Sydney Writers Festival
The 2016 Sydney Writers Festival was a spectacular event with presenters including: Gloria Steinem; the ABC’s Insiders Live with Barrie Cassidy, Niki Savva, David Marr, Annabel Crabb and George Megalogenis; Richard Glover; Frank Bongiorno; Magda Szubanski; Tegan Bennett Daylight; Kerry O’Brien; Stan Grant; Sarah Ferguson; Bob Brown; Gail O’Brien and Juliette O’Brien; Kate Tempest; Julian Barnes; Jeanette Winterson; and Elizabeth Harrower. See SWF highlights at: http://www.swf.org.au/festival-2016/highlights-from-festival-2016.html
At the 2015 SWF audiences welcomed the insights of international and Australian writers, broadcasters, actors and commentators such as Annabel Crabb, Leigh Sales, Jane Caro, Claudia Karvan, Robert Dessaix, Helen Garner, Tom Keneally, Hannie Rayson, Nick Earls, David Hill, Dom Knight, Adam Spencer, Karl Kruszelnicki, Hugh Mackay, David Mitchell, Kate McClymont, Rick Stein, Omar Musa, Tara Moss and Ross Coulthart, with highlights including:
- Former Queensland Premier, Anna Bligh, spoke with Dr Rebecca Huntley about aspects of political life, including struggles for women; the 2011 Queensland floods and her fight with cancer;
- Chaired by acclaimed Australian writer, actor, broadcaster and producer, Annette Shun Wah, The Big Read, brought together writer Kate Grenville whose works include The Secret River; author and writer, Steven Carroll, whose novel Forever Young continues his award-winning Glenroy series; and international writer, Damian Barr, whose many works include Get It Together: A Guide to Surviving Your Quarterlife Crisis;
- In A Radical Rethink, moderated by Australian oncologist, Fulbright scholar and award-winning author, Dr Ranjana Srivastava, myriad questions emerged about changes to the human brain and quality-of-life issues for people as they age. Canadian Professor Norman Doidge, author of The Brain That Changes Itself and The Brain’s Way of Healing, shared the stage with Australian doctor/writer, Dr Karen Hitchcock;
- Back To the Wild, saw ABC broadcaster/author, Richard Glover, host a lively chat about nature’s way of grounding us, with English writer, poet, illustrator, historian and naturalist, Helen Macdonald; renowned author Don Watson; and Leigh Ann Henion, a writer/photographer from the Mountains of North Carolina;
- The Secret State canvassed how much we know about what governments do in the name of national security. Michael (Dan) Mori who represented Australian detainee at Guantanamo Bay, David Hicks, spoke with: international investigative journalist, Nick Davies from the US Wikileaks cables and Rupert Murdoch phone-hacking saga, George Williams AO, commentator and law academic, and broadcaster and award-winning journalist and author, Monica Attard OAM.
2015 Brisbane Writers Festival
The 2015 Brisbane Writers Festival offered a wide range of sessions encompassing discussion, debates and workshops in a number of Brisbane venues including the South Bank Cultural Precinct, St Lucia’s University of Queensland and various libraries. Information on events and presenters is available from: http://www.bwf.org.au.