Is Melbourne still the intellectual capital of Australia?

Four prominent thinkers will debate Melbourne’s reputation as Australia’s intellectual hub.

The panel discussion will be held as part of La Trobe University’s Ideas and Society program on Thursday 6 March 2014 in conjunction with the National Gallery of Victoria’s Melbourne Now exhibition.

It will be chaired by Professor Robert Manne, convenor of the Ideas and Society program, and introduced by Professor John Dewar, Vice-Chancellor of La Trobe University.

The panel members will be:

  • Hilary McPhee AO, founding director of McPhee Gribble Publishers
  • Chris Feik, editor of the Quarterly Essay and publisher of Black Inc. Books
  • Elizabeth Finkel, editor of Cosmos Magazine and Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow at La Trobe
  • Jeff Sparrow, editor of Overland and co-author of Radical Melbourne

The themes that will be examined by the panel include:

  • Melbourne’s role in the history of Australian radical political thought
  • the creativity generated in Melbourne as part of the cultural revolution of the ’60s
  • Melbourne as the driver of scientific research through bodies such as CSIRO and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
  • Melbourne’s leading role in publishing as the locale of radical culture magazines Meanjin and Overland, quality non-fiction publishers Black Inc., Text and Scribe and publishing ventures in politics and science such as The Monthly and Cosmos Magazine.


What:           Ideas and Society panel event: Is Melbourne still the intellectual capital of Australia?

When:          Thursday 6 March 2014, 6.00pm – 7.30pm

Where:        Theatre, Ground Level, NGV Australia, Federation Square, Swanston Street, Melbourne

Attendance: All welcome, no RSVP required.

Webcast:    Available live and after the event at

Social media: Follow the conversation on twitter at #ideasandsociety

Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places.

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