Australian politics, society & culture


Image of Force Majeure’s Never Did Me Any Harm
The arts funding cuts are just a symptom of a broader malaise in Australia
By Alison Croggon
Image of Nauru
Richard Flanagan delivers the inaugural Boisbouvier Lecture
By Richard Flanagan
What does the prime minister stand for, and when will we find out about it?
By Don Watson
PJ O’Rourke is an American political satirist and journalist whose books include All the Trouble in the World and Holidays in Hell. In the course of this entertaining and wide-ranging discussion with Kerry O’Brien at the Byron Writers Festival 2016, O’Rourke talks about the myth of America’s golden age, the influences that shaped his libertarian conservatism, and why elites of all stripes are failing to connect with ordinary citizenry. Bryon Bay, August 2016
In the midst of the 2016 presidential campaign, four American guests of the Byron Writers Festival 2016 grapple with the question “How did the US get here?” Jeffery Renard Allen is a poet, essayist and academic whose most recent novel is Song of the Shank. William Finnegan is a staff writer at the New Yorker and the author of Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life. Angela Flournoy’s Detroit-set debut novel, The Turner House, was shortlisted for the National Book Award. PJ O’Rourke is a political satirist and journalist whose books include All the Trouble in the World and Holidays in Hell. Chaired by ABC journalist Ben Knight.  Byron Bay, August 2016
How have political parties and the media changed over time, and what effect are these changes having on our politics – and our politicians – today?   At Byron Writers Festival 2016, Anne Tiernan, professor in the School of Government and International Relations at Griffith University, chairs a panel to explores this issue. Tim Fischer is a former leader of the National Party and a former deputy prime minister of Australia. Paddy Manning is a journalist and the author of the Malcolm Turnbull biography Born to Rule. Tony Windsor is a former federal member for New England. John Faulkner is a former ALP senator.   Byron Bay, August 2016
Michelle Grattan has been reporting on Australian politics for the past 40 years. There is no one whose knowledge of this period is more profound or whose judgment concerning the major events is more reliable. In this La Trobe Ideas and Society event, Emeritus Professor Robert Manne, who has been writing on the broad themes of the Australian political culture for almost as long as Michelle, asks her some of the biggest questions: Who has led the most impressive government in the years between Whitlam and Turnbull? What have been the most important changes in Australia’s political culture during this period? Is Australian democracy more or less vibrant than it was 40 years ago? How well adapted is our political system to deal with the economic, social and environmental challenges we will face into the future? Melbourne, September 2016
‘Does Writing Matter?’ The inaugural Boisbouvier Lecture, Melbourne Writers Festival 2016
By Richard Flanagan
From the census debacle to the Don Dale scandal, politicians and the public have short memories
By Nick Feik
The dispute over the South China Sea will come to affect more than just China’s near neighbours
By Michael Wesley
Labor won the NT election in a landslide, but will much change on the ground?
By Mungo MacCallum
Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg’s documentary ‘Weiner’ charts the fall of a congressman who can’t keep out of the spotlight
By Leigh Sales
Image of Xiaojing Hao
Australia’s solar champions face an uncertain future
By Ceridwen Dovey
Image of Richard Di Natale, Adam Bandt and Jason Ball
What did the party deliver?
By Paddy Manning
Brexit, Trump and the federal election show how the old categories of left and right are crumbling
By Richard Denniss
Consultation and transparency are the keys to successful arts policy
By Wesley Enoch
How does the reinvigorated treaty movement fit with recognition?
By Megan Davis
China since the other Malcolm
By Robert Drewe