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We had such awesome feedback after Stephen Loosley came to talk to us back in April, with people begging us to get him back again, so he very kindly agreed to give up more of his time to help us understand the mystery that is the US election.  We were delighted to have him back, as he is clearly the leading commentator in Australia on this topic.

The backlash against the establishment has led to us having two of the most unpopular candidates since the 1880’s in Trump and Clinton, creating quite the conundrum for voters.  Stephen talked us through the electoral college, the swing states that will be in play over the coming weeks, and the incredible and unexpected rise of Donald Trump.  Thankfully, Stephen predicts that Hillary will win this election – the alternative is just too frightening.

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We loved our conversation with Tony Davis about data, but it’s a little scary to think that the phone in your pocket is more powerful than the rocket that took Neil Armstrong to the moon!  The amount of our data that we’re sending out into the stratosphere is extraordinary, and it seems that privacy is a thing of the past.  Thanks Tony for sharing your knowledge with us in such a fun and engaging way.  Awesome event!

We couldn’t be more thrilled about Conversely’s new chapter launching tomorrow in the Southern Highlands.  The lovely Ange Greig and Michaela Bolzan will kick off tomorrow morning at the Bradman Museum Auditorium in Bowral with Dr Ida Lichter talking about the conflict in the Middle East.  If you’d like to hear about the upcoming events for this chapter, make sure you  sign up for their emails on the Southern Highlands page.

There’s nothing better that a great conversation!

We had a huge turnout to our conversation with Malcolm Turnbull this week, not surprisingly!  And no… he didn’t arrive in a helicopter.

Covering a huge range of issues, from parliamentary spending and wind farms, to the legalisation of gay marriage and urban development, we could have kept talking for hours. Once again, our fabulous Conversely women (and a couple of men) were engaged and intelligent, with plenty of fantastic questions from the audience, and some healthy debate on the topic of refugees in particular.  All in all, another great conversation starter.

Don’t forget to book your tickets for “The Crazy Canary” coming up on the 6th of August.

 

A full house at Conversely this week for The Aging Brain, with Dr Catriona Ireland.  Thank you Catriona for generously giving up your time, and sharing your impressive knowledge with us – it was oh so interesting!  Thanks must also go to the incredibly engaged audience… We love having so many interesting and inquiring minds joining us in conversation!

Don’t forget to book your tickets to chat with Malcolm Turnbull on July 22d… we’re almost sold out already, so book in now.  We’ve got a whole host of fascinating events coming up too, so keep an eye out for those.

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These are just some of the words being used to describe the documentary “Honor Diaries” which we screened last night at The Entertainment Quarter.  One of our eloquent guests had this to say:

“A different format, and a different feel – but last night’s Conversely event was extraordinary. As usual I left feeling challenged, and enlightened, and inspired. I’m glad (not necessarily the right word??) I have now seen that documentary – even though it was challenging to learn of so much suffering. The next step is finding a way to help the cause! Thanks Conversely for opening my eyes to something thought provoking. And the format of having a speaker after the screening was terrific – we definitely needed to talk and process things a bit before heading home. Well done.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself…

 

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Tim Nelson, the Head of Economic Policy and Sustainability at AGL Energy, joined us for a very interesting conversation at Conversely this week.  It was certainly a lively discussion, with plenty of input from the audience.  Tim gave us all plenty to think about in terms of our individual and collective responsibilities in the energy debate.

We’ve had some fantastic feedback:

“I really enjoyed the forum this morning. Certainly “plugged” me in on some facts I wasn’t aware of and I took away lots to ponder.  Will look forward to the next one”

“Awesome Conversely session. What a great speaker!”

and

“Thanks for this morning.  That was so interesting. He is a terrific speaker.  Clearly a success by all the questions.”

If you have any more feedback about this, or any other Conversely discussion, please leave it here, or on our Facebook page.

Thank you to all who attended and contributed so much to the event.  See you at the next one!

Last Thursday morning, Renata Kaldor AO spoke to a full house at Conversely on Australia’s refugee problem.  Having set up the Renata and Andrew Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, Renata came armed with facts about the current situation for refugees in Australia and beyond, dispelling many myths in the process.

We had so much positive feedback about the event, including:

“So glad I came!!! It was the best one yet, I have got a lot of talking to do with my husband now… I wish he was there!

“That was one of the most moving talks I’ve been to.  I have never really focused on this issue and I was almost moved to tears. Thank you”

“Another informative hour! Thanks for organising”

Make sure you book in to the next event!

Wendy Sharpe, Archibald winner and 2014 finalist, war artist, and humanitarian, has drawn wonderful portraits of asylum seekers for an exhibition at The Muse, Sydney TAFE.  All proceeds from the sale of these portraits go to the Asylum Seekers Centre, an organisation that provides practical and personal support for community based asylum seekers, and where the proceeds of our conversation with Renata Kaldor on the 19th of March will go.  Definitely worth a visit!

Go to http://asylumseekerscentre.org.au/seeking-humanity for more information.

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Christine Forster and Virginia Edwards very kindly gave up their time to speak to Conversely today at our first event for 2015.  Boy did we laugh!  Emily Kucukalic interviewed these warm, engaging, clever and funny women in a frank and open discussion about sexuality, family, politics and marriage.  The room was full of laughter, but also compassion for the difficult path these two women have trodden as they explained the difficulty of coming out to family and friends later in life.  With a rating of 9.7 from the audience, it was clearly a huge hit!  We are so grateful to Christine and Virginia for being so open about their personal story, as well as their political points of view.

Our next event is on March 12, with Renata Kaldor discussing Australia’s refugee crisis.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Photo with Christine and Virginia