Lucky but lame — Australia’s unhappy relationship with risk with Mark Kenny
This talk is presented as part of 'A Foreign Country: Travels through the Past', a series of fortnightly lectures hosted by the State Library of NSW on Tuesday evenings at 5.30 pm between 31 August and 9 November 2021.
Australia used to be revered as a social laboratory, unencumbered by class and possessed of a free-wheeling confidence in modernity. Home to the oldest union-based labour party in the world, it was the first country to mandate an eight-hour working day, the minimum living wage and compulsory arbitration, and the first to extend the full electoral franchise to women. Many other reforms followed. Yet in the twenty-first century, the ‘young and free’ country exhibits a social and political arthritis. This lecture contrasts Australia’s image as secular, progressive and egalitarian with the reality of its risk-averse politics.
Host of the popular ANU podcast, (Democracy Sausage) the Australian Studies Institute’s Professor Mark Kenny is the author of countless articles and columns and is a regular commentator on Australian and international TV and radio. His most recent publication is: ‘Banks, Marriage Equality, Climate: How Malcolm Turnbull’s retreat hastened his own demise’ in From Turnbull to Morrison: The Trust Divide, edited by Mark Evans, Michelle Grattan and Brendan McCaffrie. He is a former chief political correspondent/national affairs editor of the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Canberra Times, and is currently vice-president of the National Press Club.
For more information visit the State Library of New South Wales event page.