What's On

Refuge Talks Series: Living in a Pandemic

Presented in Virtual Season 2020

Presented by Arts House

Living in a Pandemic
Thu 28 May, Midday AEST

60 mins

Event live-streamed on Zoom

This episode will commence with a live-streamed Wurundjeri Welcome to Country.


Image result for auslan symbol
All sessions will be live captioned and Auslan interpreted.

This series will be recorded for re-stream with closed captions.

Terms and Conditions:
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This is how we live now.

Time comes off its axis in a crisis, as days blur together, the future shrinks, and even nostalgia feels dangerous. We’re drowning in the present, but we can do more than just survive. Whilst some of us are working this out for the first time, others have been here before. We don’t need to do it alone.

This session looks at how we collectively connect when we can no longer gather, and how a crisis forces us to reframe how we care for each other. What we can learn from First Nations people who have survived waves of colonialism, and the chronically ill who live in these conditions daily?

Join Laureate Professor Peter Doherty, Wurundjeri Woi wurrung Elder Uncle Dave Wandin and community organiser Lorna Hannan OAM as they reflect on the past whilst living in the pandemic.

Interspersed with new writing and live music by Alice Skye, musings and comics from Grant Jonathon (aka HTMLflowers) and demos from Jen Rae’s Future Proof Survival Guide, this instalment is a pick-me-up for getting through the day-to-day.

Hosted by: Lee Shang Lun
Laureate Professor Peter Doherty, Patron of the Doherty Institute
Wurundjeri Woi wurrung Elder Uncle Dave Wandin
Lorna Hannan, OAM Community Organiser
Grant Jonathon (HTMLflowers), Artist
Jen Rae, Artist
Live music by: Alice Skye


Living in a Pandemic is a session of Refuge Talks Series, happening live every Thursday 21 May – 4 June, midday on Arts House’s website. From practical survival skills to tips from pandemic and medical experts, this three part series takes you beyond the headlines and into the worlds (and living rooms) of those who know what counts most in a time of crisis.


About the Host 

Lee Shang Lun
Lee Shang Lun is an antidisciplinary artist, playful designer, independent game maker and community organizer. His interests include Christian theology, ecological economics, freestyle wrestling, speculative architecture, a cappella vocal ensembles, water polo, and tea.

About the Speakers

Peter Doherty
Peter Doherty shared the 1996 Nobel Medicine Prize for discovering the Nature of the Cellular Immune Defense and continues to be involved in research directed at understanding and preventing the severe consequences of influenza virus infection. He has written for popular magazine and news formats, helped start The Conversation, and has published six books on science and the scientific life.

Uncle Dave Wandin
Wurundjeri Woi wurrung Elder Uncle Dave Wandin is the Corporation’s Manager of Cultural Practices (Fire & Water). Prior to this role, Uncle Dave was instrumental in the establishment of the Corporation’s Narrap Team, a team of cultural land managers. Uncle Dave is a recognised leader in both the promotion and execution of cultural burns in Victoria. Currently Uncle Dave, along with the Water Unit, is working on the development of the Yarra Strategic Plan to ensure good outcomes for Wurundjeri Woi wurrung culture and people alongside representatives from Responsible Public Entities identified in the Wilip-gin Birrarung Murron Act (2017).

Lorna Hannan
Lorna Hannan has lived in North Melbourne for over 50 years and watched the many changes that have made it a distinctive place to live. Links with the area have given Lorna’s life a richness that she treasures and many stories to enjoy and retell. Refuge gives her the opportunity to harvest these stories and to savour the art of conversation.

Grant Jonathon (HTMLflowers)
Grant Jonathon (HTMLflowers) was born with Cystic Fibrosis in 1987 in Illinois and fled America for Australia in 1998 in search of healthcare. He has been cartooning and releasing music in Melbourne for the last 12 years. Through his auto-fiction comic series, No Visitors, he explores life as an ambitionless disabled youth in grotesquely intimate detail.

Dr Jen Rae
Dr Jen Rae is a Narrm (Melbourne)-based artist-researcher of Métis-Scottish descent. Her 15-year practice-led research is focussed on cultural responses to climate/everything change, specifically the role of artists. Her work is engaged in discourses around food in/security, disaster preparedness and speculative futures predominantly articulated through multi-platform creative projects, transdisciplinary collaborative methodologies, and community alliances.

About the Musician

Alice Skye
Alice Skye is a singer-songwriter, Wergaia woman, and universal little sister. Her songs sparkle with a sensitivity and maturity well beyond her years, accompanied by the gentle and hauntingly sparse melodies of a piano score. Alice was awarded the inaugural First Peoples Emerging Artist Award at the One of One International Women’s Day Breakfast in 2018, as well as topping the AMRAP charts for several weeks with singles ‘Friends With Feelings’ and ‘60%’.

Presented by Arts House

Living in a Pandemic
Thu 28 May, Midday AEST

60 mins

Event live-streamed on Zoom

This episode will commence with a live-streamed Wurundjeri Welcome to Country.


Supported by – Supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts and funding and advisory body, Emergency Management Victoria, State Emergency Services, Resilient Melbourne, University of Melbourne, Red Cross Australia, The Peter Doherty Centre and The City of Melbourne through Arts House.
Image by – Ready, Steady, Go (detail) by Jen Rae and Emma Byrnes (2020)