David vs Goliath


Hi all,

We’re all about David & Goliath stories this fortnight, as our visiting authors talk truth to power. Whether they’re of the banking, religious, or media variety, the giants of the world will be taken on by our champions of the written word. 

For example Louise Milligan and Tom Keneally’s discussion of George Pell’s conviction and preceding cover-up is this Tuesday, where Louise will expand upon her (already) groundbreaking expose of Pell’s cover-ups. This event is taking place at the NSW Teacher’s Federation Conference Centre at the usual time of 6pm for 6.30pm. 

On the same night, we’ll be hosting Sally Young and Monica Attard at the Glebe shop for Sally’s fascinating look at the Paper Emperors who dominate Australia’s media landscape. In the lead-up to a federal election it’ll be incredibly interesting to learn more about the power our nation’s news dynasties wield. 

David Isaacs considers vanquishing a somewhat more abstract villain with Julie Leask, as they delve into the history of vaccinations and Defeating the Minister of Death. Then the next week Sarah Maddison calls for a dismantling of The Colonial Fantasy when she and Larissa Behrendt talk about a radical restructuring of the relationship between black and white Australia. 

As pockets of resistance to the banking royal commission start to appear, it’s appropriate that we’ll also have Michael Roddan joining us for his incisive analysis of People vs the Banks. Then for a slightly less incendiary, but no less interesting topic, we’re going to hear Dr. Alice Gorman and Bianca Nogrady focus on the human impact on space for Alice’s Dr. Space Junk vs the Universe

Finally, to wrap things up for the fortnight, we’re ending on an optimistic note. The Conversation’s Peter Martin, Jane Hall & Sarah Kaine will be discussing the best ideas that are Advancing Australia and making the country a better place. In a David & Goliath style battle for our future, it’ll be the perfect talk to find out where you can find the right stone. 

I’ll look forward to seeing you at one of our humble events soon.




Cardinal George Pell, the most senior Catholic figure in the world to be convicted of child sex offences, has been sentenced to six years' jail.  Louise Milligan’s years of research is presented in this biography of Cardinal George Pell that follows his early years in Ballarat to now. Milligan remains the only journalist to have spoken to the victim J, who she names ‘The Kid’ in the book.  Louise Milligan pieces together decades of disturbing activities highlighting Pell's actions and cover-ups. The book is a testament to the most intimate stories of complainants. Many people entrusted their secrets to be told here for the first time. 


Venue: Teacher's Federation Conference Centre, 37 Reservoir St, Surry Hills | Date and time: Tuesday 2nd April, 6pm for 6.30pm Prices: $15 (full price) /$12 (gleeclub and concession)  Book online hereor phone 02 9660 2333


The Rise of Australia's Newspaper Empires  
Before newspapers were ravaged by the digital age, they were a powerful force, especially in Australia — a country of newspaper giants and kingmakers.  This magisterial book reveals who owned Australia’s newspapers and how they used them to wield political power. A corporate and political history of Australian newspapers spanning 140 years, it explains how Australia’s media system came to be dominated by a handful of empires and powerful family dynasties. 


The compelling story of vaccination. We may fear terrorist attacks, but in 1919, Spanish flu killed over 50 million people, more than died in both world wars combined. In 1980, before the vaccine was widely used, an estimated 2.6 million children died of measles every year.  Immunisation has given modern parents peace of mind their ancestors could not imagine. Yet with the eradication of some of humanity's deadliest foes, complacency has set in. We forget the power of these diseases at our peril. This is a book for everyone who wants to understand our past - and cares about our future.


Australia is wreaking devastation on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Whatever the policy- from protection to assimilation, self-determination to intervention, reconciliation to recognition- government has done little to improve the quality of life of Indigenous people. In far too many instances, interaction with governments has only made Indigenous lives worse. This book is a call for a radical restructuring of the relationship between black and white Australia.


People will protest: you can bank on it.

The banking royal commission has put the financial sector on trial and exposed its self-interest, corruption and excess. The People vs The Banks reveals what happens when businesses put profit before punters, reward bad behaviour and assume they are beyond the law.


Going boldly forth as a pioneer in the fledgling field of space archaeology, Dr Alice Gorman turns the common perception of archaeology as an exploration of the ancient on its head. Her captivating inquiry into the most modern and daring of technologies spanning some 60 years — a mere speck in cosmic terms — takes the reader on a journey which captures the relics of space forays and uncovers the cultural value of detritus all too readily dismissed as junk.


Voters' trust in politicians is at an all-time low, there is policy inertia on key issues, and ideology and internal politics too often trump good government. We have the diagnosis, but what's the cure? In this collection of essays, the country's best academic minds look at the key issues and chart a way forward. 


England’s Archbishop of Canterbury is dying and with him the power of the Church. Seizing his chance, King Henry II is determined to enforce the rule of law that he has painstakingly established and bring the violent, corrupt and criminal clergy before his courts. The third book in the compelling Birth of the Plantagenets series follows the battle for dominance between the Church and the Crown.


It seems that not even world war could stop crime in Sydney. In fact, World War Noir confirms that war and crime — in the form of sex, drugs, alcohol, racketeering and other illicit activities — go hand in hand. Told from the ground — or the gutter — up, and a companion book to  Sydney Noir, it tells the story of a time when many Australians were not as patriotic as we have been told.