I’m really hoping it’s Friday as it’s been a massive week. My team held the Rudd on the PM Years Melbourne book launch at the Sofitel on Wednesday night for close to 400 people and it was a big night. Love him or hate him, Mr Rudd tends to elicit fairly strong reactions from people and it has been an interesting exercise for me in relationship management and diplomacy both within and outside the greater University with this one.
As I mentioned last year when I worked with his office, whatever you think of him, Mr Rudd is an exceedingly clever man. I consider myself more literate than the average punter but my breath was taken away by his everyday vernacular – his vocabulary is quite extraordinary. You can have a listen on the Bold Thinking Series livestream if you’re interested in the conversation where he spoke on democracy, disruption to institutions, Australian media ownership and more. He did go a little off piste given the remit we gave him in terms of topic but the predominantly young, Uni student audience lapped it all up and queues were out the door for selfies and book signings with Mr Rudd after the event, when I left the venue after 10pm. He leads a cracking pace too in that his team flew out the next morning at 5am bound for Sydney.
For me, it was lovely to look after MC Patricia Karvelas who did a great job despite being a little bit under the weather and to spend time in the green room with La Trobe academic and former Triple J broadcaster Lawrie Zion having a chat. No rest for the wicked in that I had my Is democracy broken? panel discussion (picture below) last night at the State Library with VC’s Fellow and Fairfax columnist Tony Walker and the panel he’d assembled including Mark Textor, Michele Levine, Katharine Murphy and Geoff Walsh. All were outstanding speakers who very generously lent their time and expertise to the event – Katharine Murphy’s insights into political journalism and how the industry has been completely disrupted were probably the most fascinating to me given my profession. She has also written on the subject with her On Disruption book (only $15!) currently available at independent bookstores. Again, you can see the whole conversation on the Bold Thinking livestream page. And yes, I did buy a copy of Mr Rudd’s book – the bibliophile in me couldn’t help myself.
There were some tech issues with both events on the night – event-management is definitely not for the faint hearted – but the show always goes on no matter what. The Eaglemont Artisans market in Eaglemont Village is on this weekend as well as the Textile Art Community Spring into Fashion event with the Bell St markets in Heidelberg West. The Darebin Music Feast is currently on as well as the British Film Festival at Palace Cinemas. Enjoy your weekend – I’ll be taking it easy…