Protests, letter-writing, campaigns, hacktivism - activism to bring about social, and by default, political change, comes in many different forms.
Activism is not about where you’re from or where you are, but what you do, how you do it and with whom. With the rise of social media, the proliferation of personal blogs and public commentary - both reputable and questionable - how do we define ‘activism’ versus an ‘activist’ in action? When navigating this cluttered space we see that what groups and individuals do is more important, informative and decisive than how they define themselves.
Join us as three campaigners for change gather to discuss what activism means to them: what motivated them to take up the cause they believe in, the best approaches they have found to achieve (or not) their goals, and how to protect themselves in the face of counter protest.
Siv Parker is a writer and Yuwallaraay (you-al-are-rye-ayy) person from the black soil river-country of far north-west New South Wales. Her first book is a memoir of 50 years of being black in Australia.
"You can not be involved in any grass roots campaign without knowing about child sexual assault in Aboriginal communities. You can’t be a feminist without knowing about physical, mental and financial abuse of Aboriginal women. You can’t call yourself an Aboriginal leader if you haven’t faced these issues head on." (Siv Parker On Dusk: Dark Times)
Biff Ward is the author of the literary memoir In My Mother’s Hands which was short-listed for the NSW Premier’s Literary Prize for non-fiction 2015, and the WA premier’s Prize for 2016; long-listed for The Stella Prize 2015 and winner of the Canberra Critics’ Circle Award 2014 for non-fiction. Her novella In 1974 was a winner of the Griffith Review 2017 novella competition 'Storied Lives'. In 1984, her ground-breaking book Father-Daughter Rape was published in the UK and the US. She is currently finalising her memoir about the Vietnam War. She has been a street, rally and peace camp activist on many issues, especially the Vietnam War, Women’s Liberation, abortion rights, Women Against Rape in War, Reclaim the Night, Close the Bases at Pine Gap and Nurrungar, and refugee rights. She has, over a forty year period, conducted training in Non-Violent Direct Action for various groups.
Jacob White has been an activist since he wrote to his local council at the age of 7. He became member of the ALP as soon as they would let him shortly thereafter.
His interests vary widely from urban planning and the environment, to LQBTIQ+ politics and social policy. Jacob has been involved in progressive advocacy in Australia and abroad for many years, and has been closely involved with organising a number of territory and federal elections.
In 2017 he became the Field Director for the Marriage Equality campaign in the ACT. Jacob is the founding director of ‘Equality Night Street Party Inc’, an organisation established in 2018 that works to recognise Australia’s historic marriage equality vote with an annual street party.
He currently works for Andrew Leigh MP and has been known to say ‘wahoo’ from time to time.
Tickets: $12 (includes a complimentary glass of house wine or soft drink)