The Fifth Estate
Public Health and Drug Policy Today
Sally Warhaft, Richard Di Natale and Fiona Patten in discussion at the Wheeler Centre — Photo: Jon Tjhia
In the 1980s, Australia was an early adopter of free needle syringe distribution programmes. At the height of the AIDS epidemic, this controversial harm-reduction strategy played a crucial role in mitigating the spread of HIV among Australian injecting drug-users.
Despite our history of success with harm-reduction approaches, legislators – and large portions of the public – remain squeamish about these policies. Across Australia, parliaments are still more inclined to pass punitive anti-drug laws. But is this working, and is this even cost-effective, in the context of our spreading problems with ice?
Richard Di Natale and Fiona Patten both worked, in differing capacities, in public health prior to their careers in politics. Both have been vocal and active with regards to drug legislation since entering parliament. With Sally Warhaft, the pair discuss the possibilities and limitations of harm reduction in Australia.
Fiona Patten — Photo: Jon Tjhia
Richard Di Natale — Photo: Jon Tjhia
Bottom Dollar: Welfare Quarantining in Remote Australia
Cashless Debit Card (CDC) regimes have been operating in Ceduna, South Australia, and East Kimberley, Western Australia, since 2016. Under these schemes, welfare recipients receive most of their income pre-loaded onto restrictive debit cards that can’t be used for the purchase of gambling or alcohol products, or to withdraw cash.
Proponents say welfare quarantining protects children and vulnerable people from…
The Wheeler Centre
A Night with Geoffrey Robertson
Geoffrey Robertson at the Athenaeum Theatre — Photo: Jon Tjhia
He’s sparred with General Pinochet and Princess Diana. He’s stepped out with Nigella Lawson and, of course, Kathy Lette. He’s defended Salman Rushdie and worked alongside Amal Clooney. Geoffrey Robertson is a figure of uncommon energy, glamour and intellect.
Alongside his distinguished career as a human rights lawyer in London, Robertson has, for more than 30 years, enjoyed a parallel career as an author and broadcaster. His books on war crimes, free speech and the Vatican have shaped public debates. His famous TV series, Geoffrey Robertson's Hypotheticals, schooled generations in the discipline of Socratic questioning.
His latest book, Rather His Own Man, tells the colourful story of his life – from his days at Epping Boys High School to his Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford to the epic legal battles that have taken him to the UK Supreme Court, the European Court of Human Rights and appeal courts in Trinidad, Mauritius and more. Throughout famous trials and the ups and downs of family life, Robertson has held onto his irreverence, his principles and his commitment to human rights.
At the Athenaeum Theatre, this formidable Australian intellectual talks life, career, hypotheticals and humanity.
Not Racist, But …: Racism, Identity and Labels
Who is ‘black’ in Australia today? Who is Asian-Australian? Who is ‘white’? And where do race and religion overlap when it comes to identity? And is it really possible, or desirable, to be colour-blind?
In this session – the third in a series of four talks curated by Santilla Chingaipe – Yassir Morsi, Mridula Nath Chakraborty, Luke Pearson and Chingaipe…
Not Racist, But …: The Media and Racism
How does a person’s race or religion frame how the way they’re portrayed in the media? How do news narratives perpetuate racism?
In this panel – the final in a series of four talks curated by Santilla Chingaipe – Karen Farquharson, Usha Rodrigues, Anthony Kelly and Oishee Alam discuss racial sensationalism and stereotype in the Australian news today.
The Wheeler Centre
Not Racist, But …: Why Are We Afraid of Being Called Racist?
Beverley Wang, Oishee Alam, Helen Ngo and Luke Pearson
How can we have constructive conversations about racism when everyone is so defensive? Are laws enough to tackle racism? And what’s the deal with identity politics? In this panel – the first in a series of four talks curated by Santilla Chingaipe – Beverley Wang, Luke Pearson, Helen Ngo and Oishee Alam explore definitions of racism, looking not just at overt examples but also implicit bias and systemic racism, with examples from Australian history.
Anything and everything in Australian politics from across our archives.
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