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Society & culture

Australia's Turning Point


Sarah Dingle | Stan Grant | Peter Hartcher | Emma Johnston

What defines Australia in 2022? We’ve always pinned our identity on land and sea. As an island full of unique animals and home to the oldest living culture in the world, we’ve lived off the land one way or another – be it from bush tucker or mining the minerals in our red earth. But as our environment suffers, and pressures from the outside world and our biggest trading partner China loom, we are at a turning point.

At the heart of our identity the Uluru process – so pivotal and full of potential – remains unrealised, the Great Barrier Reef is in grave danger, and koala populations are heading towards extinction. Can we resolve our relationship with our Indigenous people? Can we save our environment? Can we adapt to changing global power dynamics?  

Walkley award-winning journalist Sarah Dingle chairs this critical discussion on national identity and action, drawing on perspectives from journalists Peter Hartcher and Stan Grant, and marine biologist Emma Johnston, before comedian Dan Ilic closes proceedings with his unique take on what we can all do to save Australia. 

The Reckoning is presented by the UNSW Centre for Ideas and Sydney FestivalUNSW Sydney is the Education Partner of Sydney Festival.