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The Brisbane Dialogues

The Brisbane Dialogues is a wholly independent, neutral, intergenerational, all-volunteer, not-for-profit project to stimulate better discussions about big ideas and issues.

Tickets On Sale Soon:
6pm for 7pm, Mon 26 Jul, The Tivoli

Next Event: First Tuesday Club: Bill von Hippel
The Evolution of Sex Differences, Feminism and Scientific Censorship
5.30pm for 6pm, Tue 1 June (volunteers, key supporters only)

Our mission is to demonstrate what better discussions between people with different views look like and help others to turn one-way talks and one-sided discussions into genuine dialogues. Our goal is to be the globally-recognised, preeminent facilitator of dialogue.


We are Australia's first dedicated "civil discourse organisation" and a significant, expanding corner of the public square in Queensland. We are determinedly non-political and non-partisan and aspire to being non-parochial, non-elitist and inclusive.

The organisation is completely volunteer-based and aims to provide an inviting, flexible and effective working environment to allow anyone to contribute whatever time and skills they are able to.


1. Conduct public events on issues of national or global importance or interest, in the Big Dialogue format, as well as bespoke private events, to demonstrate what better discussions look like.
2. Support other organisations to conduct better discussions, with a wide range of services and activities which range from full co-production of a major event, to specific help with curation, event management, promotion, technology, etc.
A key initiative is the Brisbane Talks calendar, which aims to aggregate ideas-based event information in the region and make it more publicly accessible, expanding audiences and deepening civic culture.


"All participants agree to listen carefully, speak respectfully and concentrate on the content of discussions, not on characters - before, during and afterwards, online as well as offline.”


6pm for 7pm, Mon 16 Nov 2020

The Tivoli, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane

The China-Australia Relationship

Tickets from $5




Sarah Percy, Associate Professor of International Relations at The University of Queensland, and a host on ABC Radio National (moderator)


Brodie Paul, Partnerships Director at China Policy, a policy analysis and strategic advisory firm, and Brisbane representative for Australia China Business News.


Shahar Hameiri, also Associate Professor of International Relations at UQ, with diverse relevant research interests including a current project China's engagements in Southeast Asia.


Vicky XiuZhong Xu, researcher/analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s Cyber Policy Centre and former journalist for the ABC and New York Times.


MC will be Ian Walker, Chairman of medtech company 61medical and former state minister for Science, IT, Innovation and the Arts.

Earlier events included:


1.   The launch event at Customs House on 9 March with a debate between the professors John Quiggin and visiting Canadian-American  libertarian philosopher Stephen Hicks on the topic that “Postmodernism is a Right Wing Philosophy”, chaired by Rachel Nolan, former State Government minister, with an introductory video message from John Anderson, former Deputy PM, now host of "Conversations with John Anderson" podcast and YouTube channel. The evening was MC'ed by Christine Jackman, senior journalist and author.


2.   A Big Dialogue at The Tivoli on 20 July on the question “Could Universal Basic Income Work in Australia?” between:

  • Gigi Foster, Professor and Director of Education, School of Economics, University of New South Wales and co-host of “The Economists” on ABC Radio National

  • Greg Marston, Deputy Executive Dean, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Queensland and Australian representative of the global basic income movement, BIEN, and

  • John Humphreys, Sessional Lecturer, University of Queensland and University of the Sunshine Coast, Fellow of the Australian Institute for Progress and founder of the Australian Libertarian Society and the Liberal Democrats​ ​

The discussion was moderated by Bob MacDonald, senior business journalist and former trade commissioner and ministerial advisor and featured an informational introduction by video from Simon Cowan, Research Director of the Centre for Independent Studies on Australian welfare and unemployment.​The MC was actress and student, Kayci Gillies.