The Lucky Country

Richard Denniss + Rick Morton + David Fagan

QAG Lecture Theatre




#About the event


Richard Denniss

Richard Denniss

Dr Richard Denniss is the Chief Economist and former Executive Director of The Australia Institute, a Canberra based think tank. A prominent Australian author, essayist and policy commentator he was described by the Sydney Morning Herald’s Mark Kenny as “a constant thorn in the side of politicians on both sides due to his habit of skewering dodgy economic justifications for policy". Prior to his current role he held numerous academic positions and was Chief of Staff to then Democrats’s Leader Natasha Stott Despoja and Strategy Adviser to former Greens leader Bob Brown. Despite his public profile the Australian Financial Review placed him on their list of the ten most covertly powerful people in the country. Go figure.

Rick Morton

Rick Morton

Rick Morton is an award-winning journalist and the author of three non-fiction books. His latest My Year of Living Vulnerably launched on 17 March, 2021.

Morton is also the author of One Hundred Years of Dirt (MUP, 2018) and the extended essay On Money (Hachette, 2020).

Dirt is part family memoir, part book of essays about growing up on the outside in Australia. It explores intergenerational trauma, poverty, addiction and mental health and the role of a mother who tried to love enough for the failures of everyone else around her. He is the Senior Reporter for The Saturday Paper. Originally from Queensland, Rick worked in Sydney, Hobart, Melbourne and Canberra as the social affairs writer for The Australian with a particular focus on social policy including the National Disability Insurance Scheme, aged care, the welfare system, religion and employment services. Rick is the winner of the 2013 Kennedy Award for Young Journalist of the Year and the 2017 Kennedy Award for Outstanding Columnist. He appears regularly on television, radio and panels discussing politics, the media, writing and social policy.

One Hundred Years of Dirt was shortlisted for the 2019 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, longlisted for the 2018 Walkley Book of the Year, and longlisted for both Biography Book of the Year and the Matt Richell Award for New Writer of the Year for the 2019 ABIA Awards. Dirt was also shortlisted for the National Biography Award.

David Fagan

David Fagan

DAVID FAGAN is an author and a former decade-long editor of one of Australia's largest newspapers, The Courier-Mail. He spent more than three decades in journalism, mainly in the fields of business and politics at The Courier-Mail and The Australian. He is an adjunct professor of business at QUT and sits on a number of corporate boards. David is the father of three daughters, and it was their questions about the world they will inherit that bore the seeds for his most recent book Has the Luck Run Out?


Felicity Caldwell

Felicity Caldwell

Felicity Caldwell is the state political reporter for the Brisbane Times and a member of the Queensland Parliament media gallery. Felicity, who has worked as a journalist since 2008, joined the Brisbane Times in 2016 and has covered a state election campaign from the road, three state budgets and estimates, and spends much of her time in Parliament or chasing politicians. She joined the BT after working at Quest Community News, mX, The Sunday Mail and The Queensland Times. Felicity has covered everything from City Hall, federal politics, court, entertainment, education, youth, transport and employment issues.


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