I was SO looking forward to participating in this panel, in real life. I wanted to meet the other speakers, catch up with the awesome facilitator, chat with audience members afterwards.
But one of the few benefits of being forced by COVID-19 to pivot to an online format is this: what turned out to be a fascinating discussion is preserved, via Zoom, for (hopefully) a wider audience.
Join facilitator Kelly Gardiner (author and host of the podcast Unladylike) and panellists Mirranda Burton (author of Underground: Marsupial Outlaws and Other Rebels of Australia’s War in Vietnam), Dr. Victoria Grieve-Williams (Adjunct Professor (RMIT) and author of Aboriginal spirituality: Aboriginal philosophy – the basis of Aboriginal social and emotional wellbeing) and me, as we take a look at history from a different perspective.
The first video is Part 1 – our discussion. I thought we started off a little slowly but it quickly became really interesting. The second video is the Q&A – and some of the questions were excellent. I only wish my answers had been better!
All right, I admit I only watched your bits, but it is Monday morning, you know, work! I disagree, just a little, with you, Australia has quite a healthy family-based pioneer myth, which politicians tap into mostly when they have their big hats on out in the bush (the Lone Hand myth works much better when there’s soldiering to be done). And while Lawson and Paterson are the main writers of the Lone Hand myth, the real driver was the misogynistic Sydney Bulletin, and the way it commissioned and edited stories under Archibald and Stephen. Lawson in fact quite often showed the influence of his feminist mother, Louisa.
I’m impressed that you watched any of it at all – thank you! And you’re right, of course, but providing answers on the fly doesn’t leave much room for nuance. I also wish I’d said that yes, Macquarie was a monster, but that framing historical figures as monsters is too easy, and too simplistic. They are all actually human beings, and shedding light on their humanity may actually cast their flaws into stronger relief. Or at least serve as a reminder that people are complex – even awful people.
Well, as you say, an expected bonus is that we get to see this session too. I’m intrigued by Mirranda Burton’s book and have asked my library to buy a copy.
Both Mirranda Burton and Dr. Victoria Grieve-Williams are doing some really interesting work, I think – love to hear what you think of Mirranda’s book.
I hope I’ll be able to read it. The last time I tried to read a graphic novel, the text was too small, even with my glasses on.