The arc of justice is often long and arduous. It can take decades, centuries even, for change to occur. Invariably, such change is the result of collective and individual struggle against what seems like insurmountable opposition. The rights of women, black people, gays and lesbians and people with disability have been achieved through protracted and often bloody struggles in the face of vioilent power. Change can also emerge through less violent means, by exposing harms done to innocent people. Again, such change can take time. What are the lessons of all this? What are the most effective means of achieving change? James Whelan from the Change Agency has thought long and hard on such questions. The Change Agency hosts training courses for activists wishing to bring about change both in Australia and overseas.
Dr Gregory Smith is both a survivor of the so-called care system, and now a nationally recognised advocate for the rights of the Forgetten Australians – over half a million of whom suffered greatly in orphanages, children’s homes and detention centres during the course of the twentieth century. Gregory’s memoir, Out of the Forest (published by Penguin Books Australia), will for the first time in Australia be launched at the Ngara Institute’s Politics in the Pub on 23 May. Join us for this very special event - a discussion about the harms done to innocents and how, individually and together, we can effect change, and make the world a better place.
If you’re interested in listening to Gregory’s story go to a podcast of an interview with the ABC’s Richard Fidler: