words@bld50 monthly talks


Space for Dissent | Panel discussion | Thursday 3 October 2013

Date: Thursday 3 October, 2013 
Time: 7.00pm 
Venue: Elisabeth Murdoch Building, Victorian College of the Arts, 234 St Kilda Road, Melbourne

The recent Australian federal election was undeniably won in large part on a cynical appeal to economic self-interest, underpinned by the success of the major media outlets and other wealthy pressure groups in advancing their own interests. We have seen human rights violations packaged by both sides of politics as 'tough but fair' policy, and either ignored or actively supported by the wider public. The health of our democracy is in question, and with it, the welfare of our society as a whole.

The majority has spoken. What now? With the right to vote exposed as an impotent weapon against social injustice, how might we create new directions and spaces for dissent?

Join us for a panel discussion, chaired by 3RRR radio presenter Jacinta Parsons, with:

Alison Caddick, editor of Arena magazine
Jennifer Podesta, independent candidate (Federal election, seat of Indi)
Guy Abrahams, climate activist/lawyer/gallerist, co-founder of CLIMARTE
David Vakalis, legal observer for the Occupy Melbourne legal support team in 2011 and teaching associate in criminology and sociology.

Refreshments provided / gold coin donations welcome. This is a free event, but you can register here to ensure a spot.

About the panel:

Guy Abrahams is co-founder and CEO of arts activism organisation CLIMARTE. Guy was a lawyer prior to becoming Director of Christine Abrahams Gallery, a position he held for 22 years. He has held various arts positions including President Australian Commercial Galleries Association, and Board Member Melbourne Art Fair and the National Gallery of Victoria Art Foundation. In 2009 Guy received training from US Vice President Al Gore and completed a Master of Environment at the University of Melbourne. He is on the Board of the Australian Tapestry Workshop and Chair of the City of Melbourne Art and Heritage Collection Advisory Panel.


Alison Caddick is co-editor of Arena Magazine and has been a member of the Arena group for nearly 30 years.


Jacinta Parsons began broadcasting with Triple R on the Australian music show, Local and/or General in 2006. She has since hosted Dynamite and currently hosts Detour on Wednesday morning. As well as broadcasting at Triple R, Jacinta works at the station in the music department as the live-to air coordinator and assists with music related programming.

Based in Wodonga, Jennifer Podesta is a small business owner who with her husband operates a full-time vocational dance school and regionally based contemporary dance company. Returning to study as a mature age student, she completed a BA Honours at Latrobe. She is now doing a PhD in Sociology at the University of Melbourne focusing on the role of welfare and social policy in the reproduction of disadvantage across the life course. She recently stood as an Independent candidate in the Seat of Indi, running on a platform of social issues including youth unemployment, disengagement, and homelessness in regional areas.

David Vakalis is a teaching associate at Monash University’s Department of Criminology and Victoria University’s Department of Sociology. Currently, he is completing his Masters thesis at Monash University, on the social reaction concept of moral panic and South Australian 2008 “anti-bikie” laws. Previously, he completed Honours at Victoria University on transnational social movements and protest policing at international economic summits. David is a human rights activist, and was a Legal Observer for the Occupy Melbourne Legal Support Team. His most recent work, on torture, with Professor Jude McCulloch, is soon to be published in an edited collection called Spooked: The Truth About Intelligence in Australia.

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