Live and streamed

Why Does It Take A Catastrophe?

Rebecca Huntley, Liz Allen and Sally Wheeler moderated by Norman Swan

Saturday 15 August 2020
4.30PM – 5.30PM

Why do we have to wait for a catastrophe – environmental or political – to wake up? Where are our leaders and what does leadership today really mean? How and why did we get it so wrong? At a critical time in world affairs, how do we build an enduring legacy to secure our nation for generations?

Presented by ANU @ the Canberra Theatre Centre


Rebecca Huntley

Dr Rebecca Huntley is one of Australia’s most experienced social researchers and former director of The Mind and Mood Report, the longest running measure of the nation’s attitudes and trends. She has dedicated herself to research attitudes to climate change. She is a member of Al Gore’s Climate Reality Corps, carries out social research for NGOs and writes and presents for the ABC. How to Talk About Climate Change in a Way That Makes a Difference is her sixth book.


Liz Allen

Dr Liz Allen is a demographer and social researcher at the ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods. Liz has written numerous pieces for The Conversation and scholarly articles. She was named in the ABC Top Five Humanities and Social Sciences academics in Australia 2018. She can be found on social media under the alter-ego of Dr Demography.


Sally Wheeler

Professor Sally Wheeler, OBE MRIA FAcSS FAAL is the Pro-Vice Chancellor for International Strategy and Dean of ANU College of Law. Prior to taking up these positions at ANU, Sally was a Professor and Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research and Enterprise at Queen's University Belfast.

Sally was elected to the Academy of Social Sciences and the Royal Irish Academy in 2011 and 2013, respectively. She became a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law in 2018. In 2017, Sally was awarded an OBE for services to higher education in Northern Ireland.


Norman Swan

Dr Norman Swan hosts The Health Report on ABC Radio National, the longest running health program in the English speaking world. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Norman has co-hosted a daily podcast Coronacast, which has been at the top of the Apple podcast charts for several weeks. Norman trained in medicine in Scotland and paediatrics in London and Sydney before joining the ABC.