History, politics & current affairs
Books and Ideas at Montalto
Myths about the lives of pre-colonial Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have proven deeply entrenched. But in his 2014 book Dark Emu, Bruce Pascoe struck a grievous blow to one of the most widely accepted assumptions of Australian pre-settlement history. He argued, and presented robust evidence drawn from the journals of European explorers, that Indigenous people were not hunter-gatherers at the time of colonisation.
‘The evidence insists that Aboriginal people right across the continent were using domesticated plants, sowing, harvesting, irrigating and storing – behaviours inconsistent with the hunter-gatherer tag,’ he has said.
Dark Emu, which won Book of the Year at the 2016 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, also challenges existing narratives around housing construction, cooking and clothing prior to European settlement.
In conversation with Tony Birch, Pascoe discusses the writing, research and reception of his groundbreaking book. What does challenging the past of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people mean for the present?
Books and Ideas at Montalto series sound design and music: Jon Tjhia.
The Show of the Year 2018: Shaun Micallef
Each year – for our Show of the Year – we bring together a range of writers, performers, artists and comedians to help you reflect, review and revel in the year that was. And 2018 was no exception!
Speaking for the month of April, Shaun Micallef dives into a one-on-one (and one-man) interview with John Howard to get to the…
Working with Words: Patrick Mullins
Patrick Mullins is a Canberra-based writer and academic. He spoke with us about observing politicians up close, preposterous essay advice and the power of YouTube videos of rain.
The Fifth Estate
Political Wrap 2018
For the final Fifth Estate of 2018 – and in the wake of the Victorian election and its recriminations – we look back at the year in Australian politics with series host Sally Warhaft and seasoned political observers George Megalogenis and Gabrielle Chan.
Our panellists unpack and reflect on the issues that have monopolised domestic headlines – from yet another leadership spill to the banking royal commission and the senate’s controversial ‘It’s OK to be white’ vote. They examine the major events that have attracted international attention, too: the suggested relocation of the Australian embassy in Israel, live animal export bans and damning reports of Resignation Syndrome in children on Nauru.
Of course, the year isn’t over just yet. Mark Latham has joined One Nation, the ScoMo Express has been out campaigning, and the NSW Labor party is grappling with a sexual harassment scandal ahead of the 2019 election. Join us as we examine the wild ride that was – is – 2018 in Australia … and ponder what may lie ahead in an election year.
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The Wheeler Centre
Joseph Stiglitz: Global Inequality and the 1%
Mary Kostakidis and Joseph Stiglitz at the Athenaeum Theatre — Photo: Scott Limbrick
‘Wealth begets power, which begets more wealth,’ Joseph Stiglitz has argued.
Is our economic system fundamentally broken? Who, exactly, are the 1% and how did they get to control so much of the world’s wealth and resources? And are free-market fundamentalists shooting themselves in the Louboutin with short-term, self-serving policies?
These are among the questions that preoccupy Nobel Prize-winner Joseph Stiglitz – author, academic and perhaps the closest thing in the world to a celebrity economist.
'I don't think anybody today would say the bankers' pursuit of self-interest lead to the wellbeing of society.'Joseph Stiglitz
Starting out as a student activist during the civil-rights movement, Stiglitz, now a professor at Columbia University, has devoted his working life to understanding and rectifying the complex problems of global poverty and inequality. Stiglitz coined the notion of ‘the 1%’ in his influential 2012 book, The Price of Inequality, and has served as an economic advisor at the United Nations and as chief economist at the World Bank.
In Australia to receive the 2018 Sydney Peace Prize, Stiglitz appears here in conversation with Mary Kostakidis at the Athenaeum Theatre in Melbourne to discuss global inequality – and what we can do about it. Is profound economic overhaul possible in advanced democracies? Which old ideas about wealth distribution are discredited, and which deserve to be revived? And how does the recent global wave of populist political movements play into, and against, the economic status quo?
Presented in partnership with the Sydney Peace Foundation, Oxfam Australia and the Reichstein Foundation.
Bill Frelick: Regional Crises, Refugees and Human Rights
Bill Frelick believes the refugee crisis is a test of our common humanity. And it seems clear that as asylum-seeker crises continue to unfold across the globe – and policies against asylum-seekers continue to harden in Europe, in America and here in Australia – we are failing that test. How can we do better for displaced people?
As the director…
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Dr Martin Parkinson on the Need for a Carbon Tax
The carbon tax debate is amping up ahead of Julia Gillard’s announcement of the long-awaited carbon tax specifics, to be broadcast nationally on Sunday night. Gillard has said that almost 70% of households will be compensated.
The government’s chief economic adviser, treasury secretary Dr Martin Parkinson (pictured), is on the record as a supporter of a carbon tax. He succeeded Ken Henry in the…
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