Festival Program

City Program

The Lies of the Land: Australia, Assange and WikiLeaks

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

Joe Biden’s recent calls to have Julian Assange stand trial in the US have renewed debate at home about free speech, whistle-blower protection and Australia’s loyalty to American interests. Hear from three champions for truth—human rights lawyer Julian Burnside, activist and former Greens senator Scott Ludlam (appearing live via video), and Assange’s own lawyer Jen Robinson—about the long shadow of WikiLeaks, the lingering fate of Assange and the consequences of covert power.


1 hour


Event artists

Julian Burnside QC is a Melbourne barrister specialising in commercial litigation. He is a former president of Liberty Victoria, and has acted pro bono in many human rights cases, in particular concerning the treatment of refugees. In 2009, he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia, and in 2014, he was awarded the Sydney Peace Prize.

Scott Ludlam was a senator from 2008 to 2017 and served as deputy leader of the Australian Greens. He has also worked as a filmmaker, artist and graphic designer. Full Circle is his first book, the fruit of a life of activism, study and travel.

Jen Robinson is a barrister at Doughty Street Chambers in London with a broad practice in media law, public law and international law. Jen has a particular focus on free speech and civil liberties, advising media organisations, journalists and whistleblowers, and issues associated with journalist safety, unlawful detention and targeting.

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