The art of music

Spring has sprung and there seems to be so many upcoming events – I can’t quite keep up!  The Darebin Music Feast started yesterday and lucky people in the area have so much choice close to home.  I sit next to a work colleague who is also a drummer in a band and was lamenting the fact that it’s been ages since I’ve been to a gig.  However, that will change next month because La Trobe University is holding soundvision – an outdoor art and live music event to close off our 50th Anniversary Year on Saturday 18 November.  There’s some great bands in the lineup including Bombay Royale, Emma Donovan and the Putbacks as well as the Raah Project featuring the Australian Youth Orchestra Ensemble.  All the action will take place on the Academic Lawn overlooking the Moat (yes we have a moat and a wildlife sanctuary at La Trobe).  My media and communications, Events and 50th Anniversary Office colleagues are all involved in the organisation of this event, to which we’ve already bought tickets as a family!

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Image via La Trobe weekly student update

While I was away, my Bold Thinking Series team ably held the Social Cohesion in the Goulburn Valley lecture in Shepparton and both La Trobe alumnus and Asylum Seeker Resource Centre CEO Kon Karapanagiotidis and Indigenous academic Dr Julie Andrews in particular were impressive speakers.  Interesting if you get a chance to watch on the livestream, Julie’s comments in relation to Australia Day celebrations and the stolen generation.

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Image via YouTube

The previously sold out lecture with Kevin Rudd has been moved to a larger space at The Sofitel so there are currently some tickets still available if you’re interested in China and its relationship with Australia.  Details are also online regarding my final lecture of the year on the future of Universities featuring the three Vice-Chancellors from Melbourne, La Trobe and Monash, which will be facilitated by La Trobe alumna Virginia Trioli. The way we study at University now is rapidly changing with a move to short courses and online, and people choosing to do select subjects often with an industry focus – it’s a brave new world and I think will make for a fascinating topic if you’re interested in the sector or have children.

A few other things to mention – if you’re a sci-fi fan, tickets are on sale for The Last Jedi at IMAX Melbourne and my friends who’ve been to see Bladerunner 2049 have said it’s fantastic.  The Heide Makers Market is on tomorrow, while on Sunday the North Melbourne Spring Fling.  Enjoy!

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Politics, protests and prison life

It’s the story of the La Trobe Three – Brian Pola, Fergus Robinson and Barry York – three young student activists who were jailed indefinitely for disobeying a University order to stay off campus almost 45 years ago and my next Bold Thinking Series lecture brings all three together for the first time to talk about their story – what happened then and what has happened since.  Tickets are almost sold out but if you’re interested in coming along to the State Library Theatrette on Thursday 24 August, you can still purchase these on Eventbrite.

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Image via Eventbrite

I’ve spoken to all three men and the gravity of what they went through has stayed with me and I have no doubt that their time in prison as young men has left an indelible impact on their lives – I’m very much looking forward to hearing them speak.  The lecture will be facilitated as usual by MC Francis Leach but La Trobe historian Professor Katie Holmes will also be on the panel to provide some wider context about that period of time in the early 1970s.

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Michael Kirby image via La Trobe University

I’ve been interested reading Michael Kirby’s remarks in the news this week about the same sex postal vote and it was an honour to meet the great man in May – it’s been a humbling experience to work on the whole Bold Thinking lecture series and witness some real change taking place in the community as a result of a staging an open discussion with both sides having a chance to voice their opinion and further action being taken post-event, as was the case in Bendigo (multiculturalism) earlier this year.

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Image via Wattle Festival Hurstbridge

My lecture next month in Shepparton will be along similar lines to Bendigo while the October lecture will see me working with another former Australian Prime Minister…I will reveal details soon but may also need to catch my breath at some stage.  Winter’s almost over and I’ve started seeing blossom on the trees and a blaze of bright yellow wattle at work, which means the Wattle Festival in Hurstbridge isn’t far away. Bring on Spring!