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.
‘I fucking love black women. I come from a strong line of black women.’
Nayuka Gorrie is a Kurnai/Gunai, Gunditjmara, Wiradjuri, and Yorta Yorta writer. Gorrie’s work explores black, queer and feminist politics. They wrote and performed in season three of Black Comedy. In 2018 they were named as a Wheeler Centre Next Chapter recipient, and are currently working on a book of essays.
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.
‘Often it’s pre-determined that [conversations about racism] are going to be defensive and they’re going to be ugly. And I think that’s largely because of the way they’ve been framed by men.’
Sisonke Msimang is the author of Always Another Country: A memoir of exile and home and The Resurrection of Winnie Mandela: A biography of survival. She is a South African writer whose work is focussed on race, gender and democracy. She has written for a range of international publications including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Guardian, Newsweek and Al Jazeera. Msimang is the curator of the literature and ideas program at Perth Festival.
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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