The Festival of Democracy Program Revealed

The Sydney Democracy Now Network is hosting the Festival of Democracy and speakers will be tackling sustainability issues.

The Festival of Democracy will take a look at sustainability during three events at the University of Sydney in the next week.

The Coal Dead Hand

Time: 5.00 – 8.00pm
Date: Wednesday 24 September
Venue: General Lecture Theatre N205, The Quadrangle,
The University of Sydney

Jonathan Holmes
Bll McKibben (Pre-recorded)
Paddy Manning
Richard Denniss
David McKnight
Ruth Colagiuri
John Krey
David Ritter

Greenpeace Australia Pacific and the Australia Institute have assembled a diverse group of panellists to stimulate a comprehensive debate addressing the role of the Australian coal industry. We seek to underscore the extensive influence of the coal industry and propose alternatives for the future. After short introductions from each of our panelists and a video message from Bill McKibben, co-founder of, we will open the evening for questions and comments from audience members, moderated by our MC Jonathan Holmes.

For more information: click here. 

Voices From Bougainville

Time: 12.00 – 2.00pm
Date: Thursday 25 September
Venue: Oriental Room S204, The Quadrangle, The University of Sydney

The Panguna Mine in Bougainville, once a source of nearly 44% of PNG’s revenue, has been closed for 25 years. Rio Tinto has proposed re-opening the mine, a move welcomed by the Australian and PNG Governments, and initially by the Autonomous Bougainville Government focused on the proposed referendum for the independence of Bougainville. With the Panguna Region closed to outsiders, perspectives of local communities who will be most be affected by the mine’s reopening have not been part of the debate. Jubilee Australia’s ‘Voices from Bougainville’ report, to be launched at this event, breaks this silence.

For more information: click here. 

Power, People, Democracy

Time: 1.00 – 5.00pm
Date: Saturday 27 September
Venue: New Law School Annex SR340, The University of Sydney

Councillor Kemmis, The City of Sydney
Simon Brooker, Clean Energy Finance Corporation
Jarra Hicks, Community Power Agency
Giles Parkinson, Reneweconomy
Matt Grudnoff, The Australia Institute

Polls and surveys consistently show that the vast majority of Australians believe that their government should be doing more to move the country toward renewable energy. This public talk and workshop that asks: can we democratise our energy production, distribution and governance? It brings together critical thinkers and government representatives working in the field of sustainability and renewable energy.

For more information: click here.