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Defining Moments in Australian History

WARNING: This website includes images and names of deceased people that may cause distress to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.


67 Referendum panel discussion

Tuesday 23 May 2016 | 6–7.30pm | Visions Theatre | Costs apply

This year marks 50 years since the referendum that acknowledged Aboriginal citizenship and allowed them to participate in the Australian political process. Join RN at the Museum with a panel of acclaimed guests to discuss this landmark decision and where to from here.

All ages
Cost: $15 adult, $10 concession, $7.50 Friends full members
Bookings essential: Eventbrite (booking fees apply)

More on the Indigenous referendum

Past events

Postwar immigration panel discussion

Wednesday 21 September 2016

How have Australian attitudes toward immigration changed over the decades? In what ways has postwar immigration contributed to and changed Australia?

ABC RN Big Ideas presenter Paul Barclay hosted a panel discussion about immigration and the ways it has shaped our cultural  identity.

More on the panel discussion

Sporting moments panel discussion

Thursday 18 August 2016

ABC RN’s Big Ideas presenter Paul Barclay hosted a discussion about sport and how it has shaped Australian culture and identity with guests:

  • Olympic swimmer Christian Sprenger
  • Matildas soccer player Sally Shipard
  • author John Harms
  • Australian Rugby League Commission member Dr Chris Sarra
  • Wallaroo rugby player Louise Burrows

More on the panel discussion

Gallipoli Centenary – a Year to Remember?

Thursday 29 October 2015

Mat Trinca
Mathew Trinca

April this year marked the centenary of the 1915 Gallipoli Landing. An estimated 120,000 people flocked to the dawn service at the Australian War Memorial. Yet historian Clare Wright claims that Australians are suffering from ‘Gallipoli fatigue’: “… people are feeling like it’s been turned into a kind of circus sideshow”.

Are people tired of remembering events from 100 years ago? Is Gallipoli still as symbolically potent as it was 100 years ago? What is the value of Australia’s largest and most public of commemorations since the centenary of Federation?

National Museum of Australia director Dr Mat Trinca had a spirited discussion about these issues with a distinguished panel comprising Brad Manera, Dr Carolyn Holbrook and Prof Peter Stanley.

View more information on the panel

What is a ‘Defining Moment’ in Australian History?

Paul Barclay
Paul Barclay

Thursday 24 September 2015

Leading Australian thinkers George Megalogenis, Michelle Arrow, Jackie Huggins and Gideon Haigh discussed what makes a ‘defining moment’ in Australian history and how the nation has been shaped by such events. The panel was recorded in front of a live audience and moderated by ABC Radio National’s Big Ideas presenter, Paul Barclay.

This was the first in a series of panel discussions organised in partnership with Radio National that will explore the themes of the National Museum’s ground-breaking Defining Moments project.

The discussion was broadcast on Monday 28 September 2015, and is available as a podcast from the Big Ideas website. You can also watch it here: