Experts already fear the growing threat of violence posed by far right radicals in Australia and the online sites they use to organise and recruit. Australia's intelligence agencies are warning that right wing terrorism will remain an enduring threat and groups are growing more organised and cohesive.
Far-right extremism is one of Australia's most extreme security threats, according to ASIO boss Mike Burgess.
In his first annual threat assessment, the ASIO Director-General warned that it had come into “sharp and terrible focus” since the Christchurch massacre.
“In Australia, the extreme right-wing threat is real and it is growing,” he said.
The Christchurch massacre in March 2019 shook New Zealand and the world, while the Australian federal election had far-right groups presenting themselves as legitimate entities with the aim of entering our political system.
In the following three podcasts, (the final three episodes in the nine-part What Happens Next? series), we explore the impact and influence right-wing extremism could have on our world if left unchecked, who is taking action to address it, and what impact that's having. And finally, the steps individuals like you and me can take when confronted with extremist language and action in our own lives.
In the first of three podcasts discussing right-wing extremism, we're joined by historian and social researcher Andrew Marcus. Professor Markus warns that the capacity for these groups to destroy lives is growing, and will continue to do so if it's left unchecked. Is it actually getting worse, or do we just think it is?
Fear is often a key driver of right-wing extremists. In this podcast episode we explore why reaching out to those on the fringes of extremism could help them change direction.
Pete Lentini is an associate professor of politics and international relations at Monash University, and heads up the Global Terrorism Research Unit. He tells host Dr Susan Carland that, unlike in the Islamic community, a lack of intervention points for those expressing right-wing views is a missed opportunity for change.
We talk to a behaviour change expert about what to do when you see extremism in action. Do we call it out? Do we starve it of oxygen? Something else? Nick Faulkner, from BehaviourWorks at the Monitor Sustainable Development Institute, talks us through some strategies.
Listen to the full podcast series of What Happens Next?, where Susan also talks to leading experts about modern slavery and the global waste crisis.
To receive a fortnightly email wrap up of stories from Lens.