Racism in Australia: A Debate

Date: Tuesday October 20
Time: 12.00-2.00pm
Venue: Union Hall, La Trobe University, Bundoora Campus

IDEAS & SOCIETY PROGRAM in association with the Institute for Human Security, at La Trobe University. 

robert-manne The emergence of the One Nation Party; the military repulsion of asylum seekers; the anti-Muslim Cronulla riots; the attacks on Indian students in the northern suburbs of Melbourne this year , and most recently, the controversy surrounding Channel 9’s ‘Black Minstrel’ skit--in different ways all point towards the fraught and difficult problem of the role and persistence of racism in contemporary Australian society.

La Trobe has invited four of the most qualified and influential public intellectuals in Australia to debate and discuss this fundamentally significant question. The debate will provide a very important forum for the open discussion of one of the most controversial questions in the life of Australia.

On one side will be Professor Henry Reynolds, the leading historian of indigenous dispossession and author of The Other Side of the Frontier and Why Weren’t We Told?  and Professor Ghassan Hage,  the most important interpreter of the role of racism in Australian society and author of White Nation and Against Paranoid Nationalism.

On the other side will be Professor Judith Brett, the author of Ordinary People’s Politics and Robert Menzies’ Forgotten People and Dr John Hirst, author of Sense and Nonsense in Australian History and Convict Society and its Enemies.

Professor Belinda Probert, Deputy Vice Chancellor at La Trobe University, will be in the Chair.