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3 May 2004

Democrats Senator Aden Ridgeway will be questioned about a perceived loss of youth appeal in his party at a Talkback Classroom interview this Wednesday at the National Museum of Australia.

A panel of three nationally selected high school students will also question the New South Wales Senator and arts spokesman about the future of the Democrats, the portrayal of Aboriginal people in cultural institutions and the dismantling of ATSIC.

The live interview will be recorded in Canberra and in a Talkback Classroom first broadcast to Darwin secondary students in a satellite link with the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory.

The Year 12 students to interview Senator Ridgeway in the National Museum Studio are:

Matthew Bock, Casuarina Senior College, Darwin;
Brianna Roberts, Maranatha Christian School, Endeavour Hills, Victoria;
Kendall Rolley, Grace Lutheran College, Rothwell, Brisbane.

WHAT: Talkback Classroom with Aden RidgewayWHEN: 10.30am, Wednesday, 5 MayWHERE: Studio, National Museum, Acton PeninsulaTalkback Classroom gives students access to key politicians and public figures as part of the national civics curriculum. Other guests this year include Labor Party president Carmen Lawrence, Canberra Times cartoonist Geoff Pryor and Governor-General Michael Jeffrey.

Student preparation for Wednesday's interview, organised by the Parliamentary Education Office, included meetings with former Democrats leader Meg Lees, a ministerial adviser from Andrew Bartlett's office and visits to the Aboriginal Tent Embassy and the National Museum's Gallery of First Australians.

The Aden Ridgeway interview will be edited and broadcast on ABC Radio National's Life Matters program on Monday, 10 May at 9.20am.

Talkback Classroom can also be seen on the SBS TV program, School Torque.

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

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