Michelle Arrow will be in conversation with Frank Bongiorno on her new book, The Seventies: The personal, the political and the making of modern Australia.
In 1970 homosexuality was illegal, God Save the Queen was our national anthem and women pretended to be married to access the pill. By the end of the decade conscription was scrapped, tertiary education was free, access to abortion had improved, the White Australia policy was abolished and a woman read the news on the ABC for the first time.
The Seventies was the decade that shaped modern Australia. It was the decade of ‘It’s Time’, stagflation and the Dismissal, a tumultuous period of economic and political upheaval. But the Seventies was also the era when the personal became political, when we had a Royal Commission into Human Relationships and when social movements tore down the boundary between public and private life. Women wanted childcare, equal pay, protection from violence and agency to shape their own lives. In the process, the reforms they sought — and achieved, at least in part — reshaped Australia’s culture and rewrote our expectations of government.
In a lively and engaging style, Michelle Arrow has written a new history of this transformative decade; one that is more urgent, and more resonant, than ever.
Michelle Arrow is an award-winning historian and Associate Professor in Modern History at Macquarie University, where she teaches and researches postwar Australian history, the history of popular culture, and the ways history is depicted in television and film. Michelle has also produced history for radio and television. Her first radio documentary, Public Intimacies: The Royal Commission on Human Relationships won the 2014 Multimedia prize in the NSW Premier’s History Awards.
Professor Frank Bongiorno is Head of the ANU School of History. He is the author of the award-winning The Sex Lives of Australians: A History and The Eighties: The Decade That Transformed Australia. He has reviewed for the Times Literary Supplement, Australian Book Review, the Monthly, Fairfax and The Australian. He is a regular contributor to Inside Story and The Conversation.
The vote of thanks will be given by distinguished Australian author and social researcher Hugh Mackay AO. His latest book is Australia Reimagined (2018).
Pre-event book signings will be available from 5.30pm and again after the event. This event is in association with Harry Hartog Bookshop and books will be available to purchase. Bar and restaurant facilities are also available in the new Kambri precinct.