One of the enduring beliefs of Australian identity is the idea that we as a nation embody the larrikin spirit, that we’re easy going, anti-establishment, laissez-faire. But arguably, behind our ‘she’ll be right’ veneer, we’re an anxious, obedient people living in what some believe is the most over-regulated nation of all of the world’s democracies. In this spirited and thought-provoking conversation, David Marr, Joe Williams and Rebecca Huntley separate the shit-stirring from the boot-licking with ABC’s Laura Tingle.

Please note, this podcast episode contains references to sexual assault and massacres of Indigenous peoples. It also contains explicit language. 

This podcast was recorded live at the 2021 Sydney Writers’ Festival and is available on all major podcast platforms.

David Marr (Australian)

David Marr

David Marr is a journalist and broadcaster who writes for The Guardian. He’s published a couple of biographies and a number of books about politics, censorship and immigration. Over the last 10 years he has written a number of Quarterly Essays. His latest is The White Queen: One Nation and the Politics of Race. He previously presented Media Watch and appears regularly on Insiders and The Drum. His most recent book is My Country, an anthology of essays.

Rebecca Huntley (Australian)

Rebecca Huntley

Dr Rebecca Huntley is one of Australia's foremost researchers on social trends. She is also an author and broadcaster. She is on the Board of The Bell Shakespeare Company and on the Executive Board of the NSW branch of the ALP. She is the Chair of the Advisory Board of Australian Parents for Climate Action. Her latest book is How to Talk About Climate Change in a Way That Makes a Difference.

Joe Williams (Australian)

Joe Williams

Joe Williams is a Wiradjuri/Wolgalu First Nations man, born in Cowra and raised in Wagga Wagga, NSW. Having lived 15 years as a professional athlete, Joe played in the National Rugby League for South Sydney Rabbitohs, Penrith Panthers and Canterbury Bulldogs before switching to professional boxing in 2009. Despite forging a successful professional sporting career, Joe battled the majority of his life with suicidal ideation and Bipolar Disorder. After a suicide attempt in 2012, Joe felt his purpose was to help people who struggle with mental illness. Joe's autobiography Defying The Enemy Within has been published in Australia, New Zealand, USA and Canada.

Laura Tingle (Australian)

Laura Tingle

Laura Tingle is a journalist, essayist and author who has reported on Australian politics and policy for more than 35 years. In 2018, she joined the Australian Broadcasting Corporation as chief political correspondent for its flagship current affairs program 7.30, after 16 years with The Australian Financial Review where she was political editor, and previously, senior reporting positions with other major Australian mastheads. A multi-award-winning journalist, she is the author of Chasing the Future – a book about the early 1990s. An assembly of her essays, In Search of Good Government, was published in 2017. She also regularly appears on Insiders on ABC TV and Late Night Live on ABC Radio. Her new Quarterly Essay The High Road: What Australia Can Learn from New Zealand was released in 2020.