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News: 'No one to learn from' Ken Henry slams APS collective amnesia

‘Decades of government outsourcing and waves of senior redundancies have left much of the nation's public service unable to provide proper and effective advice to politicians and their voters, say two former Treasury bosses.’

Extract: Public servants ignored in favour of spin

‘The periodic mass axing of public service heads upon the arrival of incoming conservative governments has created a caution in the culture. The bureaucracy has been cowed both by the prospect of being sacked and by a reward system which punishes taking risks.’

Read an exclusive extract from Political Amnesia by Laura Tingle online at the Australian Financial Review.

Watch: David Marr and Sophie Black at the Wheeler Centre

David Marr and Sophie Black discuss Bill Shorten and David's latest Quarterly Essay Faction Man at the Wheeler Centre.

Also available to download as a podcast.

News: Shorten 'had no big role in Rudd return'

‘Journalist David Marr has uncovered new details about Mr Shorten's lesser role in the Rudd return in a Quarterly Essay published on Monday entitled Faction Man.’

News: The public doesn’t know what Bill Shorten stands for, or what he thinks

‘The Opposition Leader has had plenty of time to show he has what it takes to lead the nation, but has been found wanting.’

Bill Shorten just wants to be liked, and that's the problem

‘Most politicians have a deep and insatiable need to be loved, but even among those in his own party Bill Shorten's pursuit of affection can seem a little desperate.’

David Marr in The Drum on the problem with Bill Shorten.

News: 2015 Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism

Blood Year by David Kilcullen has been shortlisted for a 2015 Walkley Award.

Watch: The Rise of ISIS and Its Threat: David Kilcullen in conversation with Robert Manne

In this La Trobe University Ideas and Society session at the Wheeler Centre, David Kilcullen, author of the Quarterly EssayBlood Year: Terror and the Islamic State’, and La Trobe University emeritus professor Robert Manne discuss the rise of ISIS and the threat it poses (via The Monthly).

I see no alternative to a larger, more intense conventional war against Isis

‘There are no quick solutions to current global conflict. But we risk a regional conflagration in the Middle East if the west doesn’t do more to contain Isis now.’

Read an extract from Quarterly Essay 58 Blood Year online at the Guardian.

News: QE58 in the Saturday Paper

‘part history, part enlightened analysis, part commentary, part provocation and part mea culpa’ – The Saturday Paper reviews Blood Year by David Kilcullen.

News: State of fear outgrows insurgency label

“Simply put, the Islamic State is, or is on the verge of becoming, what it claims to be: a state.”

Read an extract from QE58: Blood Year by David Kilcullen online at the Sydney Morning Herald.

News: Karen Hitchcock's Quarterly Essay

Stephen Romei writes in the Australian that Dear Life by Karen Hitchcock “should be required reading for every Australian.”

News: That Sinking Feeling wins Walkley Award

Quarterly Essay congratulates Paul Toohey on winning the best long feature-writing prize at the Walkley Awards. His essay That Sinking Feeling: Asylum Seekers and the Search for the Indonesian Solution is a powerful and original work of reportage that reveals the lives of asylum seekers and the politics of Australia's response to them.

News: 2014 John Button Prize longlist

Quarterly Essay 50 Unfinished Business by Anna Goldsworthy and Quarterly Essay 53 That Sinking Feeling by Paul Toohey have been been longlisted for the 2014 John Button Prize.

News: 2013 John Button Prize longlist

Quarterly Essay 46 Great Expectations by Laura Tingle, Quarterly Essay 47 Political Animal by David Marr, Quarterly Essay 48 After the Future by Tim Flannery and Quarterly Essay 49 Not Dead Yet by Mark Latham have all been longlisted for the 2013 John Button Prize.

News: Political Animal shortlisted for 2013 John Button Prize

Quarterly Essay 47 Political Animal: The Making of Tony Abbott by David Marr has been shortlisted for the 2013 John Button Prize.


Event: Laura Tingle at ANU

Laura Tingle will be in conversation with Jack Waterford AM. She will be signing copies of her Quaterly Essay from 5.30pm.


Date: 19 November 2015
Time: 6:00pm
Venue: The Auditorium, Australian Centre on China in the World - Fellows Lane. ANU. Canberra, ACT 2601. 
Tickets: Free event. Please register online.

Event: Laura Tingle and David Marr in conversation

Laura Tingle and David Marr in conversation.


Date: 23 November 2015
Time: 7:00pm
Venue: Church of All Nations, 180 Palmerston St, Carlton
Tickets: $25, includes a copy of either Political Amnesia or Faction ManPlease book online.

Event: Laura Tingle at Gleebooks

Laura Tingle in conversation with Ross Gittins about Political Amnesia at Gleebooks.


Date: 26 November 2015
Time: 6:00pm for 6:30pm
Venue: Gleebooks, 49 Glebe Point Road Glebe NSW 2037.
Tickets: $12/ $9 concession/ gleeclub free. Book online or phone 02 9660 2333.

Event: Noel Pearson and Jonathan Lear in conversation

Noel Pearson is one of Australia’s foremost indigenous leaders and political activists. He titled his first Quarterly Essay, Radical Hope, explicitly referring to the work of the renowned philosopher and psychoanalyst Jonathan Lear of the same title.

Pearson and Lear are both concerned about the survival of indigenous peoples and the possibility to flourish under an indigenous identity within a changing world. In this event, Pearson and Lear will meet to discuss the complex question of the recognition of indigenous peoples in light of the proposed referendum on recognising indigenous peoples in the Constitution.

What is recognition? What kind of acknowledgement is involved? How does recognition affect the identities of both sides?

Join Noel Pearson, Jonathan Lear and a panel of experts and researches as they discuss these and other questions from constitutional, philosophical and psychoanalytic perspectives.


Date: 8 December 2015
Time: 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Venue: The Great Hall, The Quadrangle, The University of Sydney.
Tickets: Free event. Please book online.