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We acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation - the custodians of the country in which we meet - and acknowledge their Elders, past and present.

Wrecking the World Order

Avani Dias, Cheng Lei, Hamish Macdonald, Johanna Weaver
Chaired by Matt Bevan
Sat 24 August 11:30am
Sat 24 August 11:30am
How a new breed of world leaders are upending everything.

The old ‘world order’ is shifting beneath our feet – with cracks driven by a growing cohort of authoritarian and sometimes erratic world leaders. In a year where half the world is voting in elections, we will look at heightened geopolitical tensions and the destabilisation of long-standing international alliances. Brace yourself for a thought-provoking discussion about living on the precipice of change, where the fate of nations hangs in the balance. 

Avani Dias

Avani Dias is a reporter with Four Corners and was the ABC’s South Asia correspondent in India for the past two-and-a-half years. She was previously the host of the national youth current affairs show Hack on Triple J.


Matt Bevan

Matt Bevan is the host and writer of the award-winning ABC News podcast If You’re Listening. He has been a journalist at the ABC since 2008, and spent six years as newsreader for Radio National Breakfast. In 2022 he was awarded Podcast Host of the Year by Radio Today. In 2023 he was nominated for a Walkley Award for Explanatory Journalism.


Cheng Lei

Cheng Lei is a bilingual and bicultural TV journalist who worked in Shanghai, Singapore and Beijing for 18 years for CNBC and China’s state TV English channel.  She spent three years and two months in imprisonment in China on espionage charges, despite a lack of basic spatial reasoning skills.  Now she works as a presenter for Sky News Australia.


Hamish Macdonald

Hamish Macdonald is an award-winning journalist who has covered wars, disasters, and major world events. He is co-host of Global Roaming on ABC Radio National and The Project on Channel Ten. Hamish has won numerous awards including a Walkley for current affairs journalism and was named Young Journalist of the Year by Britain’s Royal Television Society. Hamish has covered conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Ukraine, the nuclear disaster in Japan, uprisings in Hong Kong and Egypt, the London bombings and the rise of ISIS. Outside of Australia he has worked for Channel 4 News in the UK, Al Jazeera English, and America’s ABC where he was International Affairs Correspondent. In 2016 he became a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University.


Johanna Weaver

Professor Weaver is the founding Director of the Tech Policy Design Centre at the Australian National University. Earlier she was Australia’s chief cyber negotiator at the United Nations. A recovering diplomat and a reformed commercial litigator, Professor Weaver is proudly neurodivergent. She champions tech policy as a tool to shape technology for the benefit of humanity.

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