Melbourne Forum gives you access to the highest level of expertise and real-world lessons that our conversation leaders – all with a reputation for excellence – bring to the table under the Chatham House rule.

2021 will see Melbourne Forum offer a stimulating range of face-to-face and virtual events featuring eminent experts from differing specialties, both national and international. Our thought-provoking member-only interest groups enhance how we learn and exchange ideas.

Loading Events

« All Events

Please to book tickets


November 23, 2020
5:30 pm - 6:45 pm


A Zoom event under Chatham House rule
Tickets are not available as this event has passed.
  • This event has passed.

Non-Fiction Book Group: Domestic Abuse

A Melbourne Forum Interest Group

Hosted by:
Peter Lamell
Dianne Jacobs

November 23, 2020 @ 5:30 pm - 6:45 pm


By not asking ‘why didn’t she leave?’ we can reframe our thinking of a problem that is of such scale that it is estimated that Australian police are called to a domestic abuse incident every two minutes.

It is a national emergency that one in four Australian women has experienced violence from a man she was intimate with. But too often the wrong question leads to poor solutions and instead we should be asking: ‘why did he do it?’

See What You Made Me Do: Power, Control and Domestic Abuse’ by Jess Hill (Black Ink. 2019) is our November book group discussion. Winning the 2020 Stella Prize, among other accolades, is testament to the power of this book.

Walkley Award-winning investigative journalist Jess Hill puts perpetrators – and the systems that enable them – in the spotlight. Her analysis is a deep dive into the abuse so many women and children experience – abuse that is often reinforced by the justice system they trust to protect them.

This is Hill’s first book and to call it courageous is an understatement. Critically, it shows that we can drastically reduce domestic violence – not in generations to come, but today.

Combining forensic research with riveting storytelling, ‘See What You Made Me Do’ radically rethinks how to confront the national crisis of fear and abuse in our homes.

Click on the image below for member-only content about the book, subscribe to the Ex Libris post, find resources on domestic abuse and watch author videos.

This Melbourne Forum interest group gives us an opportunity to view contemporary themes through the lens of the non-fiction written word. Come with an open mind, hear differing perspectives and uncover what your fellow readers think.

As our group continues to meet next year, we’ll be posting on Ex Libris each new theme, book, written piece, poll or author interview for the interest group to explore.

In February, we will be discussing ‘The Hype Machine’ a brilliant smart-thinking book about the power and influence of social media by Professor Sinan Aral (Director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy)