One of the panellists for the most recent Q and A (held in Tasmania) was Natasha Cica. if you have a squizz at her little bio on the site you'll see that she is described as a "change agent". She's also got a pretty vague sounding role as an academic that is linked to increasing Tasmania's "cultural and social vibrancy". This is all just a precious way of saying she uses taxpayers' money to push a deep green, leftist and drearily PC agenda.
She's clearly a dab hand at getting grants and awards, too, because she's recently scored a biggie:
In 2012 Natasha is the recipient of a prestigious Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship. Just twelve Australians were selected for these fellowships from over three hundred nominations, with regard to two criteria - outstanding talent and exceptional courage.
Dunno where her "exceptional talent" lies -- aside from her ability to score a cushy gig in the Halls of Quackademe, that is. Maybe it's got something to do with her fine ear for "cultural vibrancy"? And I'm not sure what feats of "exceptional courage" she's pulled off either. Hell, maybe in her spare time she's a proximity flyer?
Basically, she displayed neither courage nor talent in her appearance on Q and A. She just came across as a bit of a bore who seemed way too pleased with herself.
Some of what she said bordered on the self-parodic. One example of this occurred when the discussion turned to Hobart's Museum of Old and New Art and the ethically prickly fact that much of the money for it had come from professional gambler David Walsh's massive winnings. Keen to counter Eric Abetz's point that there was little distinction between making money from pokie machines and poker played with cards, she said this:
NATASHA CICA: Well, I think you can. I mean some of my best friends are gamblers, I’ll come straight up and say, and there is a difference between pulling a thing on a poker machine and playing a game of poker. One is asocial, anti-social, inward looking, does not involve you connecting with other people. The other can be the creation of a social space. Now, I’m not saying it’s as simple as that but I remember when this building opened and when Wrest Point Casino was the sexiest, most cosmopolitan space in town and much as with MONA, people flew into Hobart from other countries, other states and there was a buzz about this building and that was all around gambling so I think there are degrees of problematic behaviour and social cost associated with different types of gambling so with all respect I disagree.
Hilarious. Well, one thing's for sure, she's certainly got an exceptional talent for rhetorical hair-splitting. I wonder what she would have said if David Walsh, who's kinda like a Lorenzo the Magnificent for Tasmania, had made his mind-boggling fortune from poker machines instead. I reckon it would be something along these lines:
"Well, poker machine playing is seen as a sad and lonely activity in which players are routinely commodified and exploited. However I believe this stereotype is in need of radical re-imagining.
"Playing on the pokies could equally be seen in existential terms as individuals exercising their own free will. And the repeated pulling of levers does have aerobic benefits that are clearly missing from traditional card game practices."