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8 March 2005

The Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Security, Kevin Rudd, will face heavy questioning from three students in a Talkback Classroom interview at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra.

Mr Rudd - the first of this year's Talkback Classroom guests - will be grilled on the Labor Party's approach to foreign policy, including its stance on sending more troops to Iraq. The students also intend to ask Mr Rudd about his religious views and the roles of church and state.

The students set to quiz him are: James Stergiou from Fort Street High, Sydney; Alice McDowell, Brisbane State High School; and Andrew Nguyen, Sunnybank State High School, Brisbane.

WHAT: Talkback Classroom with Kevin Rudd

WHEN: 10.30am, Thursday, March 10, 2005

WHERE: Studio, National Museum, Acton Peninsula

Talkback Classroom gives students access to key politicians and public figures as part of the national civics curriculum. Other guests this year include the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Kevin Andrews; the Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia, Diana Bryant; and the Labor MP for Kingsford Smith, Peter Garrett.

Two international Talkback Classroom sessions are planned for later this year with links to Washington, DC and Wellington, NZ.

Student preparation for tomorrow's interview included meetings with ministerial advisers, parliamentarians, visiting experts and members of the media, organised by the Parliamentary Education Office.

The Kevin Rudd interview will be edited and broadcast on ABC Radio National's Life Matters program. Talkback Classroom can also be seen on the SBS TV program, School Torque.

For interviews, images or more information please contact Leanda Coleman on 02 6208 5338, 0438 620 710 or Sandy Forbes on 02 6208 5351, 0409 916 481

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