Jo Dyer In-Conversation with Natasha Stott Despoja AO

At a time when the country is crying out for leadership, ordinary Australians are determined to burn it all down and build something new, writes Jo Dyer.

In her new book, Burning Down the House: Reconstructing Modern Politics, arts powerhouse and independent candidate, Jo Dyer, tells the story of how our political system went awry. From the Morrison government’s many embarrassing moments and rapid moral decline to Labor’s inability to act.

In recent years Australians have suffered through ‘Sports rorts’, ‘Watergate’ and an MIA PM, before the dissembling response to allegations of sexual abuse at the very heart of federal politics threw into stark relief the cynicism and moral bankruptcy of a government ready to abandon any semblance of integrity to save its own skin. Yet the Labor Party seems paralysed, so terrified it may lose votes from its opponent’s perennial wedging that, on key moral questions, it has failed to make the case to win them.

Burning Down the House examines how Australia is now contemplating the type of leadership they want—responsible, humane, moral—qualities that are not reflected in our current toxic politics.

In keeping with the beliefs she outlines in the book and the rise of independents beholden to no-one but themselves and their electorates, Jo Dyer has announced that she will be running for the marginal South Australian seat of Boothby as an independent, endorsed by Voices for Boothby.

Click HERE to purchase Jo's book: Burning Down the House: Reconstructing Modern Politics from Matilda Bookshop's website and choose Hawke Centre Events Free SA Postage as the delivery option. They will then deliver or post a book to South Australian addresses at no additional cost. Alternatively, books will be for sale in the foyer on the night.

Presented by The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre


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Thursday 28 April 2022, 6pm - 7.15pm

Allan Scott Auditorium, Hawke Building,
UniSA City West Campus,
55 North Terrace Adelaide MAP

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Jo Dyer Burning Down The House Book Cover

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Jo Dyer

Jo Dyer is a literary curator and producer of theatre and film and most recently Director of Adelaide Writers’ Week. Her films have won awards and screened worldwide, notably at the Berlin International Film Festival.

In 2021, Jo was unexpectedly thrust into the national spotlight when she became an advocate for her deceased friend Kate, after Kate’s accusations of rape against then attorney-general Christian Porter were posthumously made public.

Jo will be running for the marginal South Australian seat of Boothby as an independent.

Jo Dyer: Website
Twitter: @instanterudite
The Guardian: It can be done: how a strong female crossbench could challenge Australian politics 


Natasha Stott Despoja

Natasha Stott Despoja AO is an Australian politician, diplomat, gender equality advocate and author.

Throughout her life, Natasha has worked tirelessly to further the rights of women and girls through public policy.

Natasha was appointed as a Senator for South Australia at age 26, becoming the youngest woman to enter the Australian Federal Parliament, where she served from 1995 to 2008, including as Leader of the Australian Democrats.

In 2020, Natasha was elected by the General Assembly of the United Nations as a member of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). The Committee, made up of 23 independent experts, monitors the progress of UN member states’ efforts to eliminate discrimination against women.

Natasha is the founding Chair of Our Watch (2013-2021), Australia’s national organisation to Prevent Violence Against Women and their Children, and was Australia’s Global Ambassador for Women and Girls (2013-2016), working to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment around the world.

In 2018, she was named one of the Top 100 Global Influencers on Gender Policy by Apolitical, and in 2019, she authored On Violence, detailing the state of domestic violence in Australia, published by MUP.

Natasha is a Principal at Deloitte and currently serves as a non-executive Director of The Australian Ballet, Global Citizen and Carrie’s Beanies for Brain Cancer. She is also a member of the Broad Agenda 50:50 by 2030 Advisory Group and the George Washington Global Women’s Leadership Council.

Twitter: @NStottDespoja
Instagram: @NatashaStottDespoja

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While the views presented by speakers within The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre public program are their own and are not necessarily those of either the University of South Australia, or The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre, they are presented in the interest of open debate and discussion in the community and reflect our themes of: Strengthening our Democracy - Valuing our Diversity - Building our Future.

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