About the Speakers

Dr Melissa Bellanta is a Queensland based historian. She was recently awarded the ARC postdoctoral fellowship and edited a special issue of the Journal of Australian Studies.

Her book Larrikins: A History takes a trip through the street-based youth subculture known as larrikinism between 1870 and 1920. Swerving through the streets of Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, it offers a glimpse into the lives of Australia’s first larrikins, including bare knuckle-fighting, football-barracking, and knicker-flashing teenage girls. Along the way, it reveals much that is unexpected about the development of Australia’s larrikin streak to present fascinating historical perspectives on ‘youth issues’ today, including gang violence, racist riots, and raunch culture among adolescent girls

Dr Tony Moore is Director of the National Centre for Australian Studies at Monash University. He was formerly a publisher and TV producer, and his previous books include Death or Liberty: Rebels and Radicals Transported to Australia 1788-1868.

His latest book is Dancing with Empty Pockets: Australia’s Bohemians. In it he writes about Australian bohemians who have been both libertines and libertarians offending the ‘wowsers’, conservatives and moral norms of their time by their art and how they lived. Dancing with Empty Pockets traces our rich bohemian tradition beginning with celebrity writer and bad boy Marcus Clark in the 1860s, and tripping through a succession of youthful counter cultures from the anarchistic Sydney Libertarians and Carlton art and theatre scenes of the 1950s and 60s to today’s digital cyberpunks, hackers and pranksters who colonise the internet’s virtual bohemias.