Saturday Seminar – Is it through politics that we define the soul of a nation?

Tutor/Facilitator Prof Frank Bongiorno

Date: on/from Sat 18 Mar 2023 to Sat 18 Mar 2023
Frequency: Single Event
Class time: 2:30-3:30

Delivered ZOOM

Other information

To watch the seminar click here on the day at 2:20pm for a 2:30 start.

Speaker: Professor Frank Bongiorno, Professor of History at the Australian National University, author of ‘Dreamers and Schemers’.

Facilitator: Jim Walter Emeritus Professor of Political Science, Monash University and U3APP member

Australians have rarely looked to politics for the source of their national identity, or to politicians for their heroes or villains.  What does that tell us about the country? And do we gain fresh insights if we turn our attention to politics as a measure of the kind of society that Australia became across more than sixty thousand years of deep time, and more than 230 of settler history? By drawing on his recent book Dreamers and Schemers: A Political History of Australia (La Trobe University Press, 2022), Frank Bongiorno will examine the deep patterns of our politics from earliest human occupation to the age of COVID and ask – as well as do his best to answer – some of the big questions about what an understanding of political history might contribute to our wider understanding of this country’s past, present and future.

Frank Bongiorno is Professor History at the Australian National University, and was previously Senior Lecturer at King’s College London. He is the author of The Sex Lives of Australians: A History (2012), The Eighties: The Decade That Transformed Australia (2015) and, most recently, Dreamers and Schemers: A Political History of Australia (2022). He is a Member of the Order of Australia and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and the Australian Academy of Humanities.

Seminar flyer.


This seminar is open to all U3A Port Phillip members and subscribers and to the general public.

As there are limited numbers, please book in below.

This is an online live seminar, presented as a webinar on Zoom.

If you have not yet used Zoom, you will need to download Zoom onto your device in advance- click here for instructions.

Enrolments / Bookings

U3APP members must log in, and members of the public must register, to make a booking.
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Members of the public, please register to attend an event open to non-members.

To enrol in a course, you must be a financial member of U3A Port Phillip. If you are financial and still unable to book, it means bookings have not yet opened.


How to Enrol

On-line: after bookings have opened

On-line enrolments are preferred as this significantly reduces the amount of back-office work for our volunteers.

  • Login to the website.
  • Go to the Courses & Enrolling page.
  • Scroll down to find the course that you are interested in.
  • Does the course have spaces available?
    • Click on the course name to go to the booking page.
    • Click on “Book for this course or event”.
    • You will receive a confirmation email.  Please check your Junk/Spam folders as these automatically-generated emails often finish up there.
  • OR is the course shown as FULL?
    • Click on WAITLIST.

Paper Enrolment Form: before bookings open for First Semester

  • Obtain a paper Enrolment Form either from the Office or by printing an online copy available here.
  • Complete the paper Enrolment Form and submit it to the Office.

The start date for acceptance of paper Enrolment Forms for first semester is published on the U3APP website and in the e-Bulletin. Enrolment Forms received before this date are treated as though they had been received on the start date (ie there is no advantage to be gained by submitting early). On the start date and thereafter, paper Enrolment Forms are numbered in order of receipt.  Paper Enrolment forms are processed by U3APP volunteers on the same day as on-line bookings.

If your enrolment is successful, you will receive a confirmation email.  Please check your Junk/Spam folders as these automatically-generated emails often finish up there.

If your enrolment is unsuccessful,  you will receive an email telling you that you have been waitlisted.

Via the Office: after bookings have opened

  • Contact the office in person, or by email or phone.