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NCV goes to Q&A!

Monday 8 May, 2017
by Ash Braithwaite
Euthanasia, the US in Syria, the housing crisis: topics NCVers engaged with at Q&A.

In April, NCV Dean Susan Bazzana arranged for a group of eight NCV residents to attend the filming of Australian television program Q&A, hosted by news journalist Tony Jones. Jones facilitated discussion between the audience and panellists Mitch Fifield (Minister for Communications), Penny Wong (Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs), Nikki Gemmell (acclaimed author), Billy Bragg (British political singer-songwriter) and Prof. Margaret Somerville (ethicist). The main points of discussion focused on the housing crisis, the actions of the US in Syria and the emotional topic of euthanasia- should we legalise “assisted dying”?

NCV undergrad Hayley Pollock was among those from NCV who seized the opportunity to take part in such an enriching experience:

“I grew up watching Q&A and I always find the discussions to be very insightful. I find them to be a great way to engage with opinions which differ from my own. Having the chance to attend a live show was very exciting!”

The most excitement was generated by strong debate around the legalisation of euthanasia. Approaching such a sensitive issue inevitably led to healthy tension and disagreement among not only panellists but audience members as well. Hayley and the other NCV residents found the discussion very insightful, and even found that some of their own opinions shifted slightly after hearing others justify their own arguments. Hayley shared;

“While I do feel quite strongly about this topic, I think I am now able to see why other opinions on the issue might exist- which is what I love about Q&A!”

Euthanasia was not the only topic however that piqued the interest of NCVers. Hayley herself asked the following question of Penny Wong, while other panellists also gave their own insights;

Unilateral action from the US, without the United Nations, creates the strong possibility of Australia being drawn into a conflict due to our historical alliance with the United States. With the threat of a broader conflict a real possibility, not just in Syria but now also in North Korea, do you believe that we are acting with due consideration of Australia’s part in such conflicts, and the consequences of that participation, or are we simply being drawn into the potential conflict by the actions of the United States and our historical alliance with them?

All those who attended the night had a lot of fun and grew in their understanding on important issues of our day. NCV residents would be missing out if Q&A trips were to not become a regular occurrence!