They are seemingly the three hardest words to say in public life: “I was wrong”. The process of changing minds – individually, collectively and culturally – is made that much harder by a political landscape in which admitting uncertainty, confessing error or revealing a change of heart is actively discouraged. Hear from some of Australia’s most respected holders of deep-seated beliefs – including David Marr, Jane Caro, Paul McDermott and Marcia Langton – as they each present a short talk on a topic that deepened their learning, evolved their thinking or flat out changed their mind. Hosted by Maddison Connaughton. 

Supported by PlayfairTan.

This event is open captioned.


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.

Jane Caro (Australian)

Jane Caro

Jane Caro AM is a Walkley Award-winning Australian columnist, author, novelist, broadcaster, advertising writer, documentary maker, feminist and social commentator. Jane appears frequently on Q&A, The Drum and Sunrise. She has created and presented five documentary series for ABC's Compass, airing in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. She and Catherine Fox present a popular podcast with Podcast One, Austereo Women With Clout. She writes regular columns in Sunday Life. Her latest thrilling novel is The Mother.

Marcia Langton (Australian)

Marcia Langton

Professor Marcia Langton AO PhD Macq U, BA (Hons) ANU, FASSA is one of Australia's most important voices for Indigenous Australia. As an anthropologist and geographer, she has made a significant contribution to government and non-government policy as well as to Indigenous studies, native title and resource management, art and culture, and women's rights. Professor Langton has held the Foundation Chair of Australian Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne since February 2000. In 2016, she was honoured as a Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor, and was then appointed as the first Associate Provost at the University of Melbourne in 2017. She has received many other accolades, including the Officer of the Order of Australia award in 2020. The first edition of Marcia Langton: Welcome to Country was published in 2018 has sold in excess of 40,000 copies since its release.

Paul McDermott (Australian)

Paul McDermott

Paul McDermott is a writer and performer but, primarily, a scribbler. As a youngster he attended The Canberra School of Art, under of guidance of Petr Herel. Paul has written for stage, screen, and television and continues to be a thorn in the side of ennui. Paul has recently returned to live touring with Parts 1 & 2 of his Pre-post Covid Show Paul + 1: I’VE SEEN THE FUTURE AND YOU’RE NOT IN IT. Paul continues to scribble.

Maddison Connaughton (Australian)

Maddison Connaughton

Maddison Connaughton is a journalist and editor whose writing has appeared in The Guardian, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, Vox, Good Weekend and more. She is currently a correspondent for Agence France-Presse, covering the Asia-Pacific. Previously she was the editor of The Saturday Paper and features editor at Vice.