Law, ethics & philosophy
The Wheeler Centre
Right Time: Why We Need an Australian Charter of Human Rights
Lee Carnie, Kristen Hilton, Teela Reid and Gillian Triggs at the Wheeler Centre
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 brought 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 outline glaring problem areas in Australia’s human-rights record and make a case for legally enshrined and protected rights for all Australians.
What can we learn from the existing charters in Victoria and ACT? What real-life and practical difference would a Charter of Human Rights make for everyday Australians? And, with successive Australian governments showing a sometimes lax attitude towards our international human rights obligations, what reason is there to believe that things might be different under a charter?
Presented in partnership with the Human Rights Law Centre.
The Problem of Consciousness
What do we mean when we talk about consciousness? For a long time, many scientists steered clear of the study of consciousness, deeming it impossible to observe and subjective by definition.
But that’s changing, thanks to imaginative interdisciplinary research and to new neuroimaging tools that allow scientists to monitor neural activity connected to changing states of consciousness.
In this panel…
The Wheeler Centre
Group Texts: Hit List: Australian Crime Writing
Left to right: Emma Viskic, Mark Brandi, Sulari Gentill, Laura Elizabeth Woollett, Rachael Brown and Garry Disher
It’s no mystery that Australian crime writers are on some kind of a rampage – some kind of a spree – filling bookshops, racing up bestseller lists and taking over big and small screens across the globe.
Liane Moriarty's Big Little Lies has been a major TV hit. The series’ executive producer, Reese Witherspoon, is now working on a movie adaptation of Jane Harper's The Dry. Local audiences have been glued to the Jack Irish ABC TV series and to podcasts such as Trace and The Teacher’s Pet, and the last few years have seen a juggernaut of local book sales for established names and newcomers alike.
In our second Group Texts event, celebrating great Australian genre writers, we hear from some of the stars of Australian crime writing; writers of thrillers, true-crime investigations and classic whodunnits. Each writer shares a short reflection or provocation on the crime genre, followed by a panel discussion. They discuss sub-genres, ethics and aesthetics – and what crime writing can tell us about ourselves and the world we live in. Hosted by Emma Viskic, with Sulari Gentill, Mark Brandi, Rachael Brown, Laura Elizabeth Woollett and Gary Disher.
Yanis Varoufakis: Debt, Disobedience and Democracy Today
How do we define democracy in the 21st Century? How do we define liberty and progress? And is there an alternative economic model that can bring more people more freedom? These are big questions – and we'll put them to the indomitable Yanis Varoufakis when he returns to Melbourne in March.
An economist, author and self-described 'libertarian Marxist', Varoufakis rose…
The Invisible Crime
The Invisible Crime: Are We Failing Victims of Sexual Violence? is an award-winning multimedia feature documentary made in 2019 by a team of investigative and data journalists from the Age and Sydney Morning Herald. The documentary explores why sexual assault is under-reported and examines the myriad barriers to successful prosecutions against assailants. It provides data-driven context on how and…
The Wheeler Centre
Rachel Kushner: The Mars Room
Ellena Savage and Rachel Kushner on stage — Photo: Scott Limbrick
‘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, highly acclaimed novels, Telex from Cuba (about American expatriates in 1950s pre-Castro Cuba) and The Flamethrowers (about radical New York artists in the seventies), she explored two very different scenes of ideological chaos and confusion, with exhilarating prose and virtuosic storytelling.
Kushner's latest novel, The Mars Room, sees her applying her talents, once again, to probing the political context and meaning of a very specific time and place. This time, it’s the American prison system, and it's the present day. The Mars Room is about a woman serving two life sentences for killing her stalker and it’s the product of years of research, and close collaboration with Americans who have themselves served time.
In conversation with Ellena Savage for our Mayhem series in April 2019, the extraordinary Kushner talks crime, punishment and American institutions.
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A Look at Antipodean Pulp
Image courtesy ThrillingDetective.com
In Holland, he’s referred to as the grootmeester - the grand master. In Australia, he’s Michael who? As a recent feature in The Age highlighted, Michael Robotham is one of those Australian writers who sell much better overseas than they do here. While he usually sells around 50,000 copies of his books in Australia, Robotham says he can expect to…
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