Public Conversation at the Whitlam Institute

The Whitlam Institute believes in providing regular opportunities for public conversation about the things that really matter.

We bring the experts and decision makers to the people, both in Western Sydney and beyond. We hope you can join us as we start to expand this program.

Stay tuned as our 2016 talks program unfolds.



Previous events:

Indigenous Incarceration and Community Solutions, Wednesday 7 December

Indigenous Australians make up 27% of the national prison population – a statistic that has almost doubled from 14% at the time of the 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.

It is simply not possible to shy away from the truth of this matter: the facts indict us not only for accepting intolerable levels of incarceration, but for ignoring the advice and evidence as to how this situation might be addressed.

Self-determination, properly understood, lies at the heart of the matter.

The Hon Linda Burney, Shadow Minister for Human Services, and former NSW Attorney General, Federal Minister the Hon Bob Debus AM and Dr Megan Williams, Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Health Research, discussed the things which must be done - those "practical things" upon which reform is built and meaningful change realised.

Masterclass: Contemporary Voices in Multicultural Australia, Wednesday 30 November

A discussion by Australia's leading contemporary Muslim voices about multicultural Australia and how to be a positive voice for social change in 2016.

The Whitlam Institute was proud to partner with the United States Consulate General Sydney for this event. The Masterclass series is brought to you by the US Consulate and focuses on contemporary issues in Australia and America. For more information about past and upcoming events, visit the Consulate's youth page: https://www.facebook.com/BenFranklinClubSydney/.

The Hon. Michael Kirby on the Marriage Plebiscite, Friday 30 September

Concerns regarding the use of a plebiscite extend well beyond the issue in question. They go to the heart of our democratic traditions and the institutions of government, eroding the power vested in them and creating an environment where parliament is no longer required to make controversial decisions. 

Economics Imperialism

Do you sometimes wonder if the economy is the 'foundation of everything' in public discourse? Do you question the impact of this on public policy, public interest and democracy?

Why not be part of the dialogue and join us for a public conversation on 'economics imperialism'?

The Whitlam Institute is pleased to present visiting US scholar, Dr Edward Nik-Khah, discussing 'economics imperialism' from its roots in neoliberalism through to its contemporary implications. Dr Nik-Khah shines a fresh light on how the world works through his deep understanding of the evolution of political and economic thought. Joining him will be Whitlam Institute Professorial Research Fellow Professor Anna Yeatman.

Tuesday 31 May 2016, Sydney

Dr Edward Nik-Khah and Professor Anna Yeatman.

Wednesday 1 June 2016, Hobart

Dr Edward Nik-Khah in conversation with Distinguished Professor Jeff Malpas.

Thursday 2 June 2016, Melbourne

The Whitlam Institute hosted Dr Nik-Khah's visit to Australia with the support of the Reichstein Foundation.

Wednesday 18 May, 2016 Post-Budget Address at the Whitlam Institute

The Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Foreign Minister, the Honourable Tanya Plibersek delivered her principal 2016 Post-Budget Address at the Whitlam Institute at 11:00 am on Wednesday 18 May 2016.

For better or worse the Budget has evolved into a piece of political theatre that takes centre stage in May each year. Too often the importance of the Budget as the embodiment of a government's philosophical framework and its policy settings as well as its practical impact on the lives of all Australians is lost amidst the endless speculation, spinning, twirling, machinations and intrigue.

Tuesday 3 May, 2016 US Presidential Election: A View from the Inside

Two experts of American politics – one from the Democratic Party, one from the Republican Party – looked at the current and most recent presidential campaigns and explore how the "science" of campaigning often is overwhelmed by the "art" of politics.

Brought to the Whitlam Institute within Western Sydney University by the US Consulate in Sydney.

Friday 4 March 2016, The Dismissal: In the Queen's name Paul Kelly and Troy Bramston in Conversation with Eric Sidoti at the Whitlam Institute

The 40th anniversary of the Dismissal of the Whitlam Government on 11 November 1975 has seen a substantial body of new material come to light that has stirred the passions, reignited debate about the enduring significance of those events and raised further questions about the wilful suppression of our nation's history.

Paul Kelly and Troy Bramston in their latest book offer a forensic analysis of the main players – Malcolm Fraser, Gough Whitlam and Sir John Kerr – and the drama that was the Dismissal.

Eric Sidoti explored the true motivations, the extent of the deceit and the scale of the collusion with Paul Kelly and Troy Bramston.

Friday 6 November 2015, Gough Whitlam and the Social Democratic Imagination: The challenge for contemporary public policy
On the eve of the 40th anniversary of the Dismissal and a little more than one year after Gough's death, some of our country's most celebrated thinkers and writers joined the Whitlam Institute for a very special day to imagine a contemporary Australia in the light of Gough's social democratic vision. The occasion offered an opportunity for those with an interest in public policy to participate in and contribute to the development of visionary and intelligent policy discourse in Australia. Speakers included the Hon Dr Barry Jones AC, Graham Freudenberg AM, Professor Jenny Hocking, the Hon Andrew Leigh MP and Professor Mick Dodson AM.

Video footage and a publication from this event will be available in 2016.

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