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The Maternal Question


The way we live is ever-changing, but societal expectations about women’s relationships to motherhood have remained stiflingly rigid. Too often, popular narratives around motherhood disregard the varied and often challenging experiences that inform a person’s decision and opportunity to parent (or not). In this event, three remarkable writers and thinkers from different backgrounds discuss their recent books about the political and personal implications of the journey towards, around or away from motherhood.

Join Gina Rushton, Sian Prior, and Natalie Kon-yu for an inclusive and interrogative discussion that considers the complexities of contemporary motherhood. Hosted by Eleanor Jackson.

Content note: this event may include discussion of topics that some audience members may find difficult or sensitive, such as fertility and medical procedures.

The bookseller for this event is Neighbourhood Books.


Natalie Kon-yu

Natalie Kon-yu is a writer, academic and editor whose work has been published nationally and internationally. She is the co-commissioning editor of #Me Too: Stories from the Australian Women’s Movement (Picador, 2019), Mothers and Others: Why Not All Women are Mothers and All Mothers are Not the S... Read more

Sian Prior

Sian Prior is a writer, broadcaster and creative writing teacher. She presents programmes on ABC Radio and writes a monthly column for Fairfax. Sian’s essays have been published in Meanjin and her first book, Shy: A Memoir, was published by Text in 2014.

Gina Rushton

Gina Rushton is a journalist whose reporting has appeared in Australian Associated Press, AAP FactCheck, BuzzFeed News, The Guardian, The Saturday Paper, Business Insider, The Monthly, Crikey, The Australian and The West Australian. Her first book, The Most Important Job in the World, explores how h... Read more

Eleanor Jackson

Eleanor Jackson is a Filipino Australian poet, performer, arts producer and sometimes community radio broadcaster. She is the author of Gravidity and Parity and A Leaving, both by Vagabond Press. Her live album, One Night Wonders, is produced by Going Down Swinging. She is the producer of the Melbou... Read more


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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional owners of the land on which we work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, past and present.