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Matt Haultain-Gall
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Launch: Matt Haultain-Gall in conversation with Bruce Scates

Please note: This is an online event.

Join Matt Haultain-Gall, author of The Battlefield of Imperishable Memory: Passchendaele and the Anzac Legend and Professor Bruce Scates as they discuss the sacrifices of our Anzac’s in the Second World War.

Given the extent of their sacrifices, the Australians’ exploits in Belgium ought to be well known in a nation that has fervently commemorated its involvement in the First World War. Yet, Passchendaele occupies an ambiguous place in Australian collective memory. Tracing the commemorative work of official and non-official agents—including that of C.E.W. Bean; the Australian War Memorial; returned soldiers; battlefield pilgrims; and, more recently, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, working in collaboration with Belgian locals— The Battlefield of Imperishable Memory explores why these battles became, and still remain, peripheral to the dominant First World War narrative in Australia: the Anzac legend.

This event is free to attend but bookings are essential as places are strictly limited.

Please book here.

  • The Battlefield of Imperishable Memory

    Matthew Haultain-Gall

 

Long Half-life launch
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Book Launch: Long Half-life by Ian Lowe (Mitcham Library, Adelaide)

Ian Lowe

Ian Lowe

TO BE LAUNCHED BY MARK PARNELL

Australia has been directly involved in the nuclear industry for more than a century, but our involvement has never been comprehensively documented. Long Half-life tells the social and political history of Australia’s role, from the first discovery of radioactive ores in 1906 to contemporary contentious questions. Should the next generation of submarines be nuclear powered? Can nuclear energy help to slow global climate change? Do we need nuclear weapons for defence? Should we store radioactive waste from nuclear power stations in our region?

Long Half-life is a timely and riveting account of the political, social and scientific complexities of the nuclear industry, revealing the power of vested interests, the subjectivities of scientists and the transformative force of community passion.

Cathy Goes to Canberra
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Getting Elected: The first national convention for community-minded independents

For candidates planning to run as independents, community members keen to support a community leader to run, and others with a commitment to help Australian politics reach its potential.

An Australian first, this online convention will be a unique opportunity to network, share skills, knowledge and experience and learn more about how community independents can change Australia for the better.

Join us online from Friday evening to Sunday lunch on the last weekend of February 2021. Be inspired by those who’ve run campaigns including independent candidates, campaigners and community voices groups.

Sign up on the Getting Elected website and we’ll email you when registrations open, along with ticket costs and our program details including workshops, speakers, and panelists.

 

 

 

Cathy Goes to Canberra: Doing Politics Differently
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Cathy McGowan – Cathy Goes to Canberra

A conversation with Kerryn Phelps and Van Badham about independent, community-driven politics.

In 2013 Cathy McGowan became the first female independent to sit on the crossbench, where she would represent the Victorian rural electorate of Indi for six years. Winning the seat of Indi, after the Coalition had held the seat for 82 years, was a watershed moment. Indi became ‘Exhibit A’ for future political campaigns – from Kerryn Phelps as the Member for Wentworth to Zali Steggall in Warringah.

Cathy Goes to Canberra tells both the story of the campaign to win Indi around the community’s kitchen tables and the subsequent realities of negotiating good policy with the major political parties.

The book is a handbook – a ‘how-to-be-elected’ and a ‘how-to-survive’ Canberra. It is a manifesto for an alternative community-based politics told through the prism of the story we know as ‘Cathy McGowan Goes to Canberra’.

In 2004 McGowan was made an Officer of the Order of Australia ‘for service to the community through raising awareness of and stimulating debate about issues affecting women in regional, rural and remote areas.’ McGowan was also a recipient of the Centenary Medal in 2001.

 

 

Long Half-life launch
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Book Launch: Long Half-life by Ian Lowe (Avid Reader, Brisbane)

Ian Lowe

Ian Lowe

TO BE LAUNCHED IN CONVERSATION WITH ROD WELFORD

Australia has been directly involved in the nuclear industry for more than a century, but our involvement has never been comprehensively documented. Long Half-life tells the social and political history of Australia’s role, from the first discovery of radioactive ores in 1906 to contemporary contentious questions. Should the next generation of submarines be nuclear powered? Can nuclear energy help to slow global climate change? Do we need nuclear weapons for defence? Should we store radioactive waste from nuclear power stations in our region?

Long Half-life is a timely and riveting account of the political, social and scientific complexities of the nuclear industry, revealing the power of vested interests, the subjectivities of scientists and the transformative force of community passion.

Newman Bradley Haydar
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Louise Newman and Michael Bradley in conversation with Nour Haydar

Rape Culture
The revelations and allegations of sexual harassment and assault in the Australian Parliament have prompted furious responses. Political leaders have attempted to limit the damage by referring to the lack of criminal charges, resisting a discussion of entrenched misogyny. Advocates for survivors of abuse see this as a continuation of the long history of normalising the abuse of woman, perpetuating it through legal mechanisms and the exercise of power. This impasse represents the workings of a ‘rape culture’ where the abuse of women is accepted as commonplace. Psychological theories of repression have been misused, contributing to the recycling of the so-called theory of ‘false memories’ whereby the recall of trauma is seen as invented, perhaps implanted by therapists. It is concerning that this complex issue is being ventilated by journalists, politicians and lawyers without any clinical understanding of trauma, memory and the implications for support. Women must not be represented as mentally unstable, untrustworthy or ruled by their hormones while their abusers take refuge in legalisms, obfuscations and the dark art of political calculus.

System Failure: The Silencing of Rape Survivors
One in five Australian women has been the victim of a sexual assault. For these women, there is less than a 1 per cent chance that their rapist has been arrested, prosecuted and convicted of the crime. These are the bare numerical facts of system failure. We offer rape survivors a stark choice: go to the police, or remain silent. In recent times, the public pressure on survivors to report has increased, alongside a growing focus on two other options: civil action against the perpetrator, or going public. These evolving social responses are intended to offer an alternative to the tradition of silencing. However, each of these choices, for survivors, involves a further sacrifice of what they have already lost. The legal system’s responses to rape were designed without survivors in mind, and they do not address, in any way, the questions that survivors ask or the needs they express. Simply put, on the systemic response to rape, we are having the wrong conversation.

Free
RSVP Essential. Zoom links will be sent 24 hours ahead of time.

Samantha Crompvoets
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Australian Red Cross book Group: Samantha Crompvoets

Please note: This is an online event.

In 2021, Readings is partnering with the Victorian International Humanitarian Law Advisory Committee of the Australian Red Cross to host a book club on the laws and impact of war. The book club meets online on the last Wednesday of every second month throughout 2021.

This is the fifth session of the Readings/Australian Red Cross book club on the laws and impact of war. In this session we are joined by one of Australia’s most acclaimed international human rights lawyers, Geoffrey Robertson, to discuss his book Bad People and How to be Rid of Them.

As Australia comes to grips with accusations that some of its elite soldiers committed war crimes in Afghanistan, a catchcry for certain commentators is that the ‘fog of war’ explains, justifies and possibly excuses the alleged atrocities that have come to light. Abuses of power and the normalisation of deviance are at the heart of the ‘cultural issues’ that have long plagued the Australian Defence Force. It is always easiest to point a finger at a ‘what’ rather than a ‘who’, so ‘culture’ features prominently in analyses of what went wrong regarding the alleged war crimes committed by Australia’s Special Operations Command. In Blood Lust, Trust & Blame, sociologist Samantha Crompvoets tells the story of what went wrong in the ADF. It is a chronicle of the consequences of pursuing the truth, the politics of accountability, and the cost of action.

You do not need to have read the book to enjoy this event! This event is for anyone interested in how countries like Australia can promote better accountability for human rights abuses.

International humanitarian law (IHL), also known as the laws of war, is the body of law that applies during war to protect those who are not, or who are no longer participating in hostilities, and that seeks to limit the means and methods of warfare. Find out more by visiting the website of Australian Red Cross.

This event is free to attend but bookings are essential.

Please book here.

  • Blood Lust, Trust & Blame

    Samantha Crompvoets

 

Labor People launch
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Book Launch: Labor People by Chris Bowen (Gleebooks, Sydney)

TO BE LAUNCHED BY JOHN FAULKNER

With moderator Louise Adler

In Labor People, Chris Bowen brings to life six great Australians and servants of their party and tells their story. Spanning the 1890s to the 1970s, in paying tribute to these Labor warriors, he also tells an important part of the history of Labor and Australia.

Read more about Labor People here

*Please note this is an online event. RSVP here


Chris BowenChris Bowen is one of Labor’s most experienced parliamentarians.  He entered Parliament in 2004 and has held a wide range of portfolios, including being Treasurer, Shadow Treasurer, Minister for Immigration and Minister for Tertiary Education.

He served as Interim Leader of the Labor Party in 2013 and is currently Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy.

He has degrees in economics, international relations and the Indonesian language.  He is the author of three previous books: Hearts and Minds (2013), The Money Men (2015) and On Charlatans (2021).

He lives in Smithfield in Western Sydney with his wife Rebecca, their children Grace and Max and two very cheeky Labradors Ollie and Toby.

John FaulknerJohn Faulkner joined the Labor Party as a teenager and worked as a teacher of children with severe disabilities.

In 1980 he became the NSW ALP Assistant General Secretary and then a Senator – from 1989 until his retirement in 2015. He was a cabinet minister in the Keating Government holding the Environment, Sport and Territories portfolio from 1994 to 1996. After the defeat of the Keating Government he was Leader of the Opposition in the Senate until 2004.

John was elected National President of the ALP in 2006 and remained in that position until the election of the Rudd Government.

He served in the Rudd & Gillard Governments – as Cabinet Secretary and Special Minister of State (2007 to 2009) and then as Minister for Defence (2009 to 2010) until his retirement from cabinet.

Louise AdlerLouise Adler is a Vice Chancellor’s Professorial Fellow at Monash University and Publisher at Large for Hachette. She is the proud publisher of four books by Chris Bowen.


Mark Baker
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Book Launch: The Emperor’s Grace (Readings, Carlton)

Mark BakerWe are delighted to have Roland Perry and Mark Baker join us to celebrate the launch of Baker’s The Emperor’s Grace.

The Emperor’s Grace is the story of the men of C Force – the first contingent of Australian, British and Dutch prisoners of war shipped from Singapore to Japan in November 1942. It’s a compelling story of hardship, heroism and endurance – and the ultimate triumph of the human spirit – told for the first time from the unpublished diaries, memoirs and personal accounts of the men who survived.

This event is free to attend but bookings are essential as places are strictly limited.

Please book here.

 

Mark Baker
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Book Launch: The Emperor’s Grace (Paperchain Bookstore)

Join us for the launch of The Emperor’s Grace: Untold Stories of the Australians Enslaved in Japan During World War II, by Mark Baker

In conversation with the author will be historians Michael McKernan and Frank Bongiorno

 

RSVP

info@paperchainbookstore.com.au

or phone 6295 6723

The Emperor’s Grace is the story of the men of C Force – the first contingent of Australian, British and Dutch prisoners of war shipped from Singapore to Japan in November 1942. These men worked in the Kawasaki Shipyard in Kobe before the American firebombing campaign razed the city, and then the infamous Fukuoka coal mine before the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki brought World War II to an end.

When the Japanese seized most of South-East Asia in early 1942, they captured 22,000 Australian military personnel. More than a third would die over the next three years from malnutrition, disease and violent abuse. The horrors of the Thai–Burma Railway and Sandakan are well documented. Less well known is the fate of the 3800 Australians sent to work as slave labourers in the factories and mines of mainland Japan.

The Emperor’s Grace is a compelling story of hardship, heroism and endurance – and the ultimate triumph of the human spirit – told for the first time from the unpublished diaries, memoirs and personal accounts of the men who survived.

Mark BakerMark Baker is one of Australia’s most experienced journalists. He is a former Senior Editor of The Age, Editor of The Canberra Times and Managing Editor (National) of Fairfax Media. During 13 years as a foreign correspondent for Fairfax, News Corp and The Financial Times he had postings in China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore and Papua New Guinea. He covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and was wounded while covering the civil war in Bougainville in the early 1990s. He has also served as Political Editor and Canberra Bureau Chief of The Age. Mark Baker is now publisher of the independent online magazine Inside Story. His most recent book was Phillip Schuler: The Remarkable Life of One of Australia’s Greatest War Correspondents.

Michael McKernan
Michael McKernan is an historian and the author of many books, with extensive experience in teaching and research, management, the media and the practical presentation of history. He is a Former Deputy Director of the Australian War Memorial, and a leading commentator on commemoration in Australia.

Frank BongiornoFrank Bongiorno is Head of the School of History at the Australian National University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and the Australian Academy of the Humanities, a Member of the order of Australia, and Vice-President of the Australian Historical Association. Frank is the author of The Sex Lives of Australians: A History of the Eighties: The Decade that Transformed Australia