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Travel Bugs


Globalisation has ushered us into an era where the ability to travel almost anywhere in the world is at our fingertips. As more and more people hit the road, seeking out cultures and places previous generations could only dream of ever seeing, many unexpected and awkward questions are raised.

Do travellers treat other countries as theme parks? What responsibilities do visitors have? Does their presence help destroy cultures, or enrich them? Are we in fact moving towards a homogenous global super culture? Lonely Planet co-founder (and the man with his name in ours) Tony Wheeler sits down with a panel of travel bugs to assess the damage, the risks and the benefits of travel.

Joining Tony are Doug Hendrie and Laura Jean McKay. Doug is a journalist and author of Amalgamations: How Globalisation is Good. Laura is a writer and performer whose short-story collection Holiday in Cambodia was hugely acclaimed upon its release. Together they try to make sense of the place where local, foreign, national and international life and culture meet.

Hosted by Marni Cordell, editor of Crikey.


Tony Wheeler

Tony Wheeler is an English-Australian publishing entrepreneur, businessman, co-founder of the Lonely Planet guidebook company with his wife Maureen Wheeler.

Marni Cordell

Marni Cordell is the editor of Crikey. She is the former editor and owner of news website, New Matilda, and is a strong believer in independent media.

She has also worked at The Australian and the ABC and has written for Guardian Australia.

Laura Jean McKay

Laura Jean McKay is the author of Holiday in Cambodia (Black Inc. 2013), shortlisted for three national book awards in Australia. Her work appears in Meanjin, Overland, Best Australian Stories, the Saturday Paper, and the North American Review. Laura is a lecturer in creative writing at Massey Unive... Read more

Doug Hendrie

A freelance foreign correspondent, magazine writer and lecturer at the University of Melbourne, Doug’s interest is in the unusual – subcultures, personalities, histories. He’s reported on everything from Gold Coast sex surrogates to the Cave Clan urban explorers of Melbourne, and was the princ... 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.