Luke Hilakari has been the Secretary of the Victorian Trades Hall Council since 2014. He’s been a Labor member since he turned 18 and has played a key role in electing (and re-electing) the Andrew Labor government and fighting for marriage equality and workers’ rights.
In light of all the BATSHIT anti-vax protesting that’s been going on in Melbourne of late, I wanted to ask Luke about the presence of anti-vax organising within the labour movement, why some workers might be attracted to this ideology and what can be done about it.
We also discuss the class war that the pandemic has shone a light on, solidarity, why strikes are beautiful, spanking the Labor Party and how the union movement will be approaching the upcoming election.
Professor Megan Davis is a Cobble Cobble woman from Queensland and is the current pro Vice-Chancellor and Balnaves Chair in constitutional law at the University of New South Wales. She’s worked for the United Nations and has been intimately involved in the campaign for meaningful constitutional recognition for Australia’s First Nations people, and had the honour of first reading out the Uluru Statement From the Heart publicly in 2017.
Four years on from the creation of the Statement – with its call for Voice, Treaty & Truth – Megan updates me on where the campaign for a constitutional First Nations Voice to Parliament is at, the roadblocks that remain, designing a model and searching for bipartisanship ahead of a possible referendum.
Sean Kelly is a writer and journalist, who’s a former adviser to Prime Ministers Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard.
His new book is The Game: A Portrait of Scott Morrison and it’s great/scary/infuriating. With great insight and wit, Sean really tries to get at who our Prime Minister is, what drives, what (if anything) he believes in and what his political success says about us a country. We discuss how Morrison plays the “game” of politics, why he won in 2019 and whether he can be beaten again by the ALP in its current state.
Sylvie Ellsmore is the Greens mayoral candidate for the City of Sydney in the upcoming NSW local elections. She’s running a campaign to make Sydney a city for everyone, not just the rich, with a particular focus on housing and grassroots democracy.
This was a fantastic conversation about the state of local Sydney politics, the legacy of independent mayor Clover Moore and the Greens’ vision for how the local city council can play a much more activist role in fixing the truly cooked Sydney housing market. (The waiting list for social housing in the City of Sydney is about 18 FUCKING YEARS.)
I think you’ll find Sylvie’s passion and ideas inspiring and cool. Go team.
Christiaan Van Vuuren is a comedian and YouTube star who you know from Bondi Hipsters, Bloom and At Home Alone Together. He’s the presenter of a great new documentary about money in Australian politics called Big Deal, which was directed by the Chaser’s Craig Reucassel.
This issue drives me (and I’m sure you) crazy, and it was great to get stuck into a similarly-outraged Christiaan. We touch on just how much money is washing around our politics, how much anti-democratic influence that money has, why “transparency” simply isn’t enough and why Christiaan is optimistic about the possibilities of change and fixing this shit.