CANCELLED - In conversation with Margaret Simons

In light of the University's recent announcement to cancel all public events from 16 March - 20 June 2020, this Meet the Author event has been postponed. For more information, visit:

If you would like to be notified of the new event date when set, please keep your registration for this event so we are able to contact you.


Margaret Simons will be in conversation with Helen Sullivan on Margaret's new Quarterly Essay Cry Me A River: The Tragedy of the Murray-Darling Basin.

The Murray-Darling Basin is the food bowl of Australia, and it's in trouble. What does this mean for the future - for water and food, and for the people and towns that depend on it? In this Quarterly Essay, acclaimed journalist Margaret Simons takes a trip through the basin, all the way from Queensland to South Australia. She shows that its plight is environmental but also economic, and enmeshed in ideology and identity.

Her essay is both a portrait of the Murray-Darling Basin and an explanation of its woes. It looks at rural Australia and the failure of political processes over the last few generations to meet the needs of communities forced to bear the heaviest burden of change. It considers corruption and resource politics, drought and climate change.

Margaret Simons is an award-winning journalist and the author of thirteen books, including biographies of Malcolm Fraser and Penny Wong. She won the 2015 Walkley Award for Social Equity Journalism and has been honoured with several Quill Awards for journalistic excellence.

Professor Helen Sullivan, Director of the ANU Crawford School of Public Policy, appears regularly in print, mainstream and online media commenting on contemporary public policy issues.

Dr Andrew Leigh MP will give the vote of thanks.

Pre-event book signings will be available from 5:30pm and again after the event. This event is in association with Harry Hartog Bookshop and books will be available to purchase.