Festival Program

Highlight Event

The Power and the Passion

Sat 31 Aug, 10am
The Capitol

Australian politics isn’t renowned for being sexy, so when scandals such as Barnaby Joyce impregnating a staffer or Andrew Broad using the term ‘g’day’ as a seduction tool spring into public consciousness, we are a thirsty crowd. ABC Fact Check’s Sushi Das, The Saturday Paper’s editor-in-chief Erik Jensen, leader of Reason Australia and Victorian state MP Fiona Patten, and political journalist Niki Savva speak about sex scandals through history. With Jamila Rizvi.

Supported by The Saturday Paper


1 hour


Session Artists

Sushi Das is an award-winning journalist and the chief of staff at RMIT ABC Fact Check. For more than two decades she worked for The Age in various roles, including news editor, columnist, feature writer and op-ed editor. She is the author of Deranged Marriage, an east-meets-west memoir about arranged marriage.

Erik Jensen is the founding editor of The Saturday Paper. His first book, Acute Misfortune, won the Nib Prize for Literature and was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards and the Walkley Book Award. The film based on it, which he co-wrote, won the Critics' Prize at MIFF.

Fiona Patten is the leader of the Reason party and a Victorian Upper House MP. Fiona came to politics after 20 years of lobbying for the rights of organisations involved in the sexual rights movement. Since being elected in 2014, Fiona has campaigned for evidence-based policies including drug law reform, safe access to abortion clinics and voluntary assisted dying.

Jamila Rizvi is author of Not Just Lucky, a bestselling career manifesto for millennial women and editor of The Motherhood, a new compilation of letters by famous Australian mums. Jamila writes a regular column on politics and gender, works as a television and radio presenter and is board member of the Melbourne Writers Festival.

Niki Savva is one of the most senior correspondents in the Canberra Press Gallery. She was Peter Costello’s press secretary. Niki is a columnist for The Australian, and appears on ABC TV’s Insiders. She is the recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the Melbourne Press Club, and her book The Road to Ruin won an Australian Book Industry Award.

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