Uncensored Conversations: Boat people, the F-bomb and political power
Uncensored Conversations is a speaker series that could only take place in a true democracy. In May and June 2010, the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House will host a forum that will see well-known Australians share their thoughts on the hottest topics shaping our democracy.
The topics are:
- Immigration, asylum seekers and refugees: What is the real impact? (11 May)
- Involvement or intrusion: Where is the line for our Government? (27 May)
- Freedom of speech and censorship: How free are we? (15 June)
Seats are limited: reserve your free tickets now by email
The Uncensored Conversations forums are free events and registration is essential. To reserve your free ticket or tickets, register below and leave your name and email address. You can also follow the Museum of Australian Democracy on Twitter @MoAD_Canberra.
- Immigration, asylum seekers and refugees (11 May). Register by email: email@example.com
- Involvement or intrusion (27 May). Register by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Freedom of speech and censorship (15 June). Register by email: email@example.com
Inspirational Australians across the three events will share their personal stories with an open audience at the museum. The diverse group of speakers includes:
- Tim Costello, CEO, World Vision Australia
- Stephen Kenny, original solicitor for Guantanamo detainee David Hicks
- Three members of The Herd, Sydney hip hop group
- Les Murray, leading soccer commentator and Hungarian refugee
- Abdalla Ahmed, Chairperson, Australian Somali Association
- Dr Julianne Schultz, Professor, Centre for Public Culture and Ideas at Griffith University
Renowned Australian celebrity photographer, Robin Sellick, has also captured the speakers in a series of captivating and compelling images that will be displayed in the museum.
The Museum of Australian Democracy’s Director Jenny Anderson said: “We hope to spark some interest and passion for our democracy by sharing some remarkable Australian stories, and this diverse group of speakers is a great example of how as Australians we can speak freely without fear or favour. It’s exciting to invite people to come to the Museum of Australian Democracy and hear these stories first hand”.
The speaker series will be facilitated by media personality Angela Catterns.
1. Immigration, asylum seekers and refugees: What is the real impact?
The first event, ‘Immigration, asylum seekers and refugees: What is the real impact?’ to be held at 6pm in King’s Hall at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, Canberra on 11 May 2010, delves into the personal experiences of Les Murray and Abdalla Ahmed.
Les Murray is well-known as a leading soccer commentator, however few Australians are aware that he began life as a refugee, fleeing his homeland of Hungary when he was eleven. Les will tell the personal story of a refugee who benefited from moving to this country – as much as our country has benefited from his arrival.
Abdalla Ahmed is the Chairperson of the Australian Somali Association and has helped over 300 Somalian families settle into Australia. He also returned to his homeland in 2005 and against all odds helped build a hospital for the community. Abdalla will share his thoughts on what democracy has done for him and so many others, often being the difference between life and death.
2. Involvement or intrusion: Where is the line for our Government?
The topic, ‘Involvement or intrusion: Where is the line for our Government?’ to be held at 6pm in King’s Hall at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, Canberra on 27 May 2010, will be a conversation with Tim Costello and Stephen Kenny.
As Chief Executive of World Vision Australia, Tim has been instrumental in ensuring the issues surrounding global poverty are highlighted on the national agenda. Tim is recognised as one of Australia’s leading voices on social justice issues, having spearheaded public debates on gambling, urban poverty, homelessness, reconciliation and substance abuse.
Stephen Kenny has practiced as a barrister and solicitor in Australia for over 25 years. During this time he has maintained a strong interest in civil libertarian matters. Taking on David Hicks’ case is representative of Stephen’s strong interest in civil libertarianism. Stephen has worked on high profile native title land claim cases as well as undertaking pro-bono work for migrant families and community groups. He’ll be sharing his first-hand experiences of both international and national politics.
3. Freedom of speech and censorship: How free are we?
The third event, ‘Freedom of speech and censorship: How free are we?’ to be held at 6pm in King’s Hall at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, Canberra on 15 June 2010, will see three members of Sydney hip hop group, The Herd, share their thoughts alongside Professor Dr Julianne Schultz.
The Herd have used music as an outlet to express their opinions on a variety of issues. Their song ‘77%’ – which features the line ‘77% of Aussies are racist’ – refers to survey results that revealed the majority of Australians agreed with the former Australian Federal Government’s response to the Tampa affair. With a history of expressing active opinions through their music, The Herd members will discuss how democracy influences the inspiration of their craft. Tracks of The Herd are included in the Museum of Australian Democracy’s Living Democracy exhibition.
Julianne is a professor at the Centre for Public Culture and Ideas at Griffith University in Queensland. At the 2020 Summit she co-chaired the Creative Australia session, which explored the future of Australian arts, film and design. She has also written extensively about the media and democracy.