The Australian Centre
University of Melbourne
The End of the World as We Knew It

Theatre 1
SEECS Building
221 Bouverie Street
Enquiries 9344 7021

Melbourne has changed radically in recent years.  To some people, developments such as privatisation, gambling and all-night supermarkets drain our sense of community spirit.  To others, trends like customer-focus, globalisation and flexible opening hours give momentum to civic life.  Should we go back, or steam ahead?

Tuesday 19th October

Herald The Past

What does new Melbourne have in common with the city it used to be?

What do we see now when we look back on Melbourne as it used to be—a city of larrikins or backward provincials? Are tram conductors now ghosts of public life or an active lobby for human kindness? Is there anything that links Melbourne of the 1950s with Melbourne of the 1990s?

Dr Andrew Brown-May (editor, Encyclopedia of Melbourne & author Melbourne Street Life, History Dept., Monash Uni)

Roberto D’Andrea (ex-tram conductor)

Evelyn Krape actor

Dr Chris McConville (urban historian, Uni of Sunshine Coast)

Tuesday 26th October

Piazza de Resistance

Do the new public spaces offer relief from the march of privatisation?

Major urban projects now incorporate a public space enclosed by buildings. This ‘piazza’ is already a feature of a number of developments such as RMIT City Campus, and is built into the design of the Melbourne Museum, Federation Square and Pentridge. Is the piazza a politically safe alternative to the city square? What activities does the piazza encourage?

Donald L. Bates & Peter Davidson
(Lab architecture studio, Federation Square)

Peter Elliott
(Architect, Observatory Gate, Spencer Street bridge walkway)

Professor Leon van Schaik
(Faculty of Constructed Environment, RMIT)

Vanessa Walker (Public Art consultant)

Thursday 4th November

Charity Ends At Home

What distinguishes a charity today from any other welfare service?

Welfare is increasingly devolved from the state to community organisations and individuals. Does this lead to a decline in the sense of public good? Can charity be competitive? What happens when the needy are considered clients rather than victims?

David Green
(former Public Advocate)

John Honner
(Researcher, MacKillop Family Services)

Associate Professor Graham Little
(Dept. Political Science, Uni of Melb)

Helen Riseborough
(Manager, Hanover Welfare Centre)