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Ok Boomer

27 May 2023
10.00am – 11.00am AEST
Track 8, Carriageworks
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headshots of panel speakers situated side by side

Tom Ballard | Richard Holden | Alison Pennington | Jessica Irvine 

Millions of Baby Boomers lucked out with affordable homes, free uni, jobs for life and a franking credit-fed retirement. Millennials and Gen Z are faring less… well, fairly. They’re stuck on a hamster wheel of insecure work, saddled with student loans and crammed into share houses paying off Boomers’ mortgages. How did we get here and how do we fix it? Comedian and I, Millennial: One Snowflake’s Screed Against Boomers, Billionaires and Everything Else author Tom Ballard, and economist and Gen F’d?: How Young Australians Can Reclaim Their Uncertain Futures author Alison Pennington plot the path ahead with economist Richard Holden (From Free to Fair Markets: Liberalism after COVID-19) and host Jessica Irvine.

This event is presented by the Sydney Writers' Festival and supported by UNSW Sydney. 


UNSW Sydney is the exclusive university sponsor and proud Premier Partner of the Sydney Writers’ Festival. Featuring UNSW academics and researchers on Sydney Writers’ Festival stages, and events at the UNSW Kensington Campus, this partnership brings together a shared vision of creativity, curiosity and thought leadership. 


Adult – $25*
Concession – $15*
*Plus booking fees

This event will take place live at Carriageworks. For all venue and visitor safety information, please visit Sydney Writers' Festival.


Wheelchair Access
All Festival venues are accessible and have wheelchair and level access. To book accessible seats for events at Carriageworks, please contact the Sydney Writers' Festival Box Office on (02) 9256 4200 or email

Accessible Parking
Accessible parking is available at Carriageworks. Please call (02) 8571 9099 for Carriageworks parking information.


Carriageworks is located at 245 Wilson Street, Eveleigh. This is a 10-minute walk from Redfern Station, City Road bus stops and Macdonaldtown Station. Catching public transport is strongly recommended as residential parking in the area is strictly limited, and the Sydney Writers' Festival offers a shuttle bus services from Redfern Station at selected times. For more information on transport, visit or visit,



Sydney Writers' Festival
For all event enquiries, please call the Sydney Writers' Festival on 02 9256 4200 or email

UNSW Centre for Ideas
For all other enquiries, please call the Centre for Ideas on 02 9065 0485 or email

National Relay Service
The Centre for Ideas and Sydney Writers' Festival are happy to receive phone calls via the National Relay Service. TTY users, phone 133 677, then ask for the applicable organisations phone number (listed above). Speak and Listen users, phone 1300 555 727 then ask for applicable organisations phone number (listed above). Internet relay users, visit, then ask for applicable organisations phone number (listed above). 

Tom Ballard

Tom Ballard

Tom Ballard is the fearlessly funny voice of a generation. Tom is one of Australia's favourite comic talents and has performed and won acclaim as a stand-up all around the world. Tom hosts a political interview podcast called Like I'm a Six Year Old and he is also the co-creator and co-host of green politics podcast Serious Danger alongside Emerald Moon. In 2022 Tom released his first book I, Millennial a self-styled "screed against Boomers, billionaires and everything else." 

Richard Holden

Richard Holden

Richard Holden is a Professor of Economics at UNSW Sydney and President of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. He was formerly on the faculty at MIT and the University of Chicago, and earned a PhD from Harvard University. He has published numerous papers in top economics journals and is a regular columnist at The Australian Financial Review.

Alison Penington

Alison Pennington

Alison Pennington is an economist, writer and commentator. She recently published Gen F'd? How Young Australians Can Reclaim their Uncertain Futures. Pennington investigates economic issues facing working people including the future of jobs, skills and the role of government. She is an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow in Politics, Philosophy and Economics with La Trobe University, and was the former Senior Economist at the Australia Institute. 

Jessica Irvine

Jessica Irvine

Jessica Irvine is one of Australia's leading economics journalists. She is currently a senior writer at The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age newspapers. She is the author of three books: Zombies, bananas and why there no economists in heaven: the economics of real life, The Bottom Line Diet and Money with Jess: Your ultimate guide to household budgeting. She has an honours degree in Economics (Social Sciences) and can be found regularly oversharing the intimate details of her financial life on Instagram @moneywithjess.