writers have brought their research to large and enthralled readerships.

How does writing about the past shape the possibilities of the future? On Tuesday 29 October, Blainey and Wright join us to discuss their approaches to writing Australian history: warts, beauty spots and blind spots.

Hill of Content will be our bookseller for this event.

Who?

Portrait of Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer and the host of the Wheeler Centre’s live journalism series, the Fifth Estate, now in its sixth year. She is a former editor of the Monthly magazine and the author of the bestselling book Well May We Say: The Speeches that Made Australia.

Portrait of Geoffrey Blainey

Geoffrey Blainey

Professor Geoffrey Blainey's first book was completed when he was in his early twenties. Since then he has written another thirty-five, including Triumph of the Nomads, The Rush That Never Ended, The Tyranny of Distance and other well known books on Australia's history. His more recent books on global history, including a Short History of the World, have been translated into many foreign languages and published in places as far apart as Brazil, India, Spain and Turkey. 

Portrait of Clare Wright

Clare Wright

‘I am a feminist therefore I commit feminist acts. I’m not going to undermine the political importance of what I do.’

La Trobe University historian Associate Professor Clare Wright has worked as an author, academic, political speechwriter, historical consultant, and radio and TV broadcaster. Her latest book, You Daughters of Freedom: The Australians Who Won the Vote and Inspired the World, has been praised by Senator Penny Wong and Anne Summers. Her earlier book, The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka, won the 2014 Stella Prize and the 2014 NIB Award for Literature.

The Fifth Estate

Our long-running current affairs series, The Fifth Estate, is a mainstay of the Wheeler Centre programme. With our in-house news anchor Sally Warhaft at the helm, it's a series of in-depth conversations with guests from the world of politics, culture, journalism and international relations. It's free, it's fortnightly and it's rigorous long-form interviewing at its best.

Guests are announced in the weeks prior to events, so keep an eye on our website (or the Wheeler Weekly newsletter) for updates. Subscribe to the popular Fifth Estate podcast – or book a (free) ticket – for expert analysis on today's key debates.

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Where?

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