Taboo or not taboo?



WHEN: 6.30pm – 18 Jul 2017

COST: $10 members, $15 non-members



a. from the Tongan ‘tapu’ or Fijian ‘tabu’: an activity prohibited, excluded or forbidden by social or religious custom.

b. the condition of being set apart, ostracized or proscribed as improper or unacceptable.

Come and join a lively panel of writers and agitators as they discuss the challenges of telling stories and kicking sacred cows in an era of alt-right outrage and social media thuggery.


Simon Hunt: Musician, LGBT activist, Senate candidate and satirist better known as Pauline Pantsdown

Lily Shearer: Murawarri woman, actor and director and co-founding director of Moogahlin Performing Arts

Julie Kalceff: award winning creator, writer, director and producer of the international hit multi-platform drama Starting From Now.

Moderated by Ian Simmons – multi award winning comedy writer for Andrew Denton, Good News Week, The Glass House, The Sideshow & Wednesday Night Fever.

The Panel

Moderator Ian Simmons has been writing offensively for over 30 years. In the 90s, one of his lines was described in the South Australian parliament as ‘having the potential to pervert the course of justice’.He once received a letter from Pastor Michael Chamberlain – father of Azaria – that ended, “My comfort is that you will burn in Hell for all eternity’. And for the final episode of a show called The Glass House he wrote, ‘In the words of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, “Fuck ‘em if they can’t take a joke”.’  Ian is a heterosexual, middle class, overweight white man and, as such, all his opinions are profoundly important.

Simon Hunt is an artist, composer and LGBTI activist who lectures in Media at the UNSW Faculty of Art & Design. He’s best known for his character ‘Pauline Pantsdown’ - a drag simularcrum of politician Pauline Hanson. He enjoyed a top ten hit in the 1990s made from Hanson voice samples, and has more recently operated as a virtual activist and satirist online. He ran unsuccessfully in the 1998 senate elections as Pauline Pantsdown. He recently composed the soundtrack for William Yang’s documentary/performance “Friends of Dorothy”.

Lily Shearer is a proud citizen of the Murrwarri Republic & Ngemba Nation (north-west NSW/south-east QLD) woman with 30+ years experience in First Peoples Cultural Development, Arts Management and in Theatre and performance making. Lily is a freelance-performing artist, cultural collaborator/consultant/educator, and member of Moogahlin Artistic Directorate.  In co-founding Moogahlin Performing Arts  in Redfern, Lily’s vision was to put into practice the principle of ownership for First Peoples Australian communities, and provide new opportunities for emerging First Peoples theatre practitioners.

Julie Kalceff is an award-winning writer, director and producer. A graduate of the AFTRS with a Masters Degree in Scriptwriting, Julie is the creator, writer, director and a producer of the international hit multi-platform drama Starting From Now. Attracting both critical and popular acclaim, the series is one of Australia’s most successful multi-platform projects. It has amassed over 33 million views, been watched in over 230 countries, and is now used as a case-study around the world. Julie has also helped raise public awareness around the lack of diversity on screen.