'In July last year, the Referendum Council met with the prime minister. It was a historic moment, and many participants were optimistic that, finally, meaningful constitutional recognition was imminent. They had met to discuss the independent council’s report, which recommended an Indigenous “voice” to the parliament – an advisory body that would be constitutionally enshrined, but whose functionality would be prescribed by legislation. This was meaningful recognition, they argued – not some artful words in the preamble but “a form of ‘living’ recognition”. The “voice” would not be a third chamber of parliament. It could not pass bills, nor veto them. It would respect parliamentary sovereignty. It was, the council argued, a modest reform – and one they were confident the Australian people would endorse at a referendum.' (Introduction)
'It’s an unseasonably cold spring evening in Manhattan and the Tribeca Film Festival theatre is over-capacity for the international premiere of Cargo, the Australian zombie movie starring British actor Martin Freeman (The Hobbit, The Office). Cargo is the biggest genre film at this year’s festival and its basic premise – zombies roaming the Australian outback – has piqued the interest both of industry heavyweights and New York movie geeks. Tickets to the premiere disappeared quickly.' (Introduction)
'Perth novelist and poet Tracy Ryan’s fifth novel, We Are Not Most People, is the story of two outsiders.'
A review of Small Wrongs (Hardie Grant Books, 2018)