David Marr, in conversation with sociologist Professor John Germov, discusses what it is about this prosperous, educated, quite progressive country that makes change so hard. Who are the enemies of change? How is it they can block so effectively clear majority calls for change on issues like global warming, marriage equality and euthanasia? “What Australians want is clear,” says Marr. “But we can’t seem to get there.”
David Marr has been exploring conservative strategies in Australian politics and society for most of his career. His books in this field include The Henson Case, The High Price of Heaven, The Prince and the definitive account of the 2001 ‘Tampa election’, Dark Victory, (with Marian Wilkinson). In Panic (2008), his collection of essays canvassing asylum seekers, the rise of Hanson, the Cronulla riots, homophobia, and ‘anti-Terror’ security legislation, Marr explored how reasonable fear is exploited to produce panic by politicians and the media for their own political ends.
David Marr is an accomplished journalist and author. Widely regarded as one of Australia’s most influential commentators, he has written on subjects such as politics, censorship, the media and the arts. He has been a journalist since 1973 for publications including The Bulletin, The Sydney Morning Herald, the Age, The Monthly and The Guardian and is the recipient of four Walkley awards for journalism. His critically acclaimed biography of Australian writer Patrick White won The Age Book of the Year award and the New South Wales Premier's Literary Award for Non-Fiction. A leading writer of political biography, his three Quarterly Essay profiles of Kevin Rudd, Tony Abbott and Bill Shorten were national bestsellers. He has been a reporter for ABC’s Four Corners, presenter of Radio National’s Arts Today and host of Media Watch and appears often on Q&A and Insiders.
Deftly combining his skills as a writer of literary non-fiction and journalism, a public intellectual, legal scholar and advocate, David Marr embodies the best of humanistic creative and critical thinking. He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters by the University of Newcastle in 2011; the University of Sydney followed suit in 2013. He is also an Honorary Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. The Centre for 21st Century Humanities is delighted to welcome David Marr back to Newcastle.
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Date and Time
Harold Lobb Concert Hall, The Conservatorium
Cnr Laman / Auckland Street
Newcastle, NSW 2300