Samantha Ratnam is a social worker and Greens politician who's currently serving as the Deputy Mayor of Moreland City Council. She's previously served as Mayor in Moreland and in 2016 ran as the Greens candidate for the federal seat of Wills, losing out to Labor MP Peter Khalil.
This is a great insight into local politics and why Sam's passionate about it, particularly its ability to inspire change by example. We also cover the situation in Sri Lanka and how that's informed Sam's attitude towards conflict and multiculturalism, how Australia's approach to race feels like it's going backwards and the future of the Australian Greens.
Julian Burnside AO QC is a barrister and refugee advocate who has acted in some of the highest profile legal cases in Australian history, from the cash for comment inquiry to the waterfront dispute to the Tampa affair.
For the past 16 years Julian has tirelessly spoken out about Australia's cruel immigration policies and has acted pro bono for refugees and people seeking asylum. He received the 2014 Sydney Peace Prize for "his brave and principled advocacy for human rights and for those wronged by government [and] for insisting that we respect our international legal obligations toward those seeking asylum".
I got to go to Julian's (freaking amazing) house and talk to him at length about the state of refugee rights in Australia today, why he's never run for office himself, how the MUA case changed the way he looked at governments, the arts, justice and evil.
Cause of the Week: The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (asrc.org.au)
Shireen Morris is the Constitutional Reform Advisor at Noel Pearson's Cape York Institute.
In the wake of the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Referendum and the Uluru Statement From The Heart, Shireen runs me through the history of constitutional recognition, what it means and how it might work moving forward. We cover symbolism, the political reaction to the Statement, what an Aboriginal Voice might look like, treaty and the tension between Indigenous land rights and environmental considerations.
I learnt a whole lot here because Shireen is fully heaps smart.
Cause of the Week: 1 Voice Uluru (1voiceuluru.org)