at The Edge, State Library of Queensland

Questions for the Nation: Brisbane

What are the most important questions facing Australians – today and in the future?

The Wheeler Centre is roaming Australia, collecting the nation’s most urgent questions and thrashing them out with some of the sharpest thinkers we know. We’re doing it in panel discussions at Brisbane Writers Festival, Perth’s Disrupted Festival of Ideas, Darwin Festival and National Young Writers Festival in Newcastle.

At these sessions, we'll scan the horizons, break deadlocked debates and dust off the issues rotting for too long at the bottom of the nation’s too-hard basket. What are the faultlines and tensions in Australian society, and where do we turn for fresh ideas for the future? Who do we want to be, and how are we going to get there?

In partnership with the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne, social researcher Rebecca Huntley hosts a discussion on the present and future of the nation. Join writer, prolific tweeter and columnist John Birmingham, historian Rutger Bregman, political scientist Anne Tiernan and researcher and IndigenousX ambassador Sandy O'Sullivan for their take on the most important question facing Australia today, before the microphone turns to you: what questions should Australia be asking?

Presented in partnership with UPLIT at Brisbane Writers Festival.


Portrait of Rebecca Huntley

Rebecca Huntley

Rebecca Huntley is one of Australia's most respected researchers on social and consumer trends, and head of research at Essential Media. She is the author of Still Lucky: Why You Should Feel Optimistic About Australia and Its People.

Portrait of Anne Tiernan

Anne Tiernan

Anne Tiernan is an associate professor in the Centre of Governance and Public Policy and School of Government at Griffith University. She is director of postgraduate and executive programs in policy analysis and public administration in Griffith’s School of Government and International Relations. The Gatekeepers: Lessons from Prime Ministers' Chiefs of Staff (written with R.A.W Rhodes) was published by MUP August 2014.

Portrait of John Birmingham

John Birmingham

John Birmingham is the author of the cult classic He Died With a Felafel in His Hand and most recently the thriller, Without Warning.

Portrait of Rutger Bregman

Rutger Bregman

Rutger Bregman is a historian and author. He has published four books on history, philosophy, and economics. The Dutch edition of Utopia for Realists became a national bestseller and sparked a basic income movement that soon made international headlines. The book will be translated in 22 languages.

Bregman has twice been nominated for the prestigious European Press Prize for his journalism work at the Correspondent. His work has been featured in the Washington Post, Guardian and on the BBC.

Portrait of Sandy O'Sullivan

Sandy O'Sullivan

Dr Sandy O’Sullivan is an Aboriginal (Wiradjuri) woman and Associate Professor in Creative Industries at the University of the Sunshine Coast, and is an ambassador for IndigenousX.

For 25 years she has taught and researched across media, performance, design and First Nations identity, and holds a PhD across these intersecting areas. Sandy is an enduring Australian Learning and Teaching Fellow, and has recently completed an internationally-focused Australian Research Council programme examining the representation and engagement of First Nations Peoples across 470 museums and keeping places.


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All messages as part of this discussion and any opinions, advice, statements, or other information contained in any messages or transmitted by any third party are the responsibility of the author of that message and not the Wheeler Centre.