The Capitol acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. We respectfully acknowledge their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. We also acknowledge the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.

Film, Fashion, Franchise & Ms Fisher

How do you build a brand like Miss FisherAs part of Melbourne Fashion Week, The Capitol, RMIT School of Media and Communication and Every Cloud Productions will host this special event-screening and in-conversation about how the Miss Fisher universe was created and how you develop a franchise as successfully as the phenomenal spin-off series, Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries.

The evening will commence with a screening of Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries Season 2, Episode 1 and an exclusive “Making of” featurette with the show’s heads of departments covering costume design, hair and make-up and production design.

Hosted by Lisa French, Dean, School of Media and Communication, RMIT, the post-screening conversation invites Ms Fisher’s co-creator and executive producer and RMIT Adjunct Professor, Fiona Eagger; producer Beth Frey; accomplished actress Catherine McClements, who plays Birdie Birnside in the series; costume designer Penny Dickinson; hair and make-up designer Lynn Wheeler; and co-executive producer Peter Mattessi, who has written for TV in the UK and Australia. Additional heads of department guests to be announced closer to the event.

The conversation will explore what goes on below-the-line and behind-the-scenes and dissect how various areas of expertise – such as costume design, hair and make-up, location scouting, producing and licensing and more – work collaboratively to create the world of Ms Fisher. We’ll also look at how the authenticity of the series was enriched and inspired by Melbourne’s period architecture.

Students and aspiring film and TV professionals will be inspired and exposed to a broader understanding of the many career pathways available to them across different disciplines in the screen industry.

A capsule showcase of striking costumes from the production will also be on display in The Capitol’s spectacular Salon. The capsule compliments a fuller exhibition of the extraordinary Ms Fisher costumes at Collins Place during Melbourne Fashion Week.

Presented with RMIT School of Media and Communication and Every Cloud Productions.

Production Credit

Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries is an Acorn TV Original Series produced by Every Cloud Productions. Principal production investment from Screen Australia in association with Film Victoria, Acorn Media Enterprises, All3media International and Fulcrum Media Finance. Inspired by Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, the TV series based on the Phryne Fisher Mystery Books by Kerry Greenwood.

Series created by Deb Cox & Fiona Eagger. Produced by Beth Frey. Executive producers are Fiona Eagger & Deb Cox.  Co-executive producer is Peter Mattessi. Series written by Deb Cox, Michael Miller, Felicity Packard, Elizabeth Coleman and Trent Roberts. Directed by Lynn Hegarty, Kevin Carlin and Jess Harris. Director of photography is Craig Barden ACS. Production designer is Ben Bangay. Costume designer is Penny Dickinson. Hair and make-up designer is Lynn Wheeler.

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Writing the Future

In response to recent announcements from the Victorian Government regarding restrictions, this event has been postponed. Please keep an eye on this listing page and our socials @thecapitolrmit for updates.

In this intimate Salon event speculative fiction writers Kate Mildenhall (Skylarking, The Mother Fault) and Eugen Bacon (Writing Speculative Fiction) explore the expansive possibilities of literature in the context of our rapidly changing world with RMIT’s Rose Michael (The Asking Game, The Art of Navigation). Together, they will discuss how non-realist writing has the potential to imagine other worlds and other realities and to better understand our own.

This RMIT Culture Literature & Ideas Salon celebrates the inaugural Speculate Prize, presented in partnership with Giramondo Publishing and RMIT Writing & Publishing, sponsored by Whispir and supported by the Speculate Literary Festival.

Tell Me How It Ends

Following the extension of Melbourne’s lockdown, and with the safety of staff, artists and audiences front of mind, Melbourne Writers Festival has made the difficult decision to cancel its live events as part of this year’s program, planned to be delivered from Friday 3 to Sunday 12 September.

All tickets to in-person events will automatically be refunded in full, and anyone who wishes to donate the value of their ticket or make a tax-deductible donation to support MWF is welcome to do so.

The MWF Digital program will be brought forward to give you access to online events from home, streaming for an extended period from 3–15 September. Read further details here.

In a gala event to cap the 35th Melbourne Writers Festival, an all-Victorian line-up comes together to deliver addresses on this year’s theme, Tell Me How It Ends. Closing the curtain with not a whimper but a resounding bang, they touch on everything from the end of days to the end of empire to the ways in which unhappy endings can be fresh starts in disguise. Celebrating the heritage and future of our City of Literature, join Evelyn AraluenMaxine Beneba ClarkePatricia CorneliusNayuka GorrieChloe HooperShaun Tan and Maria Tumarkin for an unmissable Closing Night.

This event will be Auslan interpreted.

Presented in partnership with RMIT University – Learning Partner for Melbourne Writers Festival.

One Guitar: Missy Higgins

Following the extension of Melbourne’s lockdown, and with the safety of staff, artists and audiences front of mind, Melbourne Writers Festival has made the difficult decision to cancel its live events as part of this year’s program, planned to be delivered from Friday 3 to Sunday 12 September.

All tickets to in-person events will automatically be refunded in full, and anyone who wishes to donate the value of their ticket or make a tax-deductible donation to support MWF is welcome to do so.

The MWF Digital program will be brought forward to give you access to online events from home, streaming for an extended period from 3–15 September. Read further details here.

Join renowned musicians Missy Higgins and Alexander Gow for a special live recording of the unique podcast series, One Guitar. For the project, Gow, of Oh Mercy and Perfect Moment renown, sends the same guitar to Australia’s best songwriters, asking them to create a new song in four weeks. Higgins debuts her composition and speaks with Gow about the creative process that has made her one of the country’s most popular recording artists.

This event will be Auslan interpreted.

Supported by Mushroom Group and APRA AMCOS.

Presented in partnership with RMIT University – Learning Partner for Melbourne Writers Festival.

Lisa Millar: Daring to Fly

Following the extension of Melbourne’s lockdown, and with the safety of staff, artists and audiences front of mind, Melbourne Writers Festival has made the difficult decision to cancel its live events as part of this year’s program, planned to be delivered from Friday 3 to Sunday 12 September.

All tickets to in-person events will automatically be refunded in full, and anyone who wishes to donate the value of their ticket or make a tax-deductible donation to support MWF is welcome to do so.

The MWF Digital program will be brought forward to give you access to online events from home, streaming for an extended period from 3–15 September. Read further details here.

Working as a foreign correspondent gave Lisa Millar the big life she dreamt of growing up in country Queensland. But years of witnessing grief and unspeakable tragedy came at a cost: an ever-escalating fear of flying that threatened to derail her career. Join the ABC News Breakfast host for an intimate discussion with her long-time friend ABC 7.30’s Leigh Sales about Daring to Fly, her account of processing trauma, conquering fear, and learning to report on horror while still holding on to joy.

This event will be Auslan interpreted.

Presented in partnership with RMIT University – Learning Partner for Melbourne Writers Festival.

Marilynne Robinson: Full of Grace

Following the extension of Melbourne’s lockdown, and with the safety of staff, artists and audiences front of mind, Melbourne Writers Festival has made the difficult decision to cancel its live events as part of this year’s program, planned to be delivered from Friday 3 to Sunday 12 September.

All tickets to in-person events will automatically be refunded in full, and anyone who wishes to donate the value of their ticket or make a tax-deductible donation to support MWF is welcome to do so.

The MWF Digital program will be brought forward to give you access to online events from home, streaming for an extended period from 3–15 September. Read further details here.

Over some four decades, Marilynne Robinson has attained the status of literature’s spiritual leader. Her debut 1980 novel, Housekeeping, was an instant classic, signalling the arrival of a prodigiously skilful and wise new voice. In 2004 she released the first of the Gilead quartet, followed by HomeLila and last year’s Jack. Each story in the saga stands alone, casting light on the events of a mythic small town and themes of race, faith, family and forgiveness from different sources of illumination. Regarded as one of America’s great writers and thinkers, Robinson appears live via video from her home of Iowa, in conversation with on-stage interviewer Michael Williams about the Gilead series and her career at large.

Supported by ARA.

Presented in partnership with RMIT University – Learning Partner for Melbourne Writers Festival.

Douglas Stuart: Shuggie Bain

Following the extension of Melbourne’s lockdown, and with the safety of staff, artists and audiences front of mind, Melbourne Writers Festival has made the difficult decision to cancel its live events as part of this year’s program, planned to be delivered from Friday 3 to Sunday 12 September.

All tickets to in-person events will automatically be refunded in full, and anyone who wishes to donate the value of their ticket or make a tax-deductible donation to support MWF is welcome to do so.

The MWF Digital program will be brought forward to give you access to online events from home, streaming for an extended period from 3–15 September. Read further details here.

Douglas Stuart’s Shuggie Bain won the 2020 Booker Prize for its unsparing yet tender portrayal of an alcoholic mother and her son in Thatcher-era Glasgow. Informed by Stuart’s own childhood and likened to the writing of Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life), the novel is an exploration of queerness, abuse and poverty, buoyed by the unsinkable love of young Shuggie for his ailing mum. Appearing live on screen from New York, the author speaks with an on-stage interviewer about the book’s runaway popularity, the complex filial bond at its heart, and why the story still rings true after years of austerity in the UK.

Supported by ARA.

Presented in partnership with RMIT University – Learning Partner for Melbourne Writers Festival.

Designing on Country

In response to recent announcements from the Victorian Government regarding restrictions, this event has been postponed. Please keep an eye on this listing page and our socials @thecapitolrmit for updates.

ABC’s Jonathan Green will host the conversation and will be joined by N’Arwee’t Dr Carolyn Briggs AMBeau de Belle (emerging Indigenous architect), Dr Christine Phillips and Jock Gilbert (non-indigenous design academics).

The event is the first of a speaker series presented by RMIT Architecture & Urban Design’s Reconciliation Ngulu team that will continue the conversation with a range of designers later in the year.

Presented by RMIT University School of Architecture & Urban Design Ngulu team and Open House Melbourne.

This Is Public

In response to the recent announcements from the Victorian Government regarding continued restrictions, we’re pleased to confirm that This Is Public will go ahead but now in live streamed format – free and available to everyone.  

Return to this page online Friday 23 July from 5.30pm to watch the inspiring line-up of speakers presenting live from The Capitol.  

If you have purchased a ticket to attend the event in person, we have issued a refund to you via your original payment method. Any questions, please contact us at thecapitol@rmit.edu.au. 

This Is Public focuses on the need to find new ways to reconnect and transform the ways in which we live and work together. Hosting speakers with different backgrounds and perspectives, this special event seeks to answer big questions about the role of policy, climate change and architecture in the future of cities, amongst other thought-provoking topics.

Originally planned to take place in person, in true Covid fashion this live opening event will now be broadcast from RMIT University’s state-of-the-art Media Precinct, from where we’ll be beaming our speakers and their presentations to you. The team has worked hard behind-the-scenes to bring this live event straight to your living room, recorded and live streamed on the Open House Melbourne (OHM) and The Capitol websites, and later produced as a podcast. Focusing on the central theme, Reconnect, this year OHM asks us to reconsider the way we will occupy our city and to envisage new ways of designing and adapting our buildings and infrastructure as we emerge from the impact of the COVID era.

Guests can expect a series of thought provoking and insightful presentations beginning with an address from Lord Mayor Sally Capp, and an introduction to the OHM 2021 theme, Reconnect.

Speakers include:

Jefa Greenaway and Tristan Wong – INBETWEEN 
INBETWEEN presents a series of architectural projects, through a film compilation to show how architects, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous are working with First-Nations peoples as a way of embedding cultural authenticity into our built environment. The works were originally conceived for exhibition in Australia’s pavilion on the Giardini in Venice and has been reimagined as a film that presents a powerful set of works from across Australia and the Pacific. The works demonstrate architecture’s capacity to strengthen cultural connections and understanding between non-Indigenous and First Nations peoples. 

Jill Garner, Victorian Government Architect (OVGA) – Designing Policy for People
Jill Garner took the helm of the Office of the Victorian Government Architect in 2015, stepping into the role as a public advocate for architecture and design after more than twenty years in practice. As an architect, her practice – Garner Davis – has received numerous industry awards for delivering sensitive, crafted public and private work. As a design advisor and advocate in government, she strongly promotes the value of contextual, integrated design thinking and a collaborative approach across design disciplines. Jill Garner will further explore these issues with Hamish Lyon, Director of NH Architecture, in a following guided walking tour.  

Nicole Kalms, XYX Lab– Your Ground: Towards a Safer and More Accessible City 
Your Ground is a digital mapping platform that aims to advance knowledge of safety in public spaces. In the context of social changes brought about by COVID-19, Your Ground is backed by research and seeks allow women and gender-diverse people to call out safe and unsafe experiences and geographically identify spaces where they have been made to feel unsafe, scared or even safe and happy. The project seeks to empower women and gender-diverse people to advocate for change through their lived experiences.  

Liam Young with Ewan McEoin The Making of Planet City
Planet City is a film exploring the productive potential of extreme densification. The project – commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria – imagines a future where humanity exists in one hyper dense metropolis, leaving the rest of the planet to thrive in wilderness. Liam Young, author, filmmaker and architect is joined by Ewan McEoin, the Hugh Williamson Senior Curator of Contemporary Design and Architecture at the National Gallery of Victoria to discuss the future of city existence. Liam joins This Is Public courtesy of the Living Cities Forum and the Naomi Milgrom Foundation where he has curated a film series as part of the OHM X Living Cities satellite program.  

James Brearley and Justine Della Riva (CEO) – Building Pride
Five years in the making the Victorian Pride Centre is a place of belonging, support and pride for LGBTIQ+ communities. As Australia’s first purpose-built pride centre, this is where everyone can come together, honour the past, celebrate the present, and work towards a more inclusive future. The Centre is home to important resident organisations, engaging cultural programs, vital health services and inspiring social spaces.  In January 2018 BAU (Brearley Architects and Urbanists) and GAA (Grant Amon Architects) were selected winners of a two-stage design competition. Inaugural CEO Justine Dalla Riva, proud Lesbian and mother of two will be joined by architect James Brearley to discuss what it takes to create inclusive spaces that respect our individual and collective vision to belong. 

Beau de Belle, Christine Phillips and Jock Gilbert – Designing On Country
Gamilaraay architect Beau de Belle and non-Indigenous design academics, Christine Phillips and Jock Gilbert consider the question: What will Melbourne look like in the future when we embrace design as an act of reconciliation? Beau, Jock and Christine’s discussion for This Is Public will set the scene for an expanded event the following evening – also at The Capitol – with Boon Wurrong elder N’Arweet Dr Carolyn Briggs AM  that explores these questions in further depth.

Co-presented with Centre for Architecture Victoria, Open House Melbourne. This edition is supported by RMIT Architecture & Urban Design, RMIT University and media partner Assemble Papers.

This event forms part of the satellite program for the 2021 Living Cities Forum presented by Naomi Milgrom Foundation.

Parliamentary Privilege: Bias, Boys’ Clubs and Women in Politics

This conversation originally scheduled to take place on Tuesday 27 July was postponed in response to current health advice and restrictions on public events. It is now a digital premiere event and can be watched from this page on Tuesday 3 August at 6.30pm.

Just one in ten Australian women aged 18 to 25 believe that federal parliament provides a safe workplace environment for young women, and almost three-quarters (72%) say they would never want to work in politics.

All too often, the field of politics is a hostile one for women to navigate. For generations, women have faced systemic challenges and deterrents to embarking on a political career. How can we dismantle these barriers and create pathways to greater representation?

For this conversation, we’re bringing together current, former and future female politicians of different generations to discuss the political gender divide. Join Arrernte activist, unionist, and recently-announced Greens candidate for Cooper Celeste Liddle; advocate and the Martin Luther King Jr Center’s 2021 Youth Influencer of the Year Yasmin Poole; and former Liberal MP and author of Power Play: Breaking Through Bias, Barriers and Boys’ Clubs Julia Banks as they consider the obstacles and rewards experienced by women in politics. Hosted by Patricia Karvelas.

Presented in partnership with RMIT Culture and the Wheeler Centre.

The bookseller for this event is Neighbourhood Books.

The Broadly Speaking series is proudly supported by Krystyna Campbell-Pretty AM and family and the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund.

Rage and Dissent

Please note this event has been rescheduled from Tuesday 20 July at 6.30pm to a digital-only event. This is in response to current lockdown restrictions on public events in Victoria and the inability of speakers to travel interstate.

While it is unfortunate that we can’t present this conversation in person, the Wheeler Centre will be premiering the event online on Thursday 22 July at 6.30pm. If you have already purchased a ticket, you will receive a reminder ahead of the event. You can still register for this event and receive the streaming details.

If you would like a refund for the cost of your ticket please contact ticketing@wheelercentre.com by 5pm Friday 23 July. Or, they will convert your ticket price to a tax-deductible donation to the Wheeler Centre.

British journalist Laurie Penny is among our most urgent contemporary feminist voices. Their work – including the books Bitch Doctrine and Unspeakable Things – combines activism and journalism to interrogate the promises and limitations of feminism, technology, popular culture, and class politics. They’ve described anger as ‘no more or less than the human heart rebelling against injustice’.

Bri Lee’s books – including Eggshell Skull, Beauty and Who Gets to Be Smart – explore privilege and sexism in the justice and education systems, as well as in individual lives. Much of Lee’s investigative journalism and legal advocacy centres on the need for stronger consent laws and improved sex and relationship education in Australia.

Join these two electrifying thinkers alongside host Santilla Chingaipe as they consider questions of power and fury: What does ‘safety’ mean in the workplace, in the streets and in our intimate relationships? What lessons are young people absorbing about gendered power dynamics? What is the cost of seeking justice and holding power structures to account? And how can we capture and wield collective anger as a force for transformative change?

This event will be Auslan interpreted.

Presented in partnership with RMIT Culture and the Wheeler Centre.

The bookseller for this event is Neighbourhood Books.

The Broadly Speaking series is proudly supported by Krystyna Campbell-Pretty AM and family and the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund.

Speaker bios

Santilla Chingaipe, host
Santilla Chingaipe is a journalist and filmmaker whose work explores migration, cultural identities and politics. She is a regular contributor to the Saturday Paper, and serves as a member of the Federal Government’s Advisory Group on Australia-Africa Relations (AGAAR).

Chingaipe wrote and directed the documentary series Third Culture Kids for the ABC. Other credits include the short documentary Black As Me.

Her first book of non-fiction detailing the stories of convicts of African descent transported to the Australian penal colonies, is forthcoming with Picador in 2021.

The recipient of several awards, Chingaipe was recognised at the United Nations as one of the most influential people of African descent in the world in 2019.

Bri Lee
Bri Lee is an author and freelance writer. Her journalism has appeared in publications such as The MonthlyThe Saturday PaperGuardian Australia and Crikey. Her first book, Eggshell Skull, won Biography of the Year at the ABIA Awards, the People’s Choice Award at the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, and was longlisted for the 2019 Stella Prize. She is also a non-practicing lawyer and continues to engage in legal research and issues-based advocacy.

Laurie Penny
Laurie Penny is an award-winning author, columnist, journalist and screenwriter. Their seven books include Bitch DoctrineUnspeakable Things and Everything Belongs to the Future. As a freelance journalist, they write about politics, social justice, pop culture, feminism, mental health and technology for places including the GuardianLongreadsTIMEBuzzfeed, the New York Times, ViceSalonThe Nation and the New Statesman. They were a 2014-15 Nieman Journalism Fellow at Harvard University. As a screenwriter, Laurie has worked on The Nevers (HBO), The Haunting (Netflix) and Carnival Row (Amazon). Laurie Penny is based between London and Los Angeles.

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Melbourne Overlooked Film Festival 2021

This event has been cancelled in line with the Victorian government’s public health announcement. For further information please visit MOFF’s website.

An RMIT student-led initiative unearthing underground, underappreciated and unconventional cinema. The Festival opens with an exclusive screening of cult classic sci-fi horror Body Melt (1993) followed by an intimate panel with director Philip Brophy.

Starring iconic Aussie actors Ian Smith (best known as Harold Bishop from Neighbours) and Gerard Kennedy (Glitch, 2015), this schlocky ozploitation gem follows the residents of peaceful Pebbles Court who are being unknowingly used as test experiments for a new supplement pill that causes rapid body decomposition, ghastly mutations and painful death.

Tickets on sale 3 June.

Presented by RMIT School of Media and Communication.