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Happy audience
An audience in the Halstrom Theatre Image: Tim Levy
© Australian Museum

Join us at the Australian Museum for the return season of our illuminating series of talks with some of Australia's best-known innovators, revolutionaries and underdogs.

This year we have again chosen guests highlighted in the 100 people of the 200 Treasures of the Australian Museum exhibition in the Westpac Long Gallery. Some have now passed, and some continue to challenge the status quo – all embody a peculiarly Australian spirit and drive to make a difference despite adversity.

The Lunchtime Conversation Series is available as a series of six sessions (get one free): Adult $150, Member $125, Concession $135

Single session tickets are also available, subject to capacity: Adult $30, Member $25, Concession $27.

Advance booking essential.

Tickets include admission to the Museum and the 200 Treasures of the Westpac Long Gallery exhibition. Lunch is available at our rooftop restaurant, No 1. William (level 4).


12.30pm, Tuesday 28 May

Charles Perkins AO by Professor John Maynard

Charles Perkins on the way to Sydney University, 1963.
Charles Perkins on the way to Sydney University, 1963. Image: Robert McFarlane
© Robert McFarlane

One of the most charismatic and well-known Aboriginal political leaders of the twentieth century, Charles Perkins was born to Arrernte and Kalkadoon parents in the `old’ Alice Springs telegraph station. An elite soccer player and the first Aboriginal Australian to graduate from University, his fiery, uncompromising contribution to the Indigenous Rights movement is illuminated by Professor John Maynard, Chair of Aboriginal History at the University of Newcastle. Hosted by Australian Museum Director and CEO, Kim McKay.

12.30pm, Tuesday 4 June

Dr Terence Percival AM, representing CSIRO WLAN

Left to right: Dr Terry Percival, John Deane, Dietham Ostry, Dr John O'Sullivan, Graham Daniels. Image: Supplied

Dr Terence Percival AM, a key member of the visionary CSIRO WLAN team who invented high speed Wi-Fi in 1992, trained as an electrical engineer and began his career in radio-astronomy. As Chief Research Scientist of CSIRO’s Telecommunication Division, he led the creation of new tele-health, distance education and media production applications for next generation broadband networks. Dr Percival’s contribution has been recognised with numerous local and international awards including the prestigious 2012 European Inventors Award. Hosted by Australian Museum Director and CEO, Kim McKay.

12.30pm, Tuesday 11 June

Professor Fred Hollows AC by Gabi Hollows AO

Gabi and Fred Hollows
Gabi and Fred Hollows Image: Supplied
© Fred Hollows Foundation

New Zealand born, UK trained eye surgeon Fred Hollows’ drive to end the injustice of avoidable blindness emerged from a deep commitment to social equality. The economical approach to ophthalmology – focussing on training local surgeons and reducing the cost of lens - which he and his orthoptist wife Gabi developed, has restored sight to more than 2.5 million people. The Fred Hollows Foundation which the couple established in 1992 just six months before Fred died, continues to empower poor and neglected communities across the world. Hosted by journalist Sandra Sully.

12.30pm, Tuesday 18 June

Albert Namatjira by Franchesca Cubillo

Albert Namatjira painting, circa 1946 and Franchesca Cubillo, Senior Curator, National Gallery of Australia
Albert Namatjira painting, circa 1946 and Franchesca Cubillo, Senior Curator, National Gallery of Australia Image: n/a
© Public Domain

Born on the Hermannsburg Lutheran mission in the Northern Territory in 1902, the life of iconic master painter and Western Arrernte man Albert Namatjira was entangled in virulent racial politics. Franchesca Cubillo, Churchill Scholar and Senior Curator Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art at the National Gallery of Australia, offers insights into the Hermannsburg Movement, the artist’s magnificent paintings and enduring legacy. Hosted by journalist Tracey Holmes.

12.30pm, Tuesday 25 June

Glenn Murcutt AO

Glenn Murcutt
Glenn Murcutt Image: Supplied
© Glenn Murcutt

Architect Glenn Murcutt is globally acclaimed for his environmentally sensitive, sustainable and quintessentially Australian designs. The sole practitioner, teacher and critic, counts his childhood in Papua New Guinea and his father’s inspiring guidance, informed by the ideas of Henry David Thoreau, as profound influences. Murcutt has received every significant award including the Pritzker Architecture Prize, the Alvar Aalto Medal and the AIA Gold Medal. Hosted by journalist Sandra Sully.

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