Around 1500 people came to Hamer Hall in Melbourne last Sunday to watch and participate in a celebration of Australian irreverence, wit and political engagement. The show was sold out, which meant that some people were unfortunately turned away at the door.

The Melbourne performance of SEDITION! (Sydney’s version happened in November last year) featured an all-star cast of comedians and performers protesting against the Howard Government’s introduction of the sedition provisions of its anti-terror laws. They protested in the best way possible creatively and positively criticising, ridiculing and taking the piss.

We thank the cast and crew for giving up their Sunday. We thank Wendy Harmer who was the prime instigator and who co-hosted both the Sydney and Melbourne shows. We thank Hannie Rayson, Emma Calverley, Ted Robinson, Meredith King, Susan Provan and Stephen Armstrong for their unstinting support and energy.

Phillip Scott and Drew Forsythe

And we thank the performers: Denise Scott, Dave O’Neil, Tim Minchin, Sigrid Thornton, David Bridie, Eddie Perfect and his band, Max Gillies, Rod Quantock, Gerry Connolly, Greg Fleet, Jonathan Biggins, Genevieve Lemon, Phillip Scott and Drew Forsythe from the STC Wharf Revue, Jane Turner, the cast of Keating! The Musical and Spencer Zifcak.

We will endeavour to run some of the Melbourne performance in future issues of New Matilda. To get some idea of the performance, click on the following articles, all from the Sydney performance and previously published by New Matilda:

– Gerry Connolly: Launching SEDITION!

– Eddie Perfect: John Howard’s Bitches

– Guy Rundle/Max Gillies: Howard’s SEDITION!

– Chas Savage: An Open Call to Sedition

– Spencer Zifcak: Sedition!

The box office from both SEDITION! performances will go toward the promotion of New Matilda’s Human Rights Act for Australia campaign.

Hobart HRA Campaign Launch
The Tasmanian launch of New Matilda‘s campaign for an Australian Human Rights Act will be held on this Saturday, 11 February at 11:30am at Parliament House Gardens, Salamanca Place, Hobart.

The launch is co-hosted by New Matilda and the Tasmanian Branch of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and speakers will include Margaret Reynolds, Greg Barns, Duncan Kerr MP, Susan Ryan AO, and Associate Professor Spencer Zifcak.

This will be followed by a forum (also co-hosted with the ICJ) to discuss human rights protections in Australia. This forum will be held at the Hobart Town Hall between 2:00 and 4:00pm. Led by Spencer Zifcak, the forum will involve a panel discussion about New Matilda’s draft Bill and human rights in Australia. Speakers will include Justice Pierre Slicer, Tasmanian Supreme Court, Rodney Croome, Gay Lesbian Rights Group, Trudy Maluga, Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre, Alison Wiss, Amnesty Tasmania.

Public debate and open discussion will follow.

To RSVP for the forum, email or call (02) 9211 1635.

Brisbane HRA Campaign Launch
Advanced notice of the Brisbane HRA Launch is that it will take place at 6:00pm, on Tuesday 14 March, at the Ithaca Room of Brisbane City Hall. Speakers are being finalised. Stay tuned.

For more information, contact Nick Carney, Executive Officer of New Matilda’s Human Rights Act campaign, at or visit the Human Rights Act homepage

Launched in 2004, New Matilda is one of Australia's oldest online independent publications. It's focus is on investigative journalism and analysis, with occasional smart arsery thrown in for reasons of sanity. New Matilda is owned and edited by Walkley Award and Human Rights Award winning journalist Chris Graham.