VAC brings back the Hypothetical for Midsumma

VAC_MJTinaVictorian AIDS Council is partnering with the City of Melbourne during Midsumma to host a one-night event that uses the ‘hypothetical’ panel discussion format once made famous by Geoffrey Robertson on the ABC.

With a panel including Australian Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson, media personalities Judith Lucy and Adam Richard as well as a line up of community leaders and health specialists, and will be moderated by Rob Moodie, Professor of Public Health at The University of Melbourne.

“A hypothetical is such a effective way of getting meaningful insights from a panel of experts and leaders. It surprises me that we don’t see it used more often,” said VAC CEO Simon Ruth.

“The Geoffrey Robertson’s Hypothetical episode Does Dracula have AIDS? from 1986 changed health policy overnight. VAC hasn’t hosted a hypothetical since 2000, so it’s certainly time to introduce a new generation of the community to this type of event.”

The hypothetical format explores social issues using a fabricated narrative as a framework for panelists to discuss the considerations and possible ramifications for the characters involved – often with themselves being woven into the storyline by the moderator.

Professor Rob Moodie was the inaugural Director of Country Support for UNAIDS in Geneva from 1995-98, CEO of VicHealth from 1998-2007, chaired the National Preventative Health Taskforce from 2008-2011 and was a member of the Commission on AIDS in the Pacific.

Moodie says the audience can expect, “a set of compelling and important issues at the heart the hypothetical which will be unearthed by a group of opinionated, smart and funny panellists in a format that will make Geoffrey Robertson proud! I just didn’t want to miss it.”

Entitled MJ Loves Tina, Charlie’s Chasing Harry, the hypothetical will explore the social issues surrounding drug use within the gender, sex and sexually diverse communities here in Melbourne and Sydney.

Panelists for the event include: Tim Wilson – Australian Human Rights Commissioner; Judith Lucy; Adam Richard; Associate Professor Edwina Wright; Nicolas Parkhill – ACON CEO; Associate Professor Nadine Ezard; Brent Allan – Living Positive Victoria Executive Officer; Jez Pez; Dean Beck – JOY 94.9 Presenter; and Steven Spencer.

The hypothetical will be held at Melbourne Town Hall on Tuesday 20 January commencing at 7.00pm. It is free to attend, but spaces are limited. To register and more information, visit: for details.

Image: courtesy of VAC