Past events

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.

Bold Thinking Social Justice

Wednesday 14 November 06:15pm

Join a conversation between three of this country’s most perceptive and respected social justice advocates and activists—Cassandra Goldie CEO of the Australian Council of Social Services, Frank Brennan CEO of Catholic Social Services Australia and Cornelia (Conny) Lenneberg, Executive Director of Brotherhood of St Laurence. The event will also feature a welcome address from La Trobe's Vice Chancellor, Professor John Dewar.

Jane Caro in conversation on feminism.

Thursday 11 October 06:15pm

The “third wave” of the great but still incomplete feminist revolution began half a century ago. Last year a new frontier erupted spontaneously. Global wide and driven by social media, the #MeToo movement targeted the predatory sexual behaviour of men, especially but not only the rich and famous, towards which the cultures of Western nations had for so long turned a blind eye. At the same time, some feminists turned their attention to another equally pressing but all too often overlooked question—the precarious situation of older, single women. Among non-indigenous Australians, it is this group that sits uncomfortably at the very bottom of the socio-economic ladder.

Thursday 27 September 06:30pm

Our world faces a crisis perhaps greater than any humankind has previously faced—climate change. Unless nations take emergency action in the immediate future, the climate scientists have warned that the kind of Earth on which humans and other species have flourished over several millennia will be lost—forever.

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