Ukraine and Russia: The Who, What, Where,Why

Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine has turned global politics upside down. The US and Europe have co-operated as closely as they have for decades, along with allies like Australia, reinvigorating the West. Germany has committed to a huge boost in defence spending and Finland has dropped 70 years of neutrality. Energy prices have soared. On the other side, China has strongly backed Russia, perhaps with an eye to future conflicts in the Pacific.

Bookoccino will host a special event to discuss the Ukraine war, featuring Bobo Lo, a former Australian diplomat and Russia expert, and Zoya Sheftalovich, a contributing editor of Politico Europe, based in Brussels. The event will be hosted by Richard McGregor of the Lowy Institute.

Date: Friday 3rd of June
Time: 6 – 8.30pm (drinks from 6-6:30 with talk starting at 6:30)
Location: Moby Dicks, 227 Whale Beach Road, Whale Beach
Cost: $55, inc refreshments


An Evening with Damien Cave and Nick Bryant: Outsiders Looking In.

We are pleased to host two award-winning foreign correspondents, Damien Cave, Bureau Chief of the New York Times and Nick Bryant, writer, broadcaster and self-proclaimed ‘lapsed foreign correspondent’ (with over two decades with the BBC), for an outsiders view of Australian culture and politics.

Damien Cave is the Australian Bureau Chief for the New York Times. Arriving in 2017 with his young family, Damien encountered the local pursuits of Nippers and surfing – and an approach to risk that changed the way they lived their lives. Having reported from Baghdad, Mexico and more, Damien expected he knew something of danger, but Australia surprised him. His book, Into the Rip: How the Australian Way of Risk Made My Family Stronger, Happier … and Less American, explores how danger differs down under.

Nick Bryant is a writer, broadcaster and self-proclaimed ‘lapsed foreign correspondent’. He has clocked up two decades with the BBC and recently returned to Australia after covering the Trump years for the BBC. He is the author of two books: The Rise and Fall of Australia: How a Great Nation Lost its Way and When America Stopped Being Great: A History of the Present.

First published in 2015, his forensic look at the Lucky Country, where politics is ‘brutal, narrow and facile’, remains prescient today.

Date: Wednesday 15 June
Time: 6-8pm
Location: Moby Dicks 
227 Whale Beach Road, Whale Beach
Cost: $55 inc. refreshments


Past Events

Monday 9 May: Federal Candidates Debate – SOLD OUT

THE BIG ONE: An evening with the candidates.

We were pleased to host a very informative evening with the Mackellar Federal Candidates. In attendance were Liberal Party incumbent Jason Falinski and Independent Party challenger Sophie Scamps. We also heard from Labor’s Paula Goodman; Greens Ethan Hrnjak; New Liberal Party Barry Steele. Moderated by Geraldine Doogue, the ABC interviewer who knows how to ask politicians tough questions and get straight answers.

Location: Avalon Cinemas
Time: 7-9pm

Watch the entire debate on our Bookoccino YouTube Channel.

Polis Series – 3rd, 10th & 1st May with Federal Candidates Debate on 9th May

With the Federal Election upon us, Bookoccino is pleased to be hosting a series of discussions-debates on key voting issues.

Location: At Bookoccino (66 Old Barrenjoey Road, Avalon)
Time: 4-6pm
Entry is free and all are welcome

We will be blocking off the car parking spaces in front of the bookstore for seating. There will be some seating provided, but feel free to BYOCC (bring your own camp chair!)

Beer, wine & books will be available to purchase.

Expect stimulating discourse from some of our sharpest political observers and public intellectuals.

Our ‘Polis’ series will culminate in a public debate between Mackellar candidates, moderated by Geraldine Doogue on 9th May from 7-9pm, location TBC.

Here’s the lineup…

Sunday 1 May: Do we need a federal ICAC?

On Sunday, 1 May, Bookoccino will host the third in its series of critical  electoral issues. “Do we need a federal ICAC?” is this Sunday’s topic for discussion and debate. “Yes,” says Anne Davies, veteran journalist, currently political editor at The Guardian. “No,” says Chris Merritt, legal affairs editor at The Australian. Moderator will be Quentin Dempster, long-time ABC correspondent.

Anne Davies, Political Editor, The Guardian
with Quentin Dempster
4-6pm at Bookoccino
BYO camp chair

Sunday 3 April: Climate Change 

Martijn Wilder, former head of Australian Renewable Energy Agency, Founding partner Pollination.
Tim Flannery, internationally renowned environmentalist; head of the Climate Council
Moderator: Marian Wilkinson, author of The Carbon Club
4-6pm at Bookoccino

Sunday 10 April: Foreign Affairs & Defence 

Paul Kelly
, editor-at-large, The Australian
James Curran, Professor of History Sydney University
Moderator: Geraldine Doogue
4-6pm at Bookoccino

Women’s Night: 31 March 2022 – SOLD OUT
5:45-6pm Moby Dicks, Whale Beach

From the High Court to Parliament House, from private schools to mining camps, the #MeToo movement is rocking cabinet rooms, board rooms and classrooms. Women are demanding action, not apologies. And they’ll be a loud voice in the 2022 election. It would be hard to find a more stellar panel to discuss what needs to be done: Julia Baird, Julia Banks and Jess Hill will be joined in conversation by Marian Wilkinson.

A video of the event is coming soon! You can view other Bookoccino events on our YouTube page here.

Kathy Lette: 29 March 2022 – SOLD OUT

We guarantee you’ll laugh all through our long lunch with the lovingly irreverent Kathy Lette.

Our wonderful friends at Bar Elvina have prepared a two course menu with wine, to be enjoyed with a guilty chuckle. Kathy’s latest revenge caper is Till Death, or a Little Light Maiming, Do Us Part.
Join us from 12.30pm for an uplifting afternoon with an Australian sweetheart.

Watch the video of the event here.  You can view other Bookoccino events on our YouTube page here.

Ben Quilty: 24 February 2022

One of our greatest living artists, Ben Quilty, joined Bookoccino’s Ray Bonner February the 24th, 2022 to celebrate the publication of his new book Free Fall. View their full conversation on our YouTube page here.

The Future of Democracy with Geraldine Doogue AO and John Keane: 22 Feb 2022

Bookoccino Talks continue to stimulate your political citizenry with a conversation on the origins, intentions and future of Democracy between acclaimed political philosopher John Keane and Geraldine Doogue, 10 Feb 2022. View the full conversation on our YouTube page here.

Bookoccino Climate Talk: 11 March 2021

It was our pleasure to host this extraordinary panel, featuring renowned scientist Tim Flannery, Warringah Independent MP Zali Steggall and Clean Energy evangelist and businessman Mike Cannon-Brookes in conversation with acclaimed journalist Marian Wilkinson. View the full conversation on our YouTube page here.

China Talk Vol 3: January 2022

Former New York Times China Bureau Chief Jane Perlez debates China with acclaimed journalists Chris Buckley and Richard McGregor. “Will there be war? Is Australia’s policy on China too hard, or too soft?” View the full conversation on our YouTube page here.

66 Old Barrenjoey Rd
Avalon 2107

(02) 9973 1244