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The Art of Indignation
Saturday, May 24 2014 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM Ticketed: $20/$14
Sydney Theatre at Walsh Bay, 22 Hickson Road, Walsh Bay
Richard King, Neil James, Michael Leunig, Tim Wilson, Peter FitzSimons (facilitator)
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Taking and giving offence is a new form of political currency, at times whipping up indignation in place of rational debate. When being offended ends rather than starts an argument, what are the repercussions for public discourse? Hear Michael Leunig, whose playful provocations help “counter the silence of conservatism”, Richard King (On Offence) on the importance of argument in a civil society, Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson on why offence is necessary to move society forward and Neil James on how rediscovering rhetoric can help us distinguish between insult and argument. They speak to Peter FitzSimons.

Supported by The Plain English Foundation.

Neil James (Australian)

Dr Neil James is the Executive Director of the Plain English Foundation, which has helped over 100 organisations improve their written communication. He has published more than 75 articles, reviews and essays on literature and language, and edited books on Australian literature and the poet C J Dennis. His most recent books Writing at Work and Modern Manglish skewer the worst excesses of our public language and make the case for reform of professional writing and public rhetoric.

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Tim Wilson (Australian)

Tim Wilson was appointed Australia's Human Rights Commissioner in February 2014. Dubbed the "Freedom Commissioner", Tim is a proud and passionate defender of universal, individual human rights. As Commissioner he is focused on promoting and advancing traditional human rights and freedoms, including free speech, freedom of association, worship and movement and property rights. Prior to his appointment Tim was a public policy analyst and a policy director at the world's oldest free market think tank, the Institute of Public Affairs. He has also worked in trade and communication consulting, international aid and development, as well politics. He has served as a Board member of Monash University's Council and on the Victorian Board of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. Tim is a Director of Alfred Health.

Michael Leunig (Australian)

Michael Leunig is an Australian cartoonist, writer, painter, philosopher and poet. His commentary on political, cultural and emotional life spans more than forty years and has often explored the idea of an innocent and sacred personal world. The fragile ecosystem of human nature and its relationship to the wider natural world is a related and recurrent theme. His newspaper work appears regularly in the Melbourne Age and the Sydney Morning Herald. He describes his approach as regressive, humorous, messy, mystical, primal and vaudevillian - producing work which is open to many interpretations and has been widely adapted in education, music, theatre, psychotherapy and spiritual life. The recently released Holy Fool is a collection of more than 240 artworks by Australia's most admired cartoonist

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Richard King
Richard King (Australian)

Richard King was born in 1971 in England, and now lives in Fremantle, Western Australia. He is a freelance writer and has a master’s degree in literary history. Richard writes and reviews books for The Australian and the Sydney Morning Herald, as well as for numerous journals and magazines, including Meanjin, Australian Book Review, Southerly, Overland, Quadrant, Poetry London, PN Review and The London Magazine. His most recent book is On Offence).

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Peter FitzSimons (Australian)

Peter FitzSimons is a journalist with The Sydney Morning Herald and Sun-Herald. He is also a regular TV commentator, a former radio presenter (very successfully, with Mike Carlton on Radio 2UE) and is also a former national representative rugby union player. Peter is Australia's biggest-selling non-fiction author of the last ten years and is the author of over 20 books - including Tobruk, Kokoda, Batavia, Mawson and the Ice Men of the Heroic Age and biographies of Nancy Wake‚ Kim Beazley‚ Nick Farr-Jones‚ Les Darcy, Steve Waugh and John Eales. His latest bestseller is Ned Kelly: The Story of Australia's Most Notorious Legend. Peter was named a Member of the Order of Australia for service to literature as a biographer, sports journalist and commentator, and to the community through contributions to conservation, disability care, social welfare and sporting organisations.

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