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George Megalogenis, Gabrielle Chan and Michael Bachelard at Woodend Community Centre

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Forest Street, Woodend, Vic 3442
-37.354659
144.528791
Woodend Community Centre

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Elections and prime ministers come and go. Where does Australia go politically, socially and economically? Political commentator and ‘explainer in chief’ George Megalogenis, The Guardian’s Gabrielle Chan (Rusted Off: Why Country Australia is Fed Up) and Fairfax Media’s Michael Bachelard discuss a range of options for the future.

Biographies:

George Megalogenis is an author and journalist with three decades’ experience in the media. The Australian Moment won the 2013 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Non-fiction and the 2012 Walkley Award for Non-fiction, and formed the basis for his ABC documentary series Making Australia Great. George is also the author of Faultlines, The Longest Decade, Australia’s Second Chance, and Balancing Act, which contains his two Quarterly Essays, No. 40: Trivial Pursuit – Leadership and the End of the Reform Era and No. 61: Balancing Act – Australia Between Recession and Renewal. His latest book is The Football Solution.

Gabrielle Chan has been a journalist for more than 30 years. She has been a political journalist and politics live blogger at Guardian Australia since 2013. Prior to that she worked at The Australian, ABC radio, The Daily Telegraph, in local newspapers and politics. Gabrielle has written and edited history books, biographies and even a recipe book.

The daughter of a Singaporean migrant, Gabrielle moved from the Canberra press gallery to marry a sheep and wheat farmer in 1996 – the year Pauline Hanson was first elected to federal parliament. She noticed the economic and cultural divide between the city and the country, the differences in political culture and yawning gap between the parliament and small town life.

So in September 2017, she swapped interviews with politicians with interviews with ordinary people on her main street to discover why they think politics has moved so far from their lives. The result is Rusted Off: Why country Australia is fed up. In the process, Gabrielle draws conclusions about the current state of our rural political representation, the gap between city and country and how to bridge it.

Michael Bachelard is The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald’s foreign editor and the investigations editor at The Age. He has worked in Canberra, Melbourne and Jakarta as Indonesia correspondent. He has written two books and won multiple awards for journalism, including the Gold Walkley in 2017.