Over the past three decades, progressive politics in Australia has undergone a gradual but unmistakable transformation. Where the Australian Labor Party once enjoyed dominance over the political left it now shares space with the Greens; at times depending on minor-party support to form government, and even more often to pass contentious legislation. Based on over forty interviews with politicians and party figures, Whitlam's Children is the first study of this increasingly important relationship in Australian politics.
Did previous attempts at cooperation, particularly minority government under Julia Gillard, deliver successful government, and how do each judge the experiment in hindsight? Why are certain policy areas, like refugee settlement and environmental policy, so stubborn and divisive? And will we ever see a more lasting coalition on the Australian left, to mirror the established arrangement on the Australian right?
While revealing a variety of perspectives, even within parties, the research uncovers a productive, if often hostile relationship; united by a series of shared values, but divided by different approaches to politics, elections and parliament.
Meet Whitlam’s Children author Shaun Crowe in conversation with Chris Wallace
Tickets: $12 (includes a complimentary glass of house wine or juice)
Shaun Crowe recently completed his doctorate at the Australian National University's School of Politics and International Relations, where he taught politics and Australian history. He has previously written on these topics for The Guardian, The Canberra Times, The Conversation and the ABC.
Dr Chris Wallace is a research fellow at the ANU School of History and the author of several books including Greer, Untamed Shrew and The Private Don. She was previously a long-standing member of the Canberra Press Gallery.