Michael Bachelard in conversation with Julian Burnside

Readings Hawthorn, Woiwurrung Country, 687 Glenferrie Rd, Hawthorn, Victoria, 3122

Out of nowhere in 2004, an obscure religious sect burst onto the political stage in Australia. Almost unheard of until then, the Exclusive Brethren was suddenly spending up big in election advertising in support of conservative political parties. But its members were shy to the point of paranoia about who they were — preferring, as they said, to ‘fly under the radar’. Brethren members assiduously lobbied politicians, but did not vote. And they were very close to the then Prime Minister John Howard. Michael Bachelard, author of Behind the Exclusive Brethren was formerly part of The Age’s investigative team, and he now writes for The Sunday Age. In 2008 he won a Quill award for best news report in print.

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