Gabrielle Chan will be in conversation with Genevieve Jacobs on Gabrielle's new book, Why you should give a f*ck about farming. There is no farmers and others. If you eat or wear clothes, the decisions you make influence farming. 'Eaters will be the ultimate arbiter of where and how food is grown and how the land is cared for ... We all have a stake in the future of food and farming. I am going to show you why.'
Farming sits at the intersection of the world's biggest challenges around climate change, soil, water, energy, natural disasters and zoonotic diseases. Yet Australia has no national food policy. No national agriculture strategy. Our water policy is close to the Hunger Games. People with means can shop at farmers' markets and order brunch, by the provenance of their eggs, bacon, butter, tomatoes and greens. But do they really understand the trade-offs required to grow it?
In this book Gabrielle Chan examines the past, present and future of farming with her characteristically forensic eye. She lays out how our nation, its leaders, farmers and eaters can usher in new ways for us to work and live on our unique and precious land. We must forge a new social contract if we are to grow healthy food on a thriving landscape, while mitigating climate and biodiversity loss. This important book will change your thinking about food, farming and how you eat.
'By raising the subject of farming from the mire of cant, ignorance and parti pris into realms of reason and evidence, Gabrielle Chan also raises big and urgent questions about the nation's (not to say the world's) future. A disturbing, lucid, often inspiring, above all essential book'. Don Watson
Gabrielle Chan has been a journalist for more than 30 years. She has been a political journalist and politics live blogger at Guardian Australia since 2013. Prior to that she worked at The Australian, ABC radio, The Daily Telegraph, in local newspapers and politics. Gabrielle has written and edited history books, biographies and even a recipe book. The daughter of a Singaporean migrant, Gabrielle moved from the Canberra press gallery to marry a sheep and wheat farmer in 1996. She noticed the economic and cultural divide between the city and the country, the differences in political culture and yawning gap between the parliament and small town life. In her 2018 book, Rusted Off: Why country Australia is fed up, which was shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Literary Award and the Walkley Book Award, Gabrielle examined the current state of our rural political representation, the gap between city and country and how to bridge it.
Genevieve Jacobs AM is the Group Editor for Region Media, Australia's fastest growing digital news platform. Genevieve chairs the ACT arts minister's Creative Advisory Council and co-chairs the ACT Reconciliation Council. She sits on the boards of the Cultural Facilities Corporation, the National Folk Festival and is deputy chair of the Canberra International Music Festival. She is also a director of the Conflict Resolution Service and the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture. She was made an AM in the Australia Day honours list for her service to public broadcasting and the community. Genevieve has an enduring interest in building community engagement, and is a partner in the family farming enterprise.
The vote of thanks will be given by John Kerin AO, AM, , who served as Minister for Primary Industries (1983-1987), Minister for Primary Industries and Energy (1987-1991), Minister for Transport and Communications (1991), and Treasurer (1991) in the Labor government of Bob Hawke. John was born in Bowral, New South Wales, where he worked on the family farm before working at the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) and entering politics.
In accordance to the current COVID-19 guidelines in the ACT, attendees may have to wear masks to attend the event. Attendees are requested to review and follow ACT Health guidelines before attending the event.
This event is in association with Harry Hartog Bookshop. Books will be available for purchase on the evening in the Cultural Centre foyer. Pre-event book signings will be available from 5.30pm, and available again after the event until 7.30pm.
A bar will be open from 5.30pm in the Kambri Cultural Centre lobby for drinks preceding the conversation.