Economy & development
The Wheeler Centre
We Are Here: Stories of Home, Place and Belonging
Homelessness can take many guises – sleeping rough, yes, but also couch-surfing, squatting, or staying in a refuge, boarding house or caravan park. The same can be said of the people who experience homelessness. Not defined simply by their predicament, they’re a diverse group. They may be siblings, parents, grandparents; people who study or work; people who’ve moved or migrated, yet to find their feet. People with full lives, and much to offer.
A new profit-for-purpose book from Affirm Press, We Are Here: Stories of Home, Place and Belonging, is a testament to the unique insights of people who’ve known homelessness in Australia. Edited by novelist, homelessness researcher and former Big Issue deputy editor Meg Mundell, it offers a bounty of extraordinary true stories from a wide range of writers – prominent names, emerging voices and first-timers – who have themselves experienced homelessness. Behrouz Boochani, Krissy Kneen and Claire G. Coleman appear alongside undiscovered talents, exploring the idea of place – and how our sense of it changes when homeless.
Hosted by Mundell, and presented in partnership with Writers Victoria, hear from contributors Claire G. Coleman, Roderick Waller, Ayub Abdi-Barre and Jody Letts about their stories, their places and their writing. Hear readings from the book – and learn about the process of putting it together – at this celebration of survival, place and belonging.
'It’d be near-impossible to read this rich and humane mosaic of stories and not have how you conceive of homelessness completely reframed. A beautiful testament to survival, resilience and hope.' – Benjamin Law
Prefer to watch? Catch up on our live-streamed video below. Includes Auslan interpretation.We Are Here: Stories of Home, Place and Belonging Watch
The Wheeler Centre
William Dalrymple: Corporate Violence and the East India Company
Clare Wright and William Dalrymple at the Athenaeum Theatre — Photo: Jon Tjhia
Historian William Dalrymple believes the stunning greed and violence of the militarised East India Company is ‘history’s most terrifying warning’ about unregulated corporate power, and the insidious means by which shareholders exert dangerous influence on the state.
Dalrymple – co-director of the Jaipur Literature Festival, and bestselling author of books including The Last Mughal, City of Djinns and Nine Lives – examines the corporation’s ruinous legacy in his latest work, The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company.
The Anarchy describes an aggressive colonial power operating under the guise of a multinational company, using a ruthless 200,000-strong private army to extort, plunder and dominate vast swathes of Central, South and Southeast Asia – answerable only to its distant investors. At a time when global media corporations and tech giants wield growing and increasingly pervasive power and influence, the story is a timely cautionary tale.
At this event, William Dalrymple joins author Clare Wright to discuss the long reach and devastating legacy of the East India Company.
The Fifth Estate
American-born journalist Megan K. Stack is an acclaimed author and war correspondent. She was Moscow bureau chief for the L.A. Times when she made the decision to work from home and look after her newborn child. As her growing family followed her husband’s work through China and India, Stack’s new life forced her to understand the economy of women’s work, and the inequalities that make it possible to exploit ‘poor women, brown women, migrant women’.
Megan Stack (left) and Sally Warhaft (right)
Stack’s memoir, Women’s Work: A Reckoning with Work and Home, undertakes a forthright and relentless examination of domestic labour, and the complexities of working parenthood – for herself and for the babysitters, cooks and cleaners which made her continuing career possible. She asks: ‘Why was it that, whatever you desired, you could find a poor woman to sell it?’
In conversation with Sally Warhaft at Bendigo Writers Festival, Megan K. Stack discusses the ethics, unexpected emotional shifts and negotiations of the household as a workplace.
Presented in partnership with Bendigo Writers Festival.
The Fifth Estate
Sally Warhaft and Tim Costello
For decades, Tim Costello has been among Australia’s most outspoken voices on issues of social justice and global inequality. Through his work as a minister, as a lawyer and as the mayor of St Kilda council, he’s tackled pressing social issues – from gambling and homelessness to gun control.
He’s perhaps best known to most Australians, though, for his 15-year tenure as CEO of World Vision – a job which took him to conflict and disaster zones across the world, including to Darfur and to several countries affected by the Boxing Day Tsunami.
In his new memoir, A Lot with a Little, Costello reflects on his life and varied career. He reflects, too, on how his experiences have shaped his views on questions of equality, liberty, faith and community. With Sally Warhaft, he discusses the book, his ongoing work and the confronting and complex work of tackling global inequality.
Rage Against the Machine: Feminism and Capitalism
Not all of us can afford to lean in, because some of us aren’t even in the room. How can feminism succeed if we’re at the mercy of capitalism?
We’re rightly galvanised by the fact that there are more CEOs at ASX200 companies in Australia named Andrew than there are women – but when did feminism become about earning power…
The Wheeler Centre
Shelling Out: Bastian Obermayer and the Panama Papers
Nassim Khadem, Bastian Obermayer and Neil Chenoweth at the Wheeler Centre
The Panama Papers, which made headlines across the world in 2016, represent the biggest data leak in the history of journalism.
The 11.5 million documents, leaked from a Panamanian law firm by an anonymous source, revealed secret information about shell companies and offshore tax havens and the details of the individuals who exploit them – including many heads of state and international celebrities. The scale of the investigation was monumental, involving 370 journalists from 76 countries and sparking protests, police raids and government inquiries across the world.
Bastian Obermayer was the man who received the first batch of documents that sparked this unprecedented investigation. He's a reporter at Süddeutsche Zeitung in Munich, started the worldwide Panama Papers investigation with his colleague Frederik Obermaier and coordinated the team with the ICIJ.
For this conversation, he’s joined by Sydney journalist Neil Chenoweth, who has published outstanding work on the Australian Panama documents for the Australian Financial Review. The pair talk secret sources and stashpiles of the rich and famous with host Nassim Khadem.
Presented in partnership with the Centre for Advancing Journalism, University of Melbourne.
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