Past events

Corporate worker and tradesman

Wednesday 30 October 06:15pm

The Ideas and Society Program at La Trobe University is very pleased to present two outstanding Australians to discuss this topic. Bill Kelty, as Secretary of the ACTU, was a key player during the Hawke and Keating years and one of the fathers of compulsory superannuation. Jennifer Westacott has been an outstanding public servant and is now an energetic and respected Chief Executive of the Business Council of Australia. It is an interesting fact about our country that both came from unprivileged family backgrounds but rose to the top of their professions through hard work, university education and, of course, talent.

Climate change and Australia: Where to now?

Tuesday 17 September 06:15pm

The Ideas and Society Program has brought together, frontline fighters across the generations to reflect on recent experience of climate change and debate future strategy.

Image of hands behind prison bars

Tuesday 13 August 06:15pm

In part as a consequence of her experience as President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Professor Gillian Triggs, the renowned international lawyer and author most recently of Speaking Up, is a passionate advocate for an Australian Human Rights Charter. Professor Greg Craven, the Vice-Chancellor and President of the Australian Catholic University, disagrees equally passionately. Their debate will be moderated by La Trobe's, Dr Madelaine Chiam and introduced by La Trobe's Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Dewar.

Looking down on a single boat on the sand

Monday 08 July 06:15pm

Some of Australia’s most respected social justice fighters speak on the topic of 'Australia and the refugees who come by boat'.

Woman at a protest yelling through a speaker phone.

Tuesday 11 June 06:15pm

The feminist movement has fundamentally re-fashioned our world. As the #MeToo movement and the backlash against it continues, it is timely to think about what kind of feminism we need. There are different voices within feminism, and different answers to the question of what still must be done to deepen and complete the feminist revolution. This event will be hosted at the newly renovated, The Capitol, located on Swanston Street.

Tuesday 09 April 06:15pm

Or is its influence found only among the far right extremist groups and lone wolves?

Chinese soldiers in formation

Wednesday 06 March 06:15pm

In 2019 La Trobe University’s Ideas and Society Program, convened by Professor Robert Manne, is holding a series of debates on some of the most significant and contentious questions contemporary Australia faces. We are holding this event in association with La Trobe Asia, directed by Associate Professor Euan Graham. Almost no question is of greater significance for Australia’s future than the emergence of China as an economic and military great power. Does the rise of China pose a threat to the security of Australia? If so, a threat of what kind? The two most important voices in this debate are Hugh White and Clive Hamilton.

A year in review: videos of previous Ideas and Society events