Festival Program

City Program

Fortress Australia

Sat 4 Sep, 6pm
State Library Victoria, Conversation Quarter

Australia, the geographically lucky country that shut up shop and crushed COVID. But has the politically popular hard-line response merely camouflaged a bungled vaccine rollout, resulted in a dereliction of duty to stranded citizens, and stoked xenophobic anxieties for political gain? Appearing live via video, renowned physician and ABC host Dr Norman Swan debates public safety, politics and the pandemic with on-stage participants 7am editor Osman Faruqi and author and political reporter Jamila Rizvi, moderated by Raf Epstein.


1 hour


Event artists

Raf Epstein is a long-time ABC journalist who has reported for TV and radio in Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne. His investigations into intelligence and police corruption in Victoria won a Walkley Award in 2004, and he won his second Walkley in 2008 for his work on the Mohammed Hanif case.

Osman Faruqi is an award-winning journalist and the editor of the daily news podcast 7am and host of arts and culture podcast The Culture. He has worked as an editor at the ABC and was a reporter with the flagship audio documentary program Background Briefing.

Jamila Rizvi is Chief Creative Officer for Nine Entertainment's Future Women and a best-selling author for adults and children. She is an opinion columnist for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and co-hosts two podcasts, The Weekend Briefing and Anonymous Was A Woman. Jamila lives and works on Wurundjeri land.

Trained in paediatrics, Dr Swan was one of the first medically qualified journalists in Australia, with a broadcast career spanning more than 30 years. He hosts ABC Radio National’s The Health Report and co-hosts Coronacast. So You Think You Know What’s Good For You is Dr Swan’s first health book and is published by Hachette Australia.

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