Free speech, human rights & social issues
The Wheeler Centre
So What If … We Didn’t Have Prisons?
Robyn Oxley, Debbie Kilroy and Meriki Onus at the Wheeler Centre — Photo: Sophie Quick
Australia’s prison populations are booming and their demographics are heavily skewed – with Indigenous Australians shockingly over-represented. Why do we rely so heavily on prisons in our criminal justice system? And what are the alternatives in terms of prevention, deterrence and rehabilitation?
Presented in partnership with Melbourne Knowledge Week.
Rachel Kushner: The Mars Room
‘This is a story that gets to the root of how my society is structured right now … There’s a way that prison is invisible to a middle-class person. It’s not a conspiracy, but it may be by design in certain regards. It’s a serious subject for a novelist.’
Rachel Kushner is among America’s brightest literary stars. With her previous…
The Wheeler Centre
Beyond Your Command: Youth Activism Today
Paige Burton, Maiysha Moin and Lawrence Reginald Chang at the Wheeler Centre
On the streets, on the airwaves and online – a new generation of young Australian activists are speaking up and demanding action on climate change, Indigenous self-determination, queer rights and more.
In this conversation, we hear from leading young Australian voices across intersecting political movements – Paige Burton, Lawrence Reginald Chang and Maiysha Moin. They discuss the tide of youth activism sweeping many parts of the globe, and the increasing appetite for challenging the status quo here at home. What would this country look like if young people were seen, heard and taken seriously? What does advocacy look like for young people whose voices haven’t traditionally been sought? And how might we change our political institutions to ensure the future is not hostage to the whims and debts of the presently powerful?
Presented in partnership with the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare.
Right Time: Why We Need an Australian Charter of Human Rights
Australia is the only western democracy without a Charter of Human Rights or an equivalent legal protection. What’s holding us back?
For this discussion, we’re bringing together three panellists – Kristen Hilton, Teela Reid and Gillian Triggs – to discuss the push for a federal Charter of Human Rights. Hosted by Lee Carnie, they’ll outline glaring problem areas in Australia’s…
Writing in Exile
‘For Palestinian writers, we write for our lives,’ Samah Sabawi has written. ‘We write to exist.’
Sabawi is an award-winning playwright, author, essayist and poet. She’s also a policy advisor for Palestinian policy network Al-Shabaka, and the second featured speaker in our PEN Writing in Exile series.
Sabawi's family left Palestine following Israel's occupation of the Gaza Strip when she…
The Fifth Estate
In the Closet of the Vatican: Power, Homosexuality, Hypocrisy
The Catholic Church, writes Frédéric Martel, is ‘a system built ... on the homosexual double life and on the most dizzying homophobia … Without this key for understanding, the recent history of the Vatican and the Roman Church remains opaque.'
How is Martel qualified to make such statements? He is an acclaimed academic and journalist in France, and the author…
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The Psychology of Looting
“In constituency, it’s most similar to a prison riot: what will happen is that, usually in the segregation unit, nobody will ever know exactly, but a rumour will emanate that someone has been hurt in some way. There will be some form of moral outrage that takes its expression in self-interested revenge. There is no higher purpose, you just have a high volume of…
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