Racism in Australia: a debate

15 October 2009

Written by: Lawrie Zion

The Ideas and Society Program, in association with the Institute for Human Security, are presenting a debate about racism in Australia on Tuesday 20 October at La Trobe University.

Date: Tuesday October 20

Time: 12.00-2.00pm

Venue: Union Hall, La Trobe University, Bundoora Campus

The emergence of the One Nation Party; the military repulsion of asylum seekers; the 2005 Cronulla riots; the attacks on Indian students in 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.

The speakers 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?

– Professor Ghassan Hage,  the most important interpreter of the role of racism in Australian society and author of  White Nation and Against Paranoid Nationalism.

– 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.

The Deputy Vice Chancellor of La Trobe University, Professor Belinda Probert, will be in the chair.

All members of the university and the public are welcome.