Postponed – Think Twice: Freedom of speech

Due to the Greater Brisbane 3-day lockdown announcement by the Queensland Government on 29 March 2021, this event will be postponed until further notice. We will be in touch with further details once confirmed. 

If you have any queries please contact us at We look forward to welcoming you to this event at a future date.

Join UNESCO Chair in Journalism and Communication, Professor Peter Greste and a panel of leading experts and academics for a thought-provoking discussion on 'Freedom of Speech'.

The event will challenge perceptions and test the notion of a 'free speech crisis' in the university sector and society. Our experts reflect on contentious issues surrounding free speech, discuss the social implications and ask what it means for the nation's democracy.

This event is brought to you by UQ and the ABC, as part of ABC's 'Think Twice' TV series and will be broadcast on the ABC at a later date.

5.30pm: Arrivals and Registration 
6.15pm - 7.30pm: Panel Discussion
(Please note: As the event is being recorded and broadcast by the ABC, late arrivals will not be permitted. Doors will close at 6.15pm) 

Professor Deborah Terry AO

Professor Deborah Terry AO is Vice-Chancellor and President of The University of Queensland (UQ). Prior to commencing this role in August 2020, she served as Vice-Chancellor of Curtin University in Western Australia (from February 2014 to July 2020).

Professor Terry was made an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AO) in June 2015, in recognition of her distinguished service to education in the tertiary sector.

She is also Chair of the Board of Universities Australia; a Fellow and past President of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia; an appointed member of the Australian Research Council Advisory Council; and serves on the Australia and New Zealand School of Government Board and Australia's Academic and Research Network Board.

Having grown up in Perth and Canberra, Professor Terry completed her PhD in Social Psychology at the Australian National University in Canberra. From there, she commenced her distinguished career at UQ in 1990, initially as an internationally recognised scholar in psychology. During her 24 years at UQ, Professor Terry progressed through a number of senior leadership roles to become Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, before leaving for her role as Vice-Chancellor of Curtin University in early 2014.

Zoe Ranganathan – National President of the National Union of Students

Zoe Ranganathan is the National President of the National Union of Students, advocating for the political and social rights of young people and academic quality and freedom in higher education. Representing over 1 million students across the country, Zoe is focused on ensuring that the post-pandemic higher education sector is more accessible to students. She knows that equal access to TAFE and university is essential to Australia’s post-pandemic recovery - that we must engage in this rebuild with the voices of young people in the room in order to shape the world that they will enter into.

Zoe has landed coverage in print and broadcast outlets across the country, including RN Drive, ABC Sydney and SBS. Her main projects for the year include pushing for legislated minimum funding to student unions, international student worker safety and lowering the age of independence for welfare payments in order to give young people the best opportunity to thrive at TAFE or university. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Political Science at the Australian National University. 

Scott Stephens –  Online Editor of Religion and Ethics for the ABC

Scott Stephens is the ABC’s religion and ethics editor, and co-host (with Waleed Aly) of The Minefield on ABC Radio National. His book On Contempt is forthcoming from Melbourne University Press, and in 2021 he will be presenting the twentieth annual Simone Weil Lectures on Human Value at the Australian Catholic University.

Tim Wilson MP – Federal Member for Goldstein and Chair of the House Economics Committee 

Tim Wilson was elected as the Federal Liberal Member for Goldstein in 2016. He currently serves as Chair of the Standing Committee on Economics, and also sits on the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security. Prior to entering parliament, he served as Australia’s Human Rights Commissioner. He holds a Master’s degree in Diplomacy and Trade and a Bachelor of Arts from Monash University. 


Professor Peter Greste – UNESCO Chair of Journalism and Communication, The University of Queensland

Professor Peter Greste is an award-winning foreign correspondent who spent 25 years working for the BBC, Reuters and Al Jazeera in some of the world’s most volatile places. From Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, he reported from the frontlines and beyond. He may be best known for becoming a headline himself, when he and two of his colleagues were arrested in Cairo while working for Al Jazeera and charged with terrorism offences. In letters smuggled from prison, he described the arrests as an attack on media freedom. The letters helped launch a global campaign that eventually got them released after more than 400 days in prison. 

He has since become a vocal campaigner and advocate for media freedom – a stance that has earned him awards from Britain’s Royal Television Society, the Walkley Foundation, the RSL’s ANZAC Peace Prize, the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Human Rights Medal, and the International Association of Press Clubs’ Freedom of Speech Award. He has written about his experiences in Egypt and what he regards as the global war on journalism in a book, The First Casualty. At the University, he is developing the next generation of journalists and running a program of research and advocacy on media freedom issues.

Health and safety information

  • Stay at home if unwell or have a cough, fever, sore throat, fatigue or shortness of breath
  • If you become unwell during the event please let an event organiser know.
  • Maintaining physical distancing requirements is the individuals responsibility

Please do not attend the event if:

  • You have been in close contact with a person who is positive for COVID-19
  • You are positive for COVID-19
  • You have travelled overseas or to a declared COVID-19 hotspot in the previous 14 days

Attendees are encouraged to download the Commonwealth Government COVID-19 app prior to attending the event.

Postponed – Think Twice: Freedom of Speech

Wed 31 Mar 2021 5:30pm7:30pm

Due to the Greater Brisbane 3-day lockdown announcement by the Queensland Government on 29 March 2021, this event will be postponed until further notice. We will be in touch with further details once confirmed. 

If you have any queries please contact us at We look forward to welcoming you to this event at a future date