Category: Exclusive Interviews

Ken Canning

Truth-Telling Before Treaty-Making: An Interview With Ken Canning


In late May, fourteen Australian organisations came out in support of the constitutionally-enshrined Indigenous voice to parliament. This was the proposal contained within the Referendum Council’s May 2017 Statement from the Heart. Amongst the organisations that issued the response of support were BHP and Rio Tinto, which more than raised a few eyebrows, as mining …
The First Nations Homelessness Project’s Jennifer Kaeshagen

Preventing Evictions: An Interview With The First Nations Homelessness Project’s Jennifer Kaeshagen


Western Australia has the highest rate of public housing evictions in the country. Over the period July 2016 to April 2018, 1,242 households were ordered to vacate their public housing property, with extreme poverty being the major driver behind these evictions. And like so many policies that negatively affect disadvantaged sections of the community, First …
Lidia Thorpe

Recognition Is a Diversion From Treaty: An Interview With Lidia Thorpe


Recently appointed Indigenous affairs minister Ken Wyatt announced at the National Press Club on 10 July that he’s proposing the country hold a referendum on constitutional change for First Nations peoples during the current parliamentary term. The debate around constitutional change encompasses two concepts: recognition and a voice to parliament. The former involves recognising Aboriginal …
LEAP’s Greg Denham

Legalise Drugs to Reduce Violent Crime: An Interview With LEAP’s Greg Denham


One of the unintended consequences of the war on drugs listed in the 2011 Global Commission on Drug Policy report is “the growth of a ‘huge criminal black market’, financed by the risk-escalated profits of supplying international demand for illicit drugs”. The criminal organisations that have evolved out of the past century of drug prohibition …
Respect’s Janelle Fawkes

Decriminalise Queensland Sex Work: An Interview With Respect’s Janelle Fawkes


Amnesty International adopted a sex work decriminalisation policy back in 2016. It was a move that formally recognised the high rates of human rights abuses in the industry, as well as that many of the harms associated with sex work are due to its criminalisation. NSW decriminalised the sex industry in 1995, with the passing …
Chris Daw QC

“Legalise and License the Supply of Drugs”: An Interview With Chris Daw QC


Criminal defence barrister Chris Daw QC is an outspoken advocate of drug legalisation. The 1912 International Opium Convention was the first transnational drug control treaty. Born out of concerns over opium use in China, the document was signed in the Hague, and placed restrictions around the manufacture and distribution of substances derived from the opium …
Labor MLC Rose Jackson

A Voice for Progressive Reform: An Interview With Labor MLC Rose Jackson


During her June maiden speech in NSW parliament, newly-incumbent Labor MLC Rose Jackson reminded those gathered that this state was once a world leader in harm reduction, which was exemplified by the establishment of the Uniting Medically Supervised Injecting Centre in Kings Cross. And she went on to underscore that it’s time for the state …
Stop Adani

Stop the City to Stop Adani: An Interview With NUS’ Lily Campbell


The Queensland Department of Environment and Science signed off on the final government approval that Adani needed prior to beginning work on its Carmichael coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin. And the week following, the Indian mining giant started construction at the site. Just two days prior to the May election, then environment minister Melissa …
Human Rights Law Centre’s Emily Howie

A Creeping Surveillance State: An Interview With the Human Rights Law Centre’s Emily Howie


The ABC has launched a legal challenge in the Federal Court against the validity of the search warrant that AFP agents used to raid its Sydney office on 5 June. The national broadcaster claims the warrant breaches the implied freedom of political communication in the Australian Constitution. And News Corp looks set to follow suit, …
Animal Justice Party MLC Emma Hurst

Against Animal Atrocities: An Interview With Animal Justice Party MLC Emma Hurst


Newly-appointed federal agricultural minister Bridget McKenzie has vowed to crack down on “agri-terrorists”. Indeed, following nationwide nonviolent animal welfare protests in April, McKenzie said she wanted to see laws similar to the US, where animal activists face steep prison time. Animal advocates assert that likening them to violent extremists is a way for government to …