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Politics

Roy Green

11 May 2022

The challenge of Australia’s post-COVID recovery

Roy Green argues a post-COVID recovery must go beyond a one-off economic stimulus and address some fundamental questions about our outdated industrial structure.
He says relying on a commodity based economy will saddle us with long term productivity and wage stagnation. We would be better off to focus on building competitive advantage in the knowledge based industries of the future.

About Roy Green

Roy is Emeritus Professor at the University of Technology Sydney, where he was Dean of the UTS Business School.
He has a PhD in Economics from the University of Cambridge and has published widely in the areas of innovation and industry policy, including projects with the OECD and European Commission.
Currently, Roy chairs the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Hub and Port of Newcastle, and he is a board member of the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre and Australian Design Council.
He was recently asked to join the NSW Modern Manufacturing Taskforce.

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Politics

Margo Kingston

7 April 2022

Independents’ movement: the candidates, the government response and the state of play

As the Federal election approaches, Margo Kingston will discuss issues on the ground, differences amongst the Independent candidates and what their presence suggests about the nature and future of national politics.

About Margo Kingston

Margo began her working life as a lawyer before joining the Courier Mail in Brisbane. She covered the Fitzgerald Royal Commission for the Times on Sunday’s Brisbane bureau then worked in the Canberra Press Gallery for the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and the Canberra Times and in Sydney for a year as Jana Wendt’s political researcher on A Current Affair. During a stint as  Chief of Staff at the SMH Canberra bureau she created and edited the mainstream media’s first interactive blog, Webdiary, and edited the site full time from 2001 to 2005, when she took Webdiary independent and retired with serious back problems late that year.

She has written two books, Off the Rails: The Pauline Hanson Trip (1999, 2nd edition 2001) and Not Happy John: Defending our Democracy (2004, 2nd edition 2007).

Margo joined Twitter in 2012 and now edits the citizen journalism website No Fibs, which covered the historic Cathy McGowan campaign for Indi in 2013. In 2019 No Fibs covered #IndependentsDay candidates standing in safe coalition seats and is again covering the #IndependentsDay movement for the upcoming election.

No Fibs: Independents Day website

Margo Kingston twitter

Categories
Politics

Ian McAuley & Miriam Lyons

10 March 2022

Good Government: What it does, why we need it and why small government won’t work

A pandemic has required the Australian government to take centre stage, both in terms of spending and regulating. But much of its spending has been without a clear sense of what governments should and should not do. The present government is committed to returning to the “small government” model, realising JK Galbraith’s dismal vision of private prosperity and collective poverty.
It doesn’t have to be this way.

About the speakers

Ian McAuley and Miriam Lyons are authors of Governomics: Can we afford small government?  (Spoiler – we are paying dearly for the “small government obsession.)

Ian McAuley

Ian McAuley describes himself as having lived and breathed public policy. He has been an engineer in a manufacturing firm (in the days when we had a home-grown manufacturing sector), a trade commissioner, a policy analyst and a manager in the federal Department of Industry, and until retirement a lecturer in public finance at the University of Canberra. His writings, and his weekly update of links to economic and political commentary, are at his website www.ianmcauley.com

Miriam Lyons

Miriam Lyons is a policy analyst, writer and commentator. She was co-founder and executive director of the Centre for Policy Development, in which role she became well-known on ABC media, including Q&A and The Drum. More recently she ran climate justice campaigns at GetUp, and she is now working to support campaigners across the country to repower Australia’s economy with renewable energy.
more about Miriam Lyons

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Politics

Past events

9 June 2022

China’s global ambitions under Xi Jinping

Increasingly powerful, prosperous and authoritarian, China under the leadership of Xi Jinping has become a more intense competitor across the globe – economically, technologically, militarily, and in seeking to influence people’s hearts and minds.
But what does China ultimately want in the world?

In this timely and illuminating talk, internationally renowned China scholar and local author Dr Bates Gill will discuss the fundamental motivations driving the China’s more dynamic, assertive and risk-taking approach to the world under Xi Jinping. 

Drawing from his current book, Daring to Struggle, he will address such issues as China’s convoluted stance on the Ukraine crisis, its likely actions against Taiwan, prospects for China’s economic future, U.S.-China relations, China’s efforts to change how we think about world order, and what it all means for Australia.

Daring to Struggle is available from Oxford University Press

About Bates Gill

Dr Bates Gill has a 30-year international career as an institution leader, policy advisor, consultant, and educator focusing on China. He is a Professor and Head of the Department of Security Studies and Criminology at Macquarie University, inaugural Scholar in Residence with the Asia Society Australia, and Senior Associate Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in London.

Categories
Politics

Sean Kelly

11 November 2021

Playing to win – how politics became a trivial game

For too many politicians – and too many voters – politics has become a game, a trivial contest without consequences for the real world.

How did this happen? Why have we accepted it?
And what is it doing to our country?

About the speaker

Sean Kelly

Sean is a former adviser to two prime ministers, and author of a new book about Scott Morrison, examines the current political culture, and asks whether we are all complicit in what politics has become – and whether there is any way out.

more about Sean Kelly

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Politics

Geoffrey Watson SC

18 March 2021
Geoffrey Watson SC

Sleepwalking towards a cliff

Confidence in Government is shattered. How did this happen? How can we fix it? Why we need a National integrity Commission.

About the speaker

Geoffrey Watson SC specializes in product liability, professional negligence, general insurance and appeals. He has a national practice, appearing in the High Court, the Federal Court and the Supreme Courts of each of the States and Territories; his clients include governments both Federal and State, government agencies, all major insurers; and the major mining, industrial and banking houses. He was the former Counsel assisting in ICAC and the Police Integrity Commission. He is active in pro bono work for asylum seekers. Geoffrey Watson also pursues academic work and is an Adjunct Professor of Law at the university of Notre Dame. He is currently a Director at the Centre for Public Integrity.

MORE ABOUT GEOFFREY WATSON QC

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Politics

Bruce Wolpe

16 December 2020
Bruce Wolpe

US Election Wrap-up

Bruce will discuss the Nov 3 US presidential election and the vote by the Electoral College that is to occur on December 14 in the US. This is a special pre-Christmas 1-hour event, with plenty of time for questions and discussion.

About the speaker

Bruce Wolpe is a Senior Fellow (non-resident) at the United States Studies Centre. Bruce is a regular contributor on US politics across media platforms in Australia. In recent years, Bruce has worked with the Democrats in Congress during President Barack Obama’s first term, and on the staff of Prime Minister Julia Gillard. He has also served as the former PM’s chief of staff. He is author of The Committee, a study of President Obama’s legislative agenda in Congress (University of Michigan Press, 2018). From 1998-2009, Bruce was a senior executive at Fairfax Media in Sydney. He is also the author of Lobbying Congress: How The System Works (Congressional Quarterly Books, 1990, 1996).

MORE ABOUT Bruce Wolpe

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Politics

Pat Anderson+Prof. Megan Davis

12 November 2020
Pat Anderson & Megan Davis

Uluru Statement from the Heart: an update

Professor Davis joins Pat Anderson in bringing to the Balmain Institute a recounting of the long tradition of Aboriginal activism leading to the Uluru Statement from the Heart, with an update of its current status, and take your questions.

About the speakers

Pat Anderson AO, is an Alyawarre women, who has a long and distinguished career as a champion for social justice and Constitutional recognition for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander peoples. Her many accomplishments include being instrumental is promoting health services for First Nations peoples. She is currently Director of the Lowitja Health & Research Centre, and was formerly co-chair of the Referendum Council which facilitated 10 Regional discussions about forms of recognition desired by Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander peoples.

MORE ABOUT Pat anderson

Megan Davis is a Cobble Cobble woman from the Barrungam Nation. She currently is the Pro-Vice Chancellor Indigenous, Professor & Belnaves Chair in Constitutional Law at UNSW. She is known for her scholarly articles and her activism in promoting the rights & recognition of First Nation people. Professor Davis was part of the Referendum Council canvassing First Nations peoples in the ten Regional Councils resulting in the Uluru Convention leading to the Uluru Statement from the Heart in 2017.

MORE ABOUT MEGAN DAVIS

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Politics

Bruce Wolpe

8 October 2020
Bruce Wolpe

One month from the US elections: An update

Bruce will discuss the state of the presidential election campaign and the strategies of President Trump and Vice President Biden; look at the national polls and the key swing states and the Electoral College; and provide an overview of the congressional elections for the Senate and the House of Representatives.

About the speaker

Bruce Wolpe is a Senior Fellow (non-resident) at the United States Studies Centre. Bruce is a regular contributor on US politics across media platforms in Australia. In recent years, Bruce has worked with the Democrats in Congress during President Barack Obama’s first term, and on the staff of Prime Minister Julia Gillard. He has also served as the former PM’s chief of staff. He is author of The Committee, a study of President Obama’s legislative agenda in Congress (University of Michigan Press, 2018). From 1998-2009, Bruce was a senior executive at Fairfax Media in Sydney. He is also the author of Lobbying Congress: How The System Works (Congressional Quarterly Books, 1990, 1996).

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Politics

Professor Sarah Palmer

17 September 2020
Prof. Sarah Palmer

Confronting Covid-19What are the prospects for the Covid-19 pandemic in the months and years ahead? Should we be hopeful?

The new coronavirus, 1000 times more infectious than the flu and with far greater potential health complications, has now spread worldwide and caused the largest human pandemic since the emergence and spread of HIV in the early-1980s.

This presentation will discuss what makes this novel virus so dangerous, debilitating and deadly, how we can best confront and contain it, and the impact of the pandemic on those with compromised immune systems, such as the elderly and persons living with HIV. Looking ahead, the talk will also assess current progress toward a vaccine—the most likely pathway for getting back to a “new normal.”

About the speaker

Sarah Palmer is the Co-Director of the Centre for Virus Research at The Westmead Institute for Medical Research and a Professor in the Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney School of Medicine. She is a world-renowned HIV researcher who received her PhD at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden focussing on medical virology. She conducted her post-doctoral studies at Stanford University, Centre for AIDS Research. For 8 years Professor Palmer directed the core virology laboratory for the HIV Drug Resistance Program at the National Institutes of Health in the USA. Her expertise in identifying parts of HIV proteins likely to stimulate human white cell responses has now been applied to an on-going COVID-19 project at Westmead.

Categories
Politics

Brigit Busicchia

Thursday 13 August 2020
Brigit Busicchia

The question of food security –
from household to global

There are many ways to think about food. You can think about political and cultural aspects, about natural or agricultural aspects, about ethics, or about economic activity. If food can provide pleasure and gratification, it can also be a source of anxiety particularly when access to food becomes problematic.

During the COVID 19 lockdown, Australia and many other economies experienced something very unusual: some market shelves were empty day after day, of staple items such as pasta, rice, sugar, flour. Why did this happen? What are the politics of and changes in food production and distribution highlighted in the context of pandemics such as COVID-19?

The government took the initiative to reassure us by reaffirming that Australia was food secure and there was no reason to panic. But how did everyday people feel?

This talk discusses these issues of food security using the example of flour to show what happens when the established order surrounding our basic food supplies are disrupted.

About the speaker

Brigit Busicchia PhD and Associate Lecturer in Sociology, Macquarie University.  One of her favourite research areas is the political economy of food where she tries to understand the key historical and political drivers organising the production and redistribution of food resources.  In addition to her lecturing and teaching appointment, she is also interested in the question of food justice.  Her latest research is about food insecurity among Australian university students.  She is a regular contributor to The Conversation.

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Politics

Prof. Veena Sahajwalla

Thursday 16 July 2020
Prof. Veena Sahajwalla

The new microrecycling science and microfactories
for transforming waste into value-added materials

About the speaker

Professor Veena Sahajwalla is an internationally recognised materials scientist, engineer, and inventor revolutionising recycling science. She is renowned for pioneering the high temperature transformation of waste in the production of a new generation of ‘green materials.’

In 2018, Veena launched the world’s first e-waste MICROfactorieTM and in 2019 she launched her plastics MICROfactorieTM, a recycling technology breakthrough. She is producing a new generation of green materials and products made entirely, or primarily, from waste.

Veena heads the ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub for ‘green manufacturing’, a leading national research centre that works in collaboration with industry to ensure new recycling science is translated into real world environmental and economic benefits. In 2019 she was appointed inaugural Director of the Circular Economy Innovation Network by the NSW Government through its Office of Chief Scientist and Engineer.

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Politics

Michael West

Thursday 11 June 2020
Michael West

The rising power of corporations in democracy

Veteran Journalist, Michael West reluctantly turned media entrepreneur, will talk about the crisis in media, the rising power of corporations in democracy and what we can do about it.

About the speaker

Michael West spend eight years at Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation and eight years at Fairfax Media (now Nine Entertainment) before striking out on his own to produce journalism of high public interest.
West is a Walkley-award winner and Adjunct Professor at the University of Sydney’s School of Social and Political Sciences.

Categories
Politics

Bates Gill

Thursday 14 May 2020
Bates Gill

How will Australia’s relations with its number one trading partner look in the post Covid-19 era?

As the political and economic disruptions of the pandemic become clearer, what impacts can we expect it to have on Australia’s critically important relationship with China?

This presentation will examine both the promise and perils of ties with our giant neighbour, and whether we  should expect Australia-China relations to remain the same or change dramatically in the years ahead.

About the speaker

Bates Gill  has a 30-year career as a professional China-watcher.
He is an  author, scholar,  policy advisor, and  internationally-respected expert on Chinese politics and foreign affairs.  He has lived and worked  in China, Europe, and the United States, and is now Professor of Asia-Pacific Security Studies at Macquarie University.   Dr Gill  co-authored  China Matters: Getting it Right for Australiaa go-to guide for understanding the risks  and opportunities ahead for Australia-China relations.

Categories
Politics

Kribo Ackerman

Thursday 5 March 2020

Acting locally on climate change

In this time of climate anxiety it’s more important than ever to take action in our private lives and local communities to create a low-carbon future.

Join Kribo Ackerman, Engagement Officer with the Green Living Centre (an initiative of Inner West Council), for an interactive discussion about the most effective actions we can take and how to connect with others taking action in our community.

Categories
Politics

Rick Emory McGary

BI-web-banner-Rick-Emory-McGary

Thursday 14 November 2019

It didn’t end with the Hougoumont –
The ongoing penal colonialisation of Indigenous Australia.

*The Hougoumont was the last convict ship to arrive in Australia – 1868

Rick Emory McGary is a legal academic and is currently obtaining a PhD in law at the ANU’s National Centre for Indigenous Studies on the topic of Racism in the Criminal Law of Australia studying under Professor Mick Dodson.

Rick has a long personal and family history of fighting institutional racism in the courtroom. He is himself a mixed race Texan with significant Cherokee Indian ancestry, a former researcher for the Innocence Project of Texas, the son of an international womens’ rights lawyer, and the grandson of the attorney who desegregated Texas public schools. Currently living in Canberra, Rick is incredibly grateful for the opportunities he is receiving in Australia, and hopes to help make a difference here as well.

more about Rick Emory McGary
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Politics

Shayne Higson

BI-web-banner-Shayne-Higson

September 12, 2019

Dying with Dignity: one small step or one giant leap?

For most Australians providing this compassionate option is a natural progression in end of life care but for others it is considered a ‘crossing the Rubicon’ moment for our society.

Join Shayne Higson, Vice President of Dying with Dignity NSW, in an interactive discussion about voluntary assisted dying laws, why they are needed, how they differ around the world and when we are likely to see the next Bill introduced in NSW.

more about Shayne