The Fifth Estate
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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.
Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer. She is the host of The Fifth Estate, the Wheeler Centre’s live series focusing on journalism, politics, media, and international relations, and The Leap Year, a Wheeler Centre podcast about Australians' lives in the fog of the Covid-19 pandemic. 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.
Sally is a regular host and commentator on ABC radio and has a PhD in anthropology. She did her fieldwork in Mumbai, India, living by the seashore with the local fishing community.
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.
‘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 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.
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This long-running series is a mainstay of the Wheeler Centre’s programme, and of public conversation in Melbourne. Our in-house news anchor Sally Warhaft hosts guests from the world of politics, culture, journalism and international relations to dissect pressing questions of policy, power and public affairs. It's a chance to give complex local and global issues the thoughtful discussion they deserve.
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