For 650 days Sean Turnell - an Australian economist and former special economic consultant to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi - was jailed in Myanmar on the trumped-up charge of being a spy. In his recently-published book An Unlikely Prisoner he recounts how a cheerful professor of economics, whose idea of an uncomfortable confrontation was having to tell a student that their essay was 'not really that good', ended up for nearly three years in one of the most notorious prisons in South-East Asia. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has commented: "What [Sean Turnell] endured in his 650 days of incarceration is something that no human being should have to endure, yet he has done it with grace and, even in inhumane conditions, with profound humanity".

In this address Professor Turnell will discuss the circumstances leading to his imprisonment, including the serious economic challenges facing Myanmar when he took up his consultant position in 2016 and his courageous efforts with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's government to address the situation until she and her government were overthrown and she too was imprisoned. He will describe how he not only survived his lengthy incarceration, but left with his sense of humour intact and his spirit unbroken. He will assess the current situation in Myanmar and what the future might hold.


We welcome participants in-person at the Glover Cottages, tickets to be pre-paid . Once the limit for in-person attendees is reached, tickets will no longer be sold on the website or at the door.

Refreshments will be served from 6pm at Glover Cottages. The event will start at 6.30pm AEST (Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne time), Tuesday July 9.

For further information please email


Glover Cottages
Kent Street 124-134
Millers Point, New South Wales, Australia

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