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Podcast episodeCover image for of Rick Morton

Books and Ideas at Montalto

Rick Morton  /  Biography & memoir

One Hundred Years of Dirt – Rick Morton’s unflinching memoir – tells of growing up on a cattle station in Queensland: of witnessing a horrific accident befall his brother; his father’s alcoholism; his mother’s strength. It’s a story of poverty, drug addiction, cruelty, anger and tragedy; of love and endurance. The Age praised its ‘exquisite detail’; Christos Tsiolkas has described it as ‘honest and harsh and beautiful and loving’. 

At the heart of the book is the question of social mobility – and it’s a question asked in a time of unfavourable odds. Wealth inequality in Australia is growing. The highest 20% of income earners make five times as much of those in the lowest 20%. In this lowest 20%, we’re most likely to see people who are unemployed, single parents, those aged over 65, migrants from non-English speaking countries, and those living in rural and regional Australia. 

For many years, Morton was the social affairs writer for the AustralianOne Hundred Years of Dirt blends Morton’s own story with reportage and social commentary on how these issues and stories play out every day across Australia. It is both a story of one man and one family, and a story of this country. 

In this discussion with Elizabeth McCarthy at Montalto, Morton shares the process of living and writing his story. Tune in for a discussion about hope and celebrating survival; the lessons we can learn about Australia, and the work we could do to challenge and change inequality.

Presented in partnership with Montalto.

 
Podcast episodeCover image for of Paul Holdengräber: The Art of the Interview

The Wheeler Centre

Paul Holdengräber: The Art of the Interview  /  History, politics & current affairs

Paul Holdengräber and Sally Warhaft — Photo: Sophie Quick

What makes a great interview? What can public conversation do, and why does it matter? And how does a skilled interviewer handle the various nightmare breeds of interview subject, from The Robot to The Waffler; The Sermoniser to The Sphinx?

In this conversation, we bring together two master interlocutors – Paul Holdengräber and our own Sally Warhaft – for a meaningful dialogue about ... meaningful dialogue. Paul Holdengräber was the former curator of conversations at the New York Public Library, and is the founding executive director of the Onassis Foundation LA, a centre for dialogue in Los Angeles which is an outpost of the Onassis headquarters in Athens. Throughout his distinguished career, he's interviewed hundreds of artists, scientists and luminaries, from Salman Rushdie to Jay Z. Sally Warhaft is the Wheeler Centre's in-house news anchor and the host of the popular Fifth Estate conversation series and podcast. She's interrogated big names in Australian politics and high-profile international guests, from the late Malcolm Fraser to Masha Gessen and Ronan Farrow.  

How do you get, and keep, your subject on side? And what’s the role of discussion in today’s increasingly partisan political climate? Join Warhaft and Holdengräber as they talk career highlights, horror stories and the art and purpose of public conversation today.

Anything and everything in Media from across our archives.

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