The Show of the Year 2018
Line up your partridges and your pear trees – 2018’s almost done with us. Feeling confused? Foggy on the details? Hark! The Wheeler Centre’s Show of the Year is here to help you reflect, review and revel in the year that was – with a little help from our friends.
Sports fans were spoiled with a FIFA World Cup, the Pyeongchang…
Once and Future: Australian Speculative Fiction
In Memoriam, Peter Nicholls, 1939–2018
‘Science fiction writers are the hounds of hell. They raise their shaggy black heads and sniff the wind, and feel the future coming,’ the late critic and editor Peter Nicholls once said. ‘And then they howl.'
Can the same be said of writers of other forms of speculative fiction? What do the future and alternative…
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Gillian Triggs: Speaking Up
In conversation with Virginia Trioli, former Australian Human Rights Commission president Gillian Triggs discusses her life, career and convictions – as well as her family, her experiences travelling to Manus, Nauru and Christmas Island, her relationship with government during her term … and why, moving forward, feminism may demand more 'vulgarity'.
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Gillian Triggs’s career has taken some surprising turns. She’s been a professional ballerina, a practising lawyer and an academic specialising in international public law. She’s even done a stint at the Dallas Police Department in Texas.
But Triggs became a household name as president of the Australian Human Rights Commission. Her tenure, from 2012 to 2017, was unexpectedly controversial. The commission’s inquiry into children in immigration detention made Triggs some powerful enemies in the federal government. Later, she became a kind of human flashpoint for debates about racial vilification and free speech, following the high-profile Bill Leak cartoon case.
Some have accused Triggs and the commission of overreach; for others, Triggs was a human rights champion withstanding unprecedented government pressure. Either way, there’s no denying her commitment to the human rights framework, and her belief that Australia needs its own Bill of Rights.
Maria Tumarkin: Axiomatic
‘Time is what makes everything OK. How it flows forward and circles round itself, both; how life, suspended, zero gravity, in time consists of so many things repeating.’
Maria Tumarkin is one of Australia’s foremost writers of creative non-fiction. With Axiomatic, her fourth book – seven years in the making – she explores the limits of stories and of…
The Power of Hope with Kon Karapanagiotidis
In The Power of Hope, Asylum Seeker Resource Centre founder Kon Karapanagiotidis describes how he prevailed over a childhood of racism, bullying and isolation – and went on to create one of Australia’s largest and most influential human rights organisations. ‘Hope is only exhausted if we forsake ourselves,’ he writes. ‘It is both our sanctuary and our destiny to…
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‘Twenty years ago, when I first arrived on the plains, I kept my eyes open. I looked for anything in the landscape that seemed to hint at some elaborate meaning behind appearances.'
Sean O'Beirne and Gerald Murnane in conversation — Photo: Scott Limbrick
The famous opening lines of Gerald Murnane's The Plains might describe the author's own approach to his work as much as that of the story's unnamed narrator. Murnane, however, has been writing and searching – seeking revelation beyond the surface of things – for much more than 20 years. A perfectionist and cult hero, his career spans more than four decades and 13 books, including 10 strange, masterful novels (Inland, A Million Windows and Border Districts among them).
In recent years, thanks to heightened international press and academic attention, Nobel Prize rumours and some high-profile fans (Teju Cole has described Murnane as a 'a genius on the level of Beckett'), there's been a growing appreciation of Murnane's work in Australia and abroad.
At this event, he appears in a rare conversation with Sean O'Beirne to discuss his life and work.
Anything and everything in Australian stories from across our archives.
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Blak & Bright: Opening Address: 20 Reasons Why You Should Read Blak
Explore these other subjects, across our site.