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FLAT CHATS IV aims to examine the role of think tanks, politicians, the media and lobby groups in devising, influencing and conveying policy to draw understanding of how the policies we are often presented with are rarely bereft of some partisan influence.

To what extent does political agenda influence our perception of prevailing challenges facing society and the response we deem appropriate to such challenges?

As members of the public it is easy to feel as if we have a steady grip on the issues that face society. Where we may differ arises in how we prioritise those issues, how we strive to solve them, and what overarching challenges we perceive these issues to be symptomatic of.

For instance – the current debate in regard to shutting down coal mines across Australia. Is this an issue of environmental sustainability, is it an issue of employment in a post-industrialised society or is it an issue of native title and recognising indigenous land rights?

There are endless ways that government policy can be framed, and various filters between policy-makers and the broader public that exercise a substantial degree of influence in how we interact with broad social, cultural and political issues.


James Button – Editor, Grattan Institute

Elisa Buggy – Chair , ANTaR Victoria (Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation)

Simon Breheny – Director of Policy, Institute of Public Affairs

This will be our fourth FLAT CHATS panel discussion evening, we look forward to another night of discussion, debate and discovery at Loop Project Space & Bar.


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