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 State Library of Western Australia's Disrupted Festival of Ideas, social researcher Rebecca Huntley hosts a discussion on the present and future of the nation. Join Sisonke Msimang, Nayuka Gorrie, Zoe Coombs Marr and Brad Ness 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 the State Library of Western Australia’s Disrupted Festival of Ideas.
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.
Nayuka Gorrie is a Gunai/Kurnai, Gunditjmara, Wiradjuri and Yorta Yorta freelance and comedy television writer. Their writing centres on black, feminist and queer politics. They co-wrote and performed in the upcoming third season of Black Comedy.
A towering presence in Australian wheelchair basketball, Brad was the Australian flag bearer at the Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Rio Paralympics, and won a gold medal in Beijing, and silver medals Athens and London Paralympics. Brad set up basketball teams for kids with disabilities in Cantu and Roma, and works with Outback Academy and Red Dust Heelers, providing sporting opportunities to Indigenous Australians with and without disabilities.
Sisonke Msimang was born in exile to South African parents – a freedom fighter and an accountant – and raised in Zambia, Kenya and Canada before studying in the US as an undergraduate. Her family returned to South Africa after apartheid was abolished in the early 1990s. Sisonke has held fellowships at Yale University, the Aspen Institute and the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, and is a regular contributor to the Guardian, Daily Maverick and the New York Times. She now lives in Perth, Australia, where she is head of oral storytelling at the Centre for Stories.
Zoë Coombs Marr is a performer, writer, artist and comedian. She is one-third of theatre company Post, whose work includes Oedipus Schmoedipus, presented at Belvoir for Sydney Festival 2014. The voice of ABC2, Zoe is a regular panel member on Dirty Laundry Live, and has also been seen on ABC’s The Chaser’s Media Circus, How Not To Behave, Backseat Drivers, and Live at Bella Union (SBS). Her breakout solo theatre/comedy work And That Was the Summer That Changed My Life was nominated for Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s Best Newcomer and awarded the Philip Parsons Young Playwright Award.
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