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…
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…
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…
Sobering Thoughts: Public Drunkenness Reform in Victoria
This event is now fully booked. We have reserved spaces for any First Nations people who missed out on a booking – please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 03 9094 7800 to request one.
Almost 30 years ago, the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody recommended the abolition of public drunkenness as an offence. A subsequent inquiry in Victoria in…
The Wheeler Centre
The F Word Address: Alison Whittaker
Alison Whittaker delivers the address — Photo: Scott Limbrick
The F Word Address is our annual talk from an outstanding Australian woman on a pressing feminist issue. This year, our speaker is the phenomenal Alison Whittaker: poet, essayist, legal scholar and Gomeroi woman.
Whittaker’s address focusses on the complexities of using storytelling as a tool for justice for Blak women – in law, and in literature. How have traditions of sharing story among Indigenous people influenced how they articulate their histories, and assert their rights, in Western civil or criminal jurisdictions? Who are the audiences for Blak social justice narratives? And do Aboriginal women rely on a listening conscience that isn’t there?
In a 30-minute talk, followed by a short interview with host Claire G. Coleman, Whittaker draws on her legal research and writing work to consider the limits of storytelling – and to propose new ways to strengthen and centre storytellers themselves.
Claire G. Coleman and Alison Whittaker in conversation — Photo: Scott Limbrick
The video of this event, which will be published soon, includes Auslan interpretation.
The Fifth Estate
Right or Duty? Compulsory Voting in Australia
Sally Warhaft, Kim Rubenstein and Judith Brett
In a democracy, should voting be a citizen’s right or a citizen’s duty?
Australia is one of a small number of countries – including Argentina and Egypt – with mandatory voting. Australia is rare, within this small group of nations, in imposing penalties on citizens who fail to turn up to vote. Compulsory voting has been in place here since 1924 and it sets us apart from other advanced democracies. Less than 60% of the US voting-age population cast ballots in the 2016 presidential election.
For this conversation, we bring together citizenship law expert Kim Rubenstein and the eminent historian Judith Brett, author of From Secret Ballot to Democracy Sausage: How Australia Got Compulsory Voting. They trace the history of our voting system and examine how it’s shaped the tenor of our debates and our sense of ourselves and our representatives – plus, how the system may yet change. With Sally Warhaft, they discuss donkey votes, ballot boxes, barbeques and the wide-ranging implications of compulsory participation.Related listening: Housekeeping Podcast episode
The Wheeler CentreHousekeeping #1: Sizzle / Australia Podcast episode
The Wheeler CentreHousekeeping #2: ID / Government Podcast episode
The Wheeler CentreHousekeeping #3: No-Shows / Australian politics Podcast episode
The Wheeler CentreHousekeeping #4: Scrutiny / Government Podcast episode
The Wheeler CentreHousekeeping #5: Locked Out / Crime
Anything and everything in Law from across our archives.
The Interrobang: A Festival of Questions
Is religion ever more important than democracy? Questions about rules
Explore these other subjects, across our site.