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4 September 2003

Qantas chairwoman Margaret Jackson will be quizzed tomorrow by three senior high school students in a Talkback Classroom interview at the National Museum of Australia.

Ms Jackson will be asked whether Qantas is exaggerating its financial woes to justify workforce change and also how she juggles her role on the boards of Qantas, ANZ, Billabong and John Fairfax with being a mum.

Ms Jackson, who was named as a possible governor-general, will also be questioned about the Qantas-Air New Zealand merger and the relationship between big business and the media.

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

The nationally drawn student panel includes Kate Bishell from Canberra Girls Grammar School, Henry Sherrel from Eltham High School in Melbourne and Mitchell Fowler from Farrer Memorial Agricultural College near Tamworth.

The live public interview will be held in the National Museum's Broadcast Studio from 1.30pm on Friday, 5 September.

Ms Jackson will be questioned via a satellite link from Melbourne.

The students are today preparing for the interview by meeting ministerial advisers, opposition spokespeople, visiting experts and members of the media, organised by the Parliamentary Education Office.

Other Talkback Classroom guests this year include political commentator Laurie Oakes on 24 September, and Labor leadership challenger Kim Beazley and Shadow Treasurer Mark Latham in November.

Schools are encouraged to use Talkback Classroom as a model for social inquiry, investigating topical issues through the media as part of the national civics curriculum. See:

Talkback Classroom has been broadcast nationally on ABC Fly TV, Triple J and Radio National.

For more information please contact Martin Portus on 02 6208 5351, 0409 916 481 or

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