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The World Turned Upside Down

Cathy McGowan, Adam Bandt and Allegra Spender
Hosted by Karen Middleton

How will the cross bench flex its new political muscle?

The cross benches in our federal parliament got quite a bit more crowded at this year's election. Will this Independents movement continue to grow? And how will they enact their agenda with the new government?

Live in-person event | Drama Theatre | Also available on Stream | Talks & Ideas

COVID-safe and event information

The health, safety and wellbeing of everyone at the Opera House is our priority. When you return to the Opera House, you will notice some important changes that have been implemented to keep the community safe, which are regularly reviewed and updated in consideration of the Public Health Order prevailing at the time. Please follow our conditions of entry at all times:

  • Face masks are strongly recommended for all patrons while inside our theatres and foyers, including during the performance. Please bring your own mask;
  • As you move around the Opera House, practise physical distancing (1.5 metres whenever possible) and follow the guidance provided by our staff and signage; and
  • Within venues, always take your allocated seat.

Please refer to our updated General Terms and Conditions for Tickets and Attendance at Events for detailed information about our ticketing policies. These conditions may change between the time of purchase and the event date. Ticketholders will be contacted directly regarding any changes to their event.

Please check our plan your visit page prior to attending the Opera House for the most up-to-date information.

Pre-sale and on-sale information

Multipacks

Insider Member Priority – 9am, Tuesday 28 June

Single Tickets 

Insider Member Priority – 9am, Tuesday 28 June
What's on Priority sale – 9am, Wednesday 29 June
General public on sale – 9am, Friday 1 July

Sunday 11 September 2022, 4pm

Session runs from 4pm - 5pm

Standard tickets from $33 | $8.50 Booking Fee applies per transaction Save up to 15% with a festival Multipack | Livestream tickets from $15

Ticket Unreserved Seating
Standard
$33
Insider (Save 20% on this performance) $26.40
Multipack Buy 3 - 4 events and save 10%  $29.70
Multipack Buy 5+ events and save 15%  $28.05
Livestream $15
Livestream festival pass $55
Babes in arms $10

Prices correct at the time of publication and subject to change without notice. Exact prices will be displayed with seat selection. Children aged 15 years and under must be accompanied at all times

The authorised ticket agency for this event is Sydney Opera House and Vimeo. For more information about Authorised Agencies, see the FAQ below.

Enjoy a selection of talks online with a Festival Pass ($55), or purchase an individual livestream ($15). Purchase here.

This talk runs for approximately 60 minutes (no interval)

Event duration is a guide only and may be subject to change.

In English | Auslan Interpreted | Open Captioned | Audio loop available & wheelchair accessible

Auslan interpretation service is provided for audiences who are deaf and use Australian Sign Language (Auslan). Experienced Auslan interpreters stand to the side of the stage and translate what the speakers are saying into Auslan. A block of seats is reserved for users of this service to ensure a good view of the interpreter and the stage. If you wish to book Auslan tickets and be seated in this area please call 02 9250 7777 or email bookings@sydneyoperahouse.com

Captions are text descriptions that display the session's dialogue, identify speakers, and describe other relevant sounds that are otherwise inaccessible to people who are deaf or have hearing loss. To be seated in the area with best view of the screens please call 02 9250 7777 or email bookings@sydneyoperahouse.com

Find out more about accessibility at Sydney Opera House.

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How will the new politics change Canberra?

Voters in this year's federal election made a historic move away from the two-party system, and a record number of Independents and Greens candidates have been elected. Labor was able to form government in its own right, but many suggest this might well be the last time a major political party does. Stitching together coalitions after an election in order to form a government is the norm in some countries - could this become the norm here?

Join these cross-bench trendsetters as they put our new state of affairs under the microscope. How will these new voices in power hold the government to account? What role will the Senate have when balance of power is in play? 

Presented by Sydney Opera House

Speakers

Cathy head shot

Cathy McGowan came to national attention when she won the seat of Indi as an Independent in 2013.  The community backed her again in 2016.  In 2019 Indi made Australian political history when Dr Helen Haines was elected as Indi's second, independent woman. During her time as a politician Cathy actively worked in Parliament to develop policy around regional development, constitutional change for first nations people and a solution to the indefinite detention of asylum seekers.  In 2019 she was awarded The Accountability Round Table award for political integrity. She is an Officer in the Order of Australia, a Churchill fellow and lives very happily on her farm in the Indigo Valley in NE Victoria.

Adam head shot

Adam Bandt is the Federal Member for Melbourne and Leader of the Australian Greens. Adam is the Greens spokesperson for the Climate, Energy and Employment & Workplace Relations. Adam was elected to the Federal Parliament in 2010, making history as the first Green elected to the House of Representatives at a general election. 

The Australian Greens are now the third biggest party in Australia’s history after gaining an extra three seats in both the Senate and the House of Representatives in the 2022 Federal Election.

Allegra head shot

Allegra Spender is the independent member for the federal seat of Wentworth. She is a mum, business leader, and renewable energy advocate, and was elected in 2022 on a platform of climate action, integrity, inclusivity, and a future-focused economy. Allegra has diverse leadership experience in the corporate, non-profit, private, and public sectors. She started her career at McKinsey & Company, before working at the U.K. Treasury and in a leading U.K. public teaching hospital. From 2008 to 2016, Allegra was the Managing Director of Carla Zampatti, a leading Australian designer fashion business. She was also Chair of Sydney Renewable Power Company, a renewable impact investment company that financed over 500kw of solar on the International Convention Centre. Prior to standing for Wentworth, Allegra was the CEO of Australian Business and Community Network (ABCN) a social mobility not-for-profit. The network is made up of a group of forty leading corporations, including Macquarie, Microsoft, Lendlease, Optus and Bain, whose team members mentor over 5,000 students from low socio-economic backgrounds. Allegra has a degree in economics from the University of Cambridge and has completed courses from Dartmouth College's Tuck School of Business, the University of London's Birkbeck, and Harvard Business School. Allegra is married with three young children and in her spare time is a keen runner.

Karen Middleton head shot

Karen Middleton is Chief Political Correspondent for Schwartz Media’s The Saturday Paper and the author of An Unwinnable War – Australia in Afghanistan (2011), and Albanese – Telling it Straight (2016). A regular contributor to ABC radio, ABC TV’s Insiders and The Drum, Network Ten’s The Project and Nine’s Weekend Today, she is a correspondent for Radio New Zealand, and Monocle24 radio London and has contributed to the BBC and The New York Times. A former federal Press Gallery president, she was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Canberra in 2020.

Experience ANTIDOTE live on Stream

This year, Antidote will be livestreamed on Stream, Sydney Opera House's online streaming platform. 

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Venue Information

Performances are being sold to 100% capacity in line with the NSW Public Health Order. This includes all shows in the Concert Hall, Joan Sutherland Theatre, Studio, Playhouse, Drama Theatre, Utzon Room and Forecourt. Please note that you will be seated directly alongside other ticketholders.

Our foyers will be open 90 minutes pre-show for Concert Hall and Joan Sutherland Theatre performances, and two hours pre-show for Western Foyer venue performances. Refreshments will be available for purchase from our theatre bars. Please remember to maintain physical distancing whilst consuming drinks in our foyers.

All Sydney Opera House foyers are pram accessible, with lifts to the main and western foyers. The public lift to all foyers is accessible from the corridor near the escalators on the Lower Concourse and also in the Western Foyer via the corridor on the Ground Level (at the top of the escalators). Pram parking will be available outside the theatres in the Western Foyer consistent with COVID-safe rules.

Transport options

  • We encourage you to use private transport options to minimise crowding on public transport (in line with NSW Government advice). 
  • The Sydney Opera House Car Park, operated by Wilson Parking, is open and available to use. Wilson Parking offer discounted parking if you book ahead. Please see their website for details.
  • Please check the Transport NSW website for the latest advice and information on travel and COVID-19 safety measures. You can catch public transport (bus, train, ferry) to Circular Quay and enjoy a 6 min walk to the Opera House. 

Frequently Asked Questions - COVID-19 Safety Measures

What safety measures have you implemented?

Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of everyone on site, and we are closely following NSW Health guidelines and advice. The Sydney Opera House is registered as a COVID Safe business with the NSW Government. For detailed information about our COVID-19 safety measures and what’s required of you when visiting, please see our plan your visit page.

What am I required to do as an audience member?

Face masks are strongly recommended for all patrons while inside our theatres and foyers, including during the performance. Please bring your own mask.

As you move around the Opera House, practise physical distancing (1.5 metres whenever possible) and follow the guidance provided by our staff and signage.

Within venues, always take your allocated seat.

For detailed information about our COVID-19 safety measures and what’s required of you, please see our plan your visit page.

Do I need to be vaccinated to visit the Sydney Opera House?

The Sydney Opera House no longer requires patrons to show that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Am I required to wear a mask?

Face masks are strongly recommended for all patrons while inside our theatres and foyers, including during the performance. Please bring your own mask.

How are you managing contact tracing? 

Contact information is required when making a booking with us and upon arrival at the Opera House, as set out in our General Terms and Conditions for Tickets and Attendance at Events and our Customer Privacy Statement.

As the ticket purchaser, you are responsible for recording the contact details of your guests. Contact information will only be used for the purposes of contact tracing, if required, and will be deleted at least 28 days after your event.

Frequently Asked Questions - Performance and Venue

What time do I need to arrive before the event?

Ticket purchases and collection at our Box Office is discouraged and eTicket or postal delivery methods should be used, wherever possible. However, if you are collecting your tickets from the Box Office, we recommend doing this at least 60 minutes before the event starts. If you have already received your tickets, the venue doors will be open 45 minutes pre-show for Concert Hall and Joan Sutherland Theatre performances, and 30 minutes pre-show for Western Foyer venue performances. Please take your seats as soon as you arrive. 

If you are late, we will seat you as soon as we can and, where possible, in your allocated seat. However, to reduce movement in the venue as well as minimise disruption to the performance and other patrons, ticketholders may be seated in an allocated latecomer’s seat. Please be aware that some events have lock-out periods. In these cases, latecomers will be admitted at a suitable break in the performance. On occasions, this may not be until the interval, or at all where there is no interval. 

Details of our right to refuse admission can be found in our General Terms and Conditions for Tickets and Events.

Will there be bag checks, and is cloaking available?

In accordance with our venue security procedures, Opera House security will be scanning and checking bags under the Monumental Stairs, prior to entering the building. Bags will be scanned by an x-ray machine, and staff will wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when handling your belongings, such as gloves. Cloaking facilities will be open 60 minutes pre-show for Concert Hall and Joan Sutherland Theatre performances, and 60 minutes pre-show for Western Foyer venue performances. However it is strongly encouraged that you travel lightly to minimise contact and queuing. Any bags larger than an A4 piece of paper will need to be checked into the Cloak Room.

Can my baby sit on my lap?

Children aged 15 years and under must be accompanied at all times. Babies aged 0-2 years old at the time of a performance may be seated on an adult’s lap. Children 2 years and older will need to hold a standard ticket.

Does my child need to wear a face mask?

Children under the age of 12 are not required to wear a face mask.

Who are the authorised ticket sellers for this event? 

The authorised agency for this event is the Sydney Opera House.

Only tickets purchased by authorised agencies should be considered reliable. If you purchase tickets from a non-authorised agency such as Ticketmaster Resale, Viagogo, Ticketbis, eBay, Gumtree, Tickets Australia or any other unauthorised seller, you risk that these tickets are fake, void or have previously been cancelled. RESALE RESTRICTION APPLIES. For more details, please refer to our General Terms and Conditions for Tickets and Attendance at Events.

What if I can't come to my performance?

Please contact Box Office on 9250 7777 as soon as possible to advise if you can no longer attend. If you can no longer attend because you are unwell, or have been in contact with someone displaying COVID-19 symptoms, the Opera House has introduced flexible ticketing options to help you, find out more information here.

Will there be food and beverages available for purchase in the venue?

Foyers will be open 90 minutes pre-show for Concert Hall and Joan Sutherland Theatre performances, and two hours pre-show for Western Foyer venue performances. Refreshments will be available for purchase from our theatre bars.

The venue doors will be open 45 minutes pre-show for Concert Hall and Joan Sutherland Theatre performances, and 30 minutes pre-show for Western Foyer venue performances.

Please bring a credit or debit card for any on site purchases to enable contactless payment. You’re welcome to bring your own water bottle but no other food and drinks are permitted inside our venues. Opera Bar, Opera Kitchen and Portside are also available for you to enjoy.

Will there be pram parking at kids performances?

All Sydney Opera House foyers are pram accessible, with lifts to the main and western foyers. The public lift to the foyers is accessible from the corridor near the escalators on the Lower Concourse and also in the Western Foyer via the corridor on the Ground Level (at the top of the escalators). Pram parking will be available outside the theatres consistent with COVID-safe rules.

Can I smoke at the Opera House?

  • The health, safety and wellbeing of everyone at the Sydney Opera House is our top priority. In line with this commitment, the Opera House will become a smoke-free site from Saturday 1 January 2022.
  • By becoming a smoke-free site, the Opera House seeks to reduce exposure to harmful second-hand smoke, as well as minimise the impact of smoking on the environment, including litter and pollution of the surrounding marine environment.