An orange background overlaid with black and white images of two men.

Join us for a lively evening of discussion and debate as we explore the power of sport to bring us together or push us apart. Our speakers for the evening will be the Hon Dr Andrew Leigh MP and Emeritus Professor David Rowe, who will take the stage to explore this fascinating theme alongside podcast host and journalist Ginger Gorman, our moderator for the debate. 

The Great Debate promises to be a thought-provoking and entertaining event, with opportunities for audience participation and engagement. 

Tickets are $30 per person and bookings are essential.

The ticket price includes entry to the event, after-hours entry to the Grit & Gold: Tales from a Sporting Nation exhibition on the evening, and drinks and canapes on arrival from 6pm, before the debate starts at 7pm.

This event is presented in association with the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia.

About the speakers

The Hon Dr Andrew Leigh MP

Dr Andrew Leigh is the Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities, Treasury and Employment, and Federal Member for Fenner in the ACT. Prior to being elected in 2010, Dr Leigh was a professor of economics at the Australian National University. He holds a PhD in Public Policy from Harvard, having graduated from the University of Sydney with first class honours in Arts and Law. Dr Leigh is a past recipient of the Economic Society of Australia's Young Economist Award and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences.

His books include Disconnected (2010), Battlers and Billionaires: The Story of Inequality in Australia  (2013), The Economics of Just About Everything  (2014), The Luck of Politics  (2015), Choosing Openness: Why Global Engagement is Best for Australia  (2017), Randomistas: How Radical Researchers Changed Our World  (2018), Innovation + Equality: How to Create a Future That Is More Star Trek Than Terminator  (with Joshua Gans) (2019), Reconnected: A Community Builder's Handbook  (with Nick Terrell) (2020), What's the Worst That Could Happen? Existential Risk and Extreme Politics  (2021) and Fair Game: Lessons From Sport for a Fairer Society & a Stronger Economy  (2022).

Dr Leigh is a keen triathlete and marathon runner, and hosts a podcast called The Good Life: Andrew Leigh in Conversation, about living a happier, healthier and more ethical life. 

Emeritus Professor David Rowe

Emeritus Professor David Rowe FAHA FASSA is Emeritus Professor of Cultural Research, Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University, Honorary Professor, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Bath, and Research Associate, Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy, SOAS University of London. Professor Rowe is also a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences.

His books include: Popular Cultures: Rock Music, Sport and the Politics of Pleasure  (1995), Globalization and Sport: Playing the World  (co-authored, 2001), Sport, Culture and the Media: The Unruly Trinity  (second edition, 2004), Sport Beyond Television: The Internet, Digital Media and the Rise of Networked Media Sport  (co-authored, 2012), Sport, Public Broadcasting, and Cultural Citizenship: Signal Lost?  (co-edited, 2014) and Making Culture: Commercialisation, Transnationalism, and the State of ‘Nationing’ in Contemporary Australia  (co-edited, 2018).

A Chief Investigator on 10 Australian Research Council projects, in 2015 Professor Rowe received Western Sydney University’s Excellence in Research (Researcher of the Year) Award. He is a frequent expert commentator in both Australian and international media on socio-cultural matters.  His work has been translated into several languages, including Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Korean, Spanish and Turkish. In 2018 Professor Rowe received the Australian Sociological Association Distinguished Service to Sociology Award, and in the same year his book Global Media Sport: Flows, Forms and Futures (2011) was an Outstanding Book Selection of the National Academy of Sciences, Republic of Korea.

Ginger Gorman

Ginger Gorman is an award-winning print and radio journalist based in the Australian Capital Territory. She is also a 2006 World Press Institute Fellow. Her freelance work has been published in print and online in publications such as, The Huffington Post, The Guardian, The Age and the ABC’s Drum website.


The Academy of Social Sciences will be donating $5 from your ticket purchase to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation charity in support of Indigenous Literacy Day on Wednesday 6 September. As a collective effort, the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia will make this meaningful contribution to support literacy initiatives for Indigenous communities.

Type Special event