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The Locked-up Country with Shahar Hameiri - Hosted by AIIA QLD
12 Mar / 6:00pm – 7:00pm
Holding Redlich, Level 1, 300 Queen Street, Brisbane

The Locked-up Country with Shahar Hameiri - Hosted by AIIA QLD

Join us either in-person or online with Professor Shahar Hameiri who will discuss his recent book The Locked-up Country, detailing the problems with Australia's COVID-19 response and suggesting alternatives moving forward.

The event is free for AIIA Queensland members and AIIA members from all states. Non-members pay $10 and student non-members $5. Tickets available via the link below.

If you are attending in-person, please arrive at Holding Redlich at 5.30pm for registration and drinks.

Please note, if you arrive after 6:00pm, the lifts may not be accessible. Ring 0403 777 541 for assistance.

Webinar: After registering, on March 12, you will receive a follow-up confirmation email containing further details on how to join the webinar which will commence at 6:00pm AEST.


Donald Horne famously called Australia ‘the lucky country’. So how did we become the locked-up country and how might the future look different?

Australia has changed enormously since Horne’s 1960s, but its response to the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates the enduring truth of his thesis that our ‘luck’ was undeserved and wouldn’t last. By closing its borders and imposing a nationally coordinated lockdown, Australia unexpectedly eliminated COVID-19 in 2020, achieving one of the world’s lowest excess mortality rates.

But as governments proceeded to bungle key planks of the pandemic response, by mid-2021, Australia was ‘locked up’ – closed off to the world and fragmented along state and territory borders, with its major cities enduring repeated and extended lockdowns. It soon became clear that Australia’s regulatory state had let us down. But these failures were not inevitable, and we can manage future crises more successfully.

In The Locked-up Country, political experts Tom Chodor and Shahar Hameiri identify the source of Australia’s recent challenges and suggest a better way forward.


Shahar Hameiri is Professor of International Politics at the University of Queensland. An expert on security and development in Asia, Shahar has authored several books, including Fractured China (co-authored with Lee Jones), published by Cambridge University Press in 2021. Shahar has also written extensively on the politics of global health security.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Shahar directed his attention towards understanding the response back home in Australia. The result is his latest book, The Locked-up Country, co-authored with Dr Tom Chodor.