March 20, 2019


The March lunch considers ways in which climate change is already affecting Melbourne Climate change is a wicked problem. A well known writer and publisher, Sophie Cunningham, has been thinking and writing about this problem, in particular how it is affecting Melbourne. She will lead a discussion of what damage is already evident and what […]

February 20, 2019


The first lunch for 2019 will be held on the usual third Wednesday in February, at Graduate House, University of Melbourne. The cost remains the same, for one more year, so join other supporters on 20 February for the usual lively discussion and camaraderie. This talk will focus on Australia – how Australians can be […]

February 19, 2019


The Melbourne Graduate School of Education (CVEP) and the John Cain Foundation present an important seminar on reform of vocational education in Australia. Professor Leesa Wheelahan and Professor Shelley Mallett will present their ideas for radical changes in governance, institutional arrangements, funding and in the core educational philosophy underpinning the sector. VET is largely failing […]

November 21, 2018


The November lunch will present a proposal for the first stage of a High Speed Rail from Bairnsdale to Adelaide A group of Melbourne economists is developing an ambitious proposal for high speed commuting in capital cities to promote new principal activities centres. Rail links will extend into regions to promote regional development and affordable housing […]

November 7, 2018

John Cain Lecture – 2018

Labor’s 1980s and the Future of Australian Social Democracy The annual John Cain Lecture in 2018 will be Presented by ANU historian Professor Frank Bongiorno Should we celebrate Labor’s 1980s? Frank Bongiorno will identify the achievements of that era, which are considerable, at Federal level and in Victoria after election of the Cain Government, and […]

October 25, 2018

Orchestrating Diversity in Fisherman’s Bend (Evan Walker Conversation 2018)

The 2018 Evan Walker Conversation features timely discussion of the contentious redevelopment program at Fisherman’s Bend in inner Melbourne. Most Melbournians will be aware of Fisherman’s Bend, the largest urban renewal program in the city for decades. Industrial land, close to the city and the Port of Melbourne, is to be redeveloped into high density mixed […]

October 17, 2018

NO PLACE LIKE HOME: Repairing Australia’s Housing Crisis (October Lunch)

It is no secret that Australia has a housing crisis. New ideas as to how to solve the crisis abound, although it is not clear that governments are yet committed to action to alleviate the plight of the many who are homeless and to make home ownership achievable for all or most Australians. Join us […]

September 19, 2018

FEEDING MELBOURNE IN 2050 (September Lunch)

The case for preserving Melbourne’s food bowl Food security is an economic and sustainability issue. It is also a challenge for urban planners. As Melbourne’s population sprawls, boundaries are relaxed and productive land is released for housing. There are recognised problems in the infrastructure servicing of greenfield housing developments. But less attention is given in wider […]

August 15, 2018

Australia’s Population Challenge – the dominance of large cities (August Lunch)

Australia is a large land with a small population, almost all of whom live in large cities.  The reasons for this concentration of people in a small number of centres are interesting to explore. Some commentators suggest that our population pattern poses problems – environmental, financial and social. How do governments plan to mitigate some […]

July 18, 2018

Political Donations – is reform possible? (July Lunch)

Join us to hear from two experts on the slow progress towards reform of political donations and campaign funding at federal and state levels. Andrew Giles MP will report on what is happening in Canberra. Professor Joo-Cheong Tham will analyse current legislation before the Victorian parliament. Andrew Giles MP Andrew Giles has been the Member […]

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