UNSW Sydney partnering with iconic Sydney Festival

UNSW has been announced today as the new Education Partner of Sydney Festival, the iconic arts and cultural event which celebrates summer in Sydney during January each year. The partnership brings opportunities for UNSW to showcase our academics on Sydney Festival stages, connect with new audiences, engage with our broad UNSW community including alumni, and for students to volunteer.

“Becoming the Education Partner of Sydney Festival connects UNSW with Sydney’s major annual celebration of arts and culture. It’s a great way for the University to engage with our communities and share ideas with new audiences,” said Ann Mossop, Director of the Centre for Ideas at UNSW.

Sydney Festival Artistic Director Olivia Ansell said, “We are delighted to welcome UNSW Sydney as Sydney Festival’s new Education Partner for our 2022 Festival program. As part of this partnership, the UNSW Centre for Ideas has curated ‘The Reckoning’ – a gutsy four-part talk series that combines big conversations with a splash of comic relief to tackle the important issues shaping our future”.

In UNSW’s inaugural partnership year, UNSW academics will participate in ‘The Reckoning’, along with some of Australia’s leading minds.

In 2021, a legion of women stood up and called out violence and harassment against women. The political class, in particular, came under the spotlight. Is it just women at the heart of power realising they are no safer than anyone else or is this a bigger reckoning? In ‘Goodbye Misogyny’, UNSW Law & Justice’s Professor Gabrielle Appleby with host Yumi Stynes and panellists including Louise Milligan from the ABC and former member of parliament Julia Banks will explore what the future holds and whether we are bidding a firm farewell to misogyny.

‘The Price of COVID’ will examine what happens when fortress Australia wakes from the COVID spell. During the pandemic, our health systems were challenged, we saw what went missing in a globalised economy and we discovered who the ‘essential’ workers really are. Above all, we’ve been waiting for life to restart. UNSW Business School’s Professor Richard Holden, youth advocate Yasmin Poole and journalist Benjamin Law will focus on what our society has learnt from two years of discussion about how to ‘balance’ public health and the economy.

UNSW Dean of Science Professor Emma Johnston will join a panel with Stan Grant, Peter Hartcher and host Sarah Dingle, who will discuss ‘Australia’s Turning Point’. Dissecting climate (in)action, Indigenous recognition and our national identity, they’ll interrogate Australians’ relationships with our Indigenous peoples, with our environment and how we adapt to the changing outside world.

Read more: Is it too late for the government to win back Australia’s trust?

In ‘Pandemic Politics’, UNSW Law & Justice’s Professor Rosalind Dixon will join forces with journalists Laura Tingle and George Megalogenis. They’ll explore how our politics has been transformed by COVID – with a ‘national’ cabinet of powerful premiers, widespread acceptance of massive government spending and scientists coming to the fore in the conversation. As well as the new, they’ll look at how COVID has shone a light on existing fault lines in our relationships with politics and politicians. What do we want from governments now? What else are we willing to accept if corruption and pork barrelling are no longer sources of shame?

UNSW students will be able to apply for all the volunteer roles at the Sydney Festival and have their hours accredited through the Volunteer Army program with Arc. They can choose from a range of roles including front of house and directional support, ticketing support and invigilation for installations.

The Reckoning‘ talks will be held at Sydney Town Hall from 21–22 January.

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