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Festival Program

City Program

The Ambitions of Australia

Sat 10 Sep, 12pm

What defines the soul of Australia? Are we an egalitarian, generous and outward-looking nation? Or a conservative, obedient and insular state, where mateship is all but a myth and a fair go merely a fiction? A panel of thinkers look to history, art, culture and politics to consider the changing and contested project of our national story and our ambitions for its future. Featuring award-winning historian Anna Clark (Making Australian History), Culture News Editor for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald Osman Faruqi, proud Wiradjuri and Wailwan lawyer, essayist, storyteller Teela Reid, and professor Julianne Schultz (The Idea of Australia), in discussion with interviewer and broadcaster Sally Warhaft.


1 hour


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Andre Dao, Hasib Hourani and Mykaela Saunders discuss their contributions to Against Disappearance, an essay collection by First Nations writers and writers of colour, in conversation with Leah Jing McIntosh.

Suburban Program

Jeff Sparrow: Crimes Against Nature

Sat 10 Sep, 11am

Walkley Award–winning journalist Jeff Sparrow discusses Crimes Against Nature, which recasts ordinary people as the solution rather than the problem when it comes to preserving our planet. With Elizabeth McCarthy.

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Who Decides What News Is Worthy?

Fri 9 Sep, 4.30pm

Leading editors and reporters Bridget Brennan, Sarah Malik, Amy Remeikis and Jeff Sparrow consider what values underpin news coverage today, with Sophie Black.


Stay up late with the rowdiest revellers of Melbourne Writers Festival and get the low-down on all the latest showdowns, scandals and spectacles. Hosted by Jess McGuire with a generous pour of pop culture and a side of current affairs.