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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

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Provocative talks on Saturdays in September

29 August 2016

Tim Flannery
Tim Flannery, 2006 Robert Hannaford AM. © Robert Hannaford/Copyright Agency, 2023

Saturday afternoons in September will be filled with intellectual conversations in a series of talks at the National Portrait Gallery proudly presented by Schwartz Media.

Join The Saturday Paper’s chief political correspondent, Karen Middleton, for A Month of Saturdays – afternoon conversations bringing current affairs experts to the Gallery for engaging, real-time discussions about the topics that matter.

Hear the big policy debates reset with guests including lawyer Madeline Gleeson, economist Chris Richardson, environmentalist Tim Flannery and Indigenous leader Marcia Langton.

‘The National Portrait Gallery’s partnership with Schwartz Media places the Gallery in the hands of Australians all across the country via The Saturday Paper and The Monthly. This series of talks provides the opportunity to muse on topics that shape the identity, history, culture and diversity of Australia,’ said Angus Trumble, Director, National Portrait Gallery.

The editor of The Saturday Paper, Erik Jensen, said: ‘The Saturday Paper is always thrilled to work with the National Portrait Gallery. As institutions, we both seek to understand Australia through the people who call it home. This conversation series is a chance to bring some of those people – and the ideas that define them – to life.’

The first talk kicks off this Saturday, 3 September at 3pm. Sit down with journalist Karen Middleton and lawyer Madeline Gleeson for a leading legal perspective on the issue of offshore detention, based on Gleeson’s definitive book on the subject, Offshore: Behind the wire on Manus and Nauru.

A Month of Saturdays is a free event, filled with leading thinkers from the world of current affairs, on every Saturday in September at 3pm. The full line-up includes:

Madeline Gleeson, September 3
Chris Richardson, September 10
Tim Flannery, September 17
Marcia Langton, September 24

For interviews please contact:
Katrina Osborne
Media and Marketing
02 6102 7021
0408 491 545


Karen Middleton is a political journalist with more than two decades' experience reporting on national and international affairs in print and broadcast media. A former president of the Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery and a Churchill fellow, she is The Saturday Paper’s chief political correspondent. She is the author of two books, including the recently released biography Albanese: Telling it straight.

Madeline Gleeson is a lawyer and Research Associate at the Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at UNSW. She specialises in international human rights and refugee law, with a particular focus on the law of State responsibility, the extraterritorial scope of human rights obligations, offshore processing and the protection of children. Madeline has extensive experience working with forcibly displaced people around the world. She has previously worked on statelessness, refugees, human trafficking, labour migration and land grabbing with the Jesuit Refugee Service in Cambodia, and with the UNHCR and International Catholic Migration Commission in Geneva. She also has human rights and refugee experience in South Africa and Indonesia.

Chris Richardson is one of Australia’s best known economists and a Director of Access Economics. In 2011 the partners and staff of Access Economics joined Deloitte. Chris is now a partner at Deloitte and heads up Deloitte Access Economics’ Macroeconomic Policy and Forecasting Group. As a specialist in macroeconomic economic forecasting and modelling, he is widely acknowledged as the leader in this field. He is also the author of Business Outlook and Business Review Weekly’s Eco column. His expertise extends to include such topics as the Australian and global economies, Federal Budget analysis, property markets, demographics, ageing and industry trends. Chris is the author of Business Outlook, the Business Review Weekly’s Fundamentals column and is often asked to comment on economic trends in wider media.

Tim Flannery is one of Australia’s leading writers on climate change. An internationally acclaimed scientist, explorer and conservationist, Professor Flannery was named Australian of the Year in 2007. Professor Flannery has held various academic positions including Professor at the University of Adelaide, director of the South Australian Museum in Adelaide, Principal Research Scientist at the Australian Museum and Visiting Chair in Australian Studies at Harvard University in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology. A well-known presenter on ABC Radio, NPR and the BBC for more than a decade, he has also written and presented several series on the Documentary Channel including The Future Eaters (1998), Wild Australasia (2003), Islands in the Sky (1992) and Bushfire (1997). His books include Here on Earth (2010) and The Weather Makers (2005).

Marcia Langton AM is a descendant of the Yiman nation of central Queensland. She is the Foundation Chair of Australian Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne and is widely published on topics in Aboriginal studies, including land tenure, art and agreement-making. Her doctoral fieldwork was conducted in eastern Cape York Peninsula during the 1990s, and her experience of the statutory land claim and native title system in this region was informed by a decade of administration and fieldwork pertaining to Aboriginal land rights in the Northern Territory. Professor Langton was awarded a PhD from Macquarie University in 2005. She is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences of Australia, a member of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), and Chair of the Cape York Institute for Policy and Leadership. She also contributes to film and art criticism. Professor Langton was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 1993 for services to anthropology and advocacy of Aboriginal rights.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

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