One of the enduring beliefs of Australian identity is the idea that we as a nation embody the larrikin spirit, that our population is easy going, anti-establishment, laissez-faire. But arguably, our success in responding to COVID-19 points to a different truth. Perhaps, behind our ‘she’ll be right’ veneer, we’re an anxious, obedient, state-regulated people. David Marr, Patricia Cornelius and Rebecca Huntley separate the shit-stirrers from the boot-lickers, with ABC’s Laura Tingle.
David Marr (Australian)
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)
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.
Patricia Cornelius (Australian)
Patricia Cornelius is a founding member of Melbourne Workers Theatre. She’s a playwright, novelist and film writer. She’s the recipient of the Windham-Campbell Literature Prize and the 2019 Green Room Award for Life Achievement. Cornelia has been awarded the Victoria, NSW and Queensland Premier's Prizes, the Patrick White Playwright's Fellowship and Mona Brand Award for playwrighting as well as numerous AWGIE awards. She has written over 35 plays including: Runt, Shit, Big Heart, Savages, Do not go gentle…, Slut, Love and The Call. Patricia’s novel, My Sister Jill, was published in 2002. Patricia is currently working on a stage commission for the Melbourne Theatre Company. She is currently developing a feature film, Stolen, with director and co-writer Catriona McKenzie.
Joe Williams (Australian)
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 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.