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Presenter Author Category: 2016
George Megalogenis is an author and journalist with three decades’ experience in the media. His books include The Australian Moment, which won the 2013 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Non-fiction and the 2012 Walkley Award for Non-fiction, and formed the basis for the ABC documentary series Making Australia Great. Annabel Crabb said “George Megalogenis is Australia’s best explainer”, David Marr posits “this man is perhaps the sanest journalist in Australia. He believes in facts and figures. He has a unique grasp of politics in all its messy detail. The result is this splendid account of the great reforms of the last 40 years that have made Australia”. Waleed Aly claims “Megalogenis has the rare gift of being both comprehensive and detailed. He identifies big-picture global trends and demonstrates them forensically. The Australian Moment is him at his insightful, meticulous best.” George is also the author of Faultlines, The Longest Decade and Quarterly Essay 40: Trivial Pursuit – Leadership and the End of the Reform Era. His most recent book Australia’s Second Chance was launched by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. This year George will publish Quarterly Essay 61: Balancing Act: Australia Between Recession and Renewal.
Australia’s Second Chance
George is one of the country’s most respected political writers and analysts.
He says we’ve reached a crucial moment in history which so closely resembles a previous turning point, it’s like a second chance. For most of the 19th Century, Australia had the highest standard of living in the world. But the long boom was followed by a fifty year bust, during which Australia lost its nerve and its luck, and closed its door to the world.
Now, says George, the nation’s prosperity is back. But can we continue to make it work for us or will we blow it?
Showing that our future is in our foundation, Australia’s Second Chance goes back to 1788, the first contact between locals and migrants, to bring us a unique and fascinating view of the key events of our past right through to the present day. With newly available economic data and fresh interviews with former leaders (including the last major interview with Malcolm Fraser), George Megalogenis crunches the numbers and weaves our history into a riveting argument, brilliantly chronicling our dialogue with the world and bringing welcome insight into the urgent question of who we are, and what we can become.
The Australian Moment
There’s no better place to be during economic turbulence than Australia. Brilliant in a bust, we’ve learnt to use our brains in a boom. Despite a lingering inability to acknowledge our achievements at home, the rest of the world asks: how did we get it right?
George reviews the key events since the 1970s that have forged institutional and political leadership and a canny populace. He examines how we developed from a closed economy racked by the oil shocks; toughed it out during the sometimes devastating growing pains of deregulation; and survived the Asian financial crisis, the dotcom tech wreck and the GFC to become the last developed nation standing in the 2000s. As a result, whatever happens next, we’re as well positioned as any to survive the ongoing rumblings of the Great Recession.
The Australian Moment is packed with original insight, challenging our often partisan selective memories and revealing how our leadership and community have underestimated each other’s contribution to the nation’s resilience.
Follow George on Twitter @GMegalogenis