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5 September 2005

Three secondary school students will ask federal Labor member for Kingsford Smith Peter Garrett about the roles of pop stars versus politicians in influencing public issues in a Talkback Classroom forum at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra on Wednesday.

The student panel plans to query the shadow parliamentary secretary for reconciliation and the arts - and former lead singer of Midnight Oil and president of the Australian Conservation Foundation - about his reservations on abortion and cloning. They'll also quiz him on the Labor Party's policies on uranium and nuclear power.

The students who will interview him are: Alex Steedman, Lake Ginninderra College, Canberra; Hayley Bester, Launceston Church Grammar School and Melissa Brooks, Baulkham Hills High School, Sydney.

WHAT: Talkback Classroom with Peter Garrett

WHEN: 10.30am, Wednesday, 7 September 2005

WHERE: Studio, National Museum of Australia, Canberra

Students at the Melbourne Museum will join with those in the Studio via video link in the question-and-answer period following the interview. An overflow audience of students and teachers will also watch the forum from the Museum's Visions Theatre.

Talkback Classroom gives students access to key politicians and public figures as part of the national civics curriculum.

Other guests at the National Museum this year include Natasha Stott Despoja, Democrat senator for South Australia, in October and Peter Shergold, Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, in November.

Student preparation for Wednesday's interview included meetings with parliamentarians and other experts organised by the Parliamentary Education Office.

The Peter Garrett interview will be edited and broadcast on ABC Radio National's Life Matters program.

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

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