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Book cover of Long Half-life by Ian Lowe on a background of a burst of yellow powder

Long Half-life: Ian Lowe in conversation with Carmen Lawrence

Hosted by the Climate Council of Western Australia (CCWA), join us for a special evening with Professor Ian Lowe AO and CCWA President Carmen Lawrence AO to explore the history of the nuclear industry in Australia.

This is an important time to reflect on the nuclear industry and Australia’s role in it – and we can’t think of two better people to do that with!

Western Australia is edging dangerously close to having one operating uranium mine, and we are watching yet another community fight yet another proposal for a national radioactive waste dump. Nationally we are discussing the possibility of nuclear submarines, and facing the realities of a $2.2 billion clean-up at Ranger uranium mine. Globally there is a mounting push for a new generation of nuclear power, Russia has weaponised nuclear power in war, tensions are rising, and there is now an international treaty to abolish nuclear weapons.

Ian Lowe
Professor Ian Lowe AO is uniquely qualified to tell this story, following a long career in universities, research councils and advisory groups. Lowe is the author of several books, including Living in the Hothouse (Scribe, 2005), A Big Fix (Black Inc., 2005), A Voice of Reason (UQP, 2010), Bigger or Better? (UQP, 2012) and The Lucky Country? (UQP, 2016). He is also the author of a 2006 Quarterly Essay on the prospects for nuclear power in Australia, and a ‘flip book’ with Professor Barry Brook, giving the two sides of the argument.

Carmen Lawrence
Professor Carmen Lawrence AO is the President of the Conservation Council. With a breadth of experience in psychology, state and federal politics – covering Health, Indigenous Affairs, Environment and Industry she has become a leading voice for environmental protection and social change.

Michael Mintrom

CANCELLED – Michael Mintrom in conversation with Chris Pippen-Neff (Online via Gleebooks)

Human rights come into question in times of crisis. But should we wait for crises to arise before we discuss these rights? Michael Mintrom pushes the envelope and argues that advancing human rights should be everyone’s business, not just that of a select group of public interest lawyers, conspiracy theorists or those who prefer tinfoil hats.

In his latest book Advancing Human Rights, Michael Mintrom raises the quality of care in nursing homes, the treatment of illegal immigrants, and police practices towards Indigenous people in custody—as examples of crises that demand remedies and receive less than satisfactory solutions.

He argues that the advancement of human rights is an investment: our efforts today will create ongoing benefits for society. He finds the answers in enhancing the quality and accessibility of early childhood education, shutting down the school-to-prison pipeline, and assisting former prisoners during their re-entry into society. Beyond these powerful examples, he also suggests other candidates for policy change that will lead to the progression of human rights.

In a caring society, the question of how to advance human rights should lie at the heart of public policy making. But does our political class have the will to make the changes needed to ensure a fairer and more just society?

Michael Mintrom is Professor of Public Policy at Monash University, where he serves as the inaugural Director of Better Governance and Policy, a whole-of- university initiative to improve the policy impact of academic research. Michael has
extensive experience as a policy designer.

His two books with Oxford University Press discuss the importance of treating public policies as investments and key elements of contemporary policy analysis. His other books have considered effective policy advocacy, the spread of policy innovations, and the factors that produce enduring, successful public policies. He has served as a policy adviser in New Zealand and as the Monash Chair at the Australia and New Zealand School of Government, where he
was Academic Director of the renowned Executive Master of Public Administration degree. He holds a PhD in Political Science from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and an MA in Economics from the University of Canterbury.

Dr. Christopher L. Pepin-Neff is an American-Australian teacher, research academic, writer, and commentator on a number of public policy issues.

Dr. Pepin-Neff is a senior lecturer in public policy at the University of Sydney.

He received his Ph.D. in public policy at the University of Sydney (‘14) and also held a Masters Degree in Public Policy (‘07) and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from James Madison University in Virginia (’99). His research looks at agenda-setting in the policy process through an analysis of emotional issues in public policy and the role of lobbyists and activists in LGBTQ politics.

The World Turned Upside Down event

The World Turned Upside Down

Cathy McGowan, Adam Bandt, Allegra Spender and others

The cross benches in our federal parliament got quite a bit more crowded at this year’s election. Will this Independents movement continue to grow? And how will they enact their agenda with the new government?

Live in-person event | Also available on Stream

How will the new politics change Canberra?

Voters in this year’s federal election made a historic move away from the two-party system, and a record number of Independents and Greens candidates have been elected. Labor was able to form government in its own right, but many suggest this might well be the last time a major political party does. Stitching together coalitions after an election in order to form a government is the norm in some countries – could this become the norm here?

Join these cross-bench trendsetters as they put our new state of affairs under the microscope. How will these new voices in power hold the government to account? What role will the Senate play, where the balance of power is in play?” to “What role will the Senate play, where the crossbench holds the balance of power is?

Presented by Sydney Opera House

Cathy McGowan came to national attention when she won the seat of Indi as an Independent in 2013.  The community backed her again in 2016.  In 2019 Indi made Australian political history when Dr Helen Haines was elected as Indi’s second, independent woman. During her time as a politician Cathy actively worked in Parliament to develop policy around regional development, constitutional change for first nations people and a solution to the indefinite detention of asylum seekers.  In 2019 she was awarded The Accountability Round Table award for political integrity. She is an Officer in the Order of Australia, a Churchill fellow and lives very happily on her farm in the Indigo Valley in NE Victoria.

Adam Bandt is the Federal Member for Melbourne and Leader of the Australian Greens. Adam is the Greens spokesperson for the Climate, Energy and Employment & Workplace Relations. Adam was elected to the Federal Parliament in 2010, making history as the first Green elected to the House of Representatives at a general election.

The Australian Greens are now the third biggest party in Australia’s history after gaining an extra three seats in both the Senate and the House of Representatives in the 2022 Federal Election.

Allegra Spender is the independent member for the federal seat of Wentworth. She is a mum, business leader, and renewable energy advocate, and was elected in 2022 on a platform of climate action, integrity, inclusivity, and a future-focused economy. Allegra has diverse leadership experience in the corporate, non-profit, private, and public sectors. She started her career at McKinsey & Company, before working at the U.K. Treasury and in a leading U.K. public teaching hospital. From 2008 to 2016, Allegra was the Managing Director of Carla Zampatti, a leading Australian designer fashion business. She was also Chair of Sydney Renewable Power Company, a renewable impact investment company that financed over 500kw of solar on the International Convention Centre. Prior to standing for Wentworth, Allegra was the CEO of Australian Business and Community Network (ABCN) a social mobility not-for-profit. The network is made up of a group of forty leading corporations, including Macquarie, Microsoft, Lendlease, Optus and Bain, whose team members mentor over 5,000 students from low socio-economic backgrounds. Allegra has a degree in economics from the University of Cambridge and has completed courses from Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, the University of London’s Birkbeck, and Harvard Business School. Allegra is married with three young children and in her spare time is a keen runner.

Michael Mintrom

Enhancing the protection of human rights in Australia: Michael Mintrom, Paula Gerber in conversation with Paul Barclay

Join Prof Paula Gerber and Prof Michael Mintrom in a conversation with ABC Radio presenter Paul Barclay about human rights in Australia.

Australia is a sports obsessed nation, and our sporting culture thrives because we have rules that all players and spectators understand and generally abide by. Similarly, society has rules that facilitate harmonious living, and those rules are called human rights. Yet, unlike sports, the rules governing our society are often not understood, ignored or breached.

Paul Barclay, host of ABC Radio National’s Big Ideas program will facilitate a conversation with Paula Gerber, Professor of Human Rights Law at Monash University and Michael Mintrom, Professor of Public Policy at Monash University, where they will discuss the lack of human rights protections in Australia, the many and varied human rights breaches being perpetrated on a daily basis, and why it is vital that human rights are embedded in our schools, governments, institutions and every aspect of society.

Come and be a part of the live audience for the recording of this show which will be aired on Big Ideas on ABC Radio National.

Michael’s new book Advancing Human Rights, published as part of Monash’s In the National Interest series, argues that the advancement of human rights is an investment that creates ongoing benefits for the whole of society. He uses the lens of human rights to analyse disparate issues, such as, the quality of care in nursing homes, the treatment of illegal immigrants and police practices towards Indigenous people in custody.

Paula Gerber is the editor of two recently published multi-volume collections. The three-volume collection Worldwide Perspectives on Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals is a rich interdisciplinary resource that makes a vital contribution to understanding how the rights of LGBTIQ+ people are progressing – and in some cases, regressing – around the globe. The 63 chapters look at the lived experiences of LGB people from varied perspectives and provides comprehensive coverage on a wide variety of topics ranging from LGB youth and LGB aging to the treatment of LGBTIQ+ people by different religions, including Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. It also explores the situation for LGBTIQ+ people in different countries, including, Australia, Samoa, Singapore, China and Russia.

Paula Gerber’s second edited collection is the two-volume Critical Perspectives on Human Rights Law in Australia. It consists of 46 chapters that not only analyse the many ways in which Australia is failing to protect human rights, particularly those of Indigenous Australians, LGBTIQ+ people, people with disabilities and other vulnerable minorities, but also what steps we can take to remedy this failing.

Inala Cooper

Inala Cooper in conversation with Meredith Burgmann (Gleebooks)

What does reconciliation and truth-telling look like, and how do we as a nation find justice for Indigenous people?

In this deeply personal work, Inala Cooper shares stories of her family to show the impact of colonisation on the lives of Aboriginal people from the 1940s to now. She reveals the struggles faced by her Elders and contrasts them with the freedoms she comes across as an Aboriginal woman today. Speaking only from lived experience, Inala examines racism, privilege, and how deeply personal is one’s identity. Her stories illustrate the complexities of identifying as Aboriginal and the importance of community in an increasingly individualist world.

Exploring the impacts of major events throughout her life, Inala reflects on how human rights are breached and defended. She examines reconciliation and the need to share wealth and power, and the importance of truth-telling and justice. In finding her place as an advocate and activist for social justice, Inala is supported by her family, her ancestors, community and the academy. It is these supports that help her challenge racist and outdated notions of what it means to be Indigenous, sovereign and self-determined, and to uphold the principles of justice.

The thought-provoking stories in this book surface more questions than the necessary answers. But Inala brings us to her home as she weaves together her stories, the country she’s connected to, and the elements that shape her path — none so prevalent as Marrul: the changing wind.

Richard Denniss event

Richard Denniss at the Bendigo Writers Festival

Defence, infrastructure, education, health and aged care, not to mention environmental safeguards and climate change mitigation. All these things require public money as well as clever thinking. Richard Denniss says the message that governments need to get out of the way has led to the shrinking of creativity and standards. He talks to Julie Rudner about why the time is right to reinvigorate the public sector. What could a bigger government do?

Essential Pre-poll Reading
By News

Monash University Publishing’s Essential Pre-Poll Reading

In the lead-up to this federal election, Monash University Publishing has your reading list covered. From our In the National Interest Series:

In Who Dares Loses: Pariah Policies, Wayne Errington and Peter van Onselen explain the political constraints on policymakers and the ways in which they are changing.

In Challenging Politics, Scott Ryan discusses the loss in faith in politics.

In Easy Lies & Influence, Fiona McLeod tells us what corruption can do, and why it’s imperative that we address it.

In Tides that Bind, ALP Deputy Leader Richard Marles implores us to step up our support for Pacific nations threatened by climate change and under-development.

In Governing in the Internet Age, Communications Minister Paul Fletcher outlines the key challenges the internet has posed for governments.

In Fortune’s Fool, Satyajit Das dissects the pandemic, global trends, Australia’s narrow ‘house and holes’ economy and its dependency on China.

In Population Shock, Abul Rizvi asks: how will government chart our larger and older population’s economic future?

In Good International Citizenship, Gareth Evans argues that to be, and be seen to be, a good international citizen is both a moral imperative and a matter of hard-headed national interest.

In Burning Down the House, Jo Dyer looks at how Australian politics has gone awry and how a range of independents are determined to burn it all down and build something new.

In Big: The Role of the State in the Modern Economy, Richard Denniss makes the case for following the lead of the Nordic countries in the provision of great public health, education, housing and infrastructure.

In Now More than Ever, David Anderson gives us an insider’s insight into the ABC: a cultural powerhouse where Australian identity is celebrated, democracy is defended, and creativity is encouraged to flourish.

In Dismal Diplomacy, Disposable Sovereignty, Carrillo Gantner offers some modest suggestions for improving Australia’s relationship with China.

In Leadership, Don Russell reflects on politicians, the political process and the role of government, and explains why our political leaders are as they are.

In A Decade of Drift, Martin Parkinson outlines how the twists and turns in climate change policy over the past decade have contributed to the erosion of public trust in government in Australia.

Other important background reading for the election includes: Cathy Goes to Canberra by Cathy McGowan, the inspiring story of one of Australia’s most successful and influential independents; Long Half-life by Ian Lowe on Australia’s nuclear policies and energy and climate challenges; Class in Australia on Australia’s deepening social stratification; and Corporate Power in Australia by Lindy Edwards on how the ‘big end of town’ influences our politics.

  • Who Dares Loses

    Wayne Errington & Peter van Onselen
  • Governing in the Internet Age

    Paul Fletcher


  • Good International Citizenship

    Gareth Evans
  • Dismal Diplomacy, Disposable Sovereignty

    Carrillo Gantner


  • Class in Australia

    Steven Threadgold and Jessica Gerrard
  • Corporate Power in Australia

    Lindy Edwards
A Brave New Future Panel

Panel: A Brave New Future featuring Ian Lowe, Scott Ludlam and Alex Kelly (Clunes Booktown Festival)

Scott Ludlam, Ian Lowe and Alex Kelly are thinkers who spend much of their time contemplating possible futures. We have entered the Anthropocene – an era in which humans are changing the earth’s climate irreversibly, and political, human and natural systems are on the cusp of collapse. We are headed for radical change and this mob explore the issues we will inevitably face. Chaired by Prof. Tim Lynch.
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