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Politics 2023: The Big Issues


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The Wheeler Centre and Sorrento Writers Festival bring three of Australia's most respected political commentators together to dissect the challenges currently facing our Federal parliamentarians.

Please visit Sorrento Writers Festival’s website for ticketing updates.


On the eve of the Albanese Government’s first anniversary, the Wheeler Centre’s long-running Fifth Estate series heads to the inaugural Sorrento Writers Festival to dissect the challenges currently facing Federal parliament.

Hosted by broadcaster Sally Warhaft, three of the sharpest minds in Australian politics – Kerry O’Brien, Niki Savva and Chris Wallace – will explore the role of the Opposition, the Greens and the Independents in holding the government accountable in a year of international turmoil, a Voice to Parliament referendum, the AUKUS pact, economic hardship and increasingly urgent environmental concerns.

Prominent Australian journalist Kerry O’Brien’s prolific career in national current affairs and investigative reporting has seen him interview some of the world’s most powerful leaders. Author, journalist and political advisor Niki Savva’s extensive experience as a political correspondent and press secretary has provided her intimate insight into the inner workings of government. Professor at the University of Canberra’s faculty of business, government and law, Chris Wallace is the author of How to Win an Election, setting guidelines on the dos and don’ts of a successful political campaign.

Don’t miss a thought-provoking and entertaining discussion as our panelists debate the key issues facing our country and share their thoughts on the future of Australian politics.

Presented with Sorrento Writers Festival

The Fifth Estate

For in-depth insider analysis of current affairs, it doesn’t get any better than The Fifth Estate. This long-running series, hosted by Sally Warhaft, is a mainstay of the Wheeler Centre’s programme, and of public conversation in Melbourne.


The Fifth Estate


Kerry O’Brien

Kerry O’Brien is one of Australia’s most distinguished and respected journalists with six Walkley Awards for excellence in journalism including the Gold Walkley, and the Walkley for Outstanding Leadership. Other industry awards include a Logie for public affairs coverage. In a career spanning mo... Read more

Niki Savva

Niki Savva is one of the most senior correspondents in the Canberra Press Gallery. She was twice political correspondent for The Australian, and headed up the Canberra bureaus of both The Herald Sun and The Age. When family tragedy forced a career change, she became Peter Costello’s press secr... Read more

Chris Wallace

Professor Chris Wallace is in the School of Politics Economics & Society, Faculty of Business Government & Law, University of Canberra, and is a Visiting Fellow at the ANU School of History. She works in modern and contemporary political history with special reference to leadership, gender, ... Read more

Sally Warhaft

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 ... Read more


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