Staged in Canberra recently, David Williamson’s play, Family Values (Lee Lewis (director); Griffin Theatre Company) presented a mix of poignant and lighter moments, its wonderful cast laying bare some of Australia’s not-so-pleasant aspects about the treatment of refugees and boat people. Just to set the scene. Recently-retired 70-year-old federal court judge, Roger (Andrew McFarlane) clearly hopes to enjoy some birthday celebrations with his family including his lively (very much a “doctor’s-wife” type), Sue (Belinda Giblin). … Read more.
Category: Writing Page 1 of 2
Former federal parliamentarian and Keating government minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Robert Tickner, recently shared his story from the warm summer’s day in 1993 when he was re-united with his birth mother. Speaking with Canberra Times journalist, Karen Hardy, Robert read from his book, Ten Doors Down as, describing his mixture of happiness and “roller coaster of emotions” as he waited near Sydney’s Opera House and “magnificent harbour” for the mother who had last held him as a tiny baby some 41 years’ previously. … Read more.
Canberra author, researcher and editor, Penelope Hanley’s latest book, After She Left, takes readers on a journey through five decades, focusing largely on three main characters: bohemian artist, Deirdre O’Mara, an Irish émigré in 1927 to Sydney, where she soon gives birth to her daughter, Maureen. Maureen takes a different life path to her mother, opting for marriage at a young age and devotion to husband, children, hearth and home. … Read more.
Having been popular overseas for some time, street libraries are now dotting the landscape in many parts of Australia, including Canberra. Books covering many genres are offered free of charge, presented in a variety of containers, such as old fridges, filing or television cabinets or purpose-built cupboards. These mini libraries are a hub for borrowing or exchanging, with no charges, fines or need for a library card. … Read more.
The 2018 Launceston Freelance Festival organised by its founder, Sue Bell, brought together people from Tasmania and mainland Australia, sharing their experiences and insights as freelancers. Held at the start-up space, Enterprize, in Launceston’s charming CBD, the Festival boasted a wide range of presenters and participants and was a great networking event and reminder of the talent and innovation of Australia’s many artists, journalists/writers and illustrators. … Read more.
Though now based in Melbourne, Anna Snoekstra grew up in Canberra. Her recent psychological thriller, Only Daughter, is set in Canberra. Based largely on “Bec”, the book takes readers on a journey of intrigue and twists and turns, with a puzzle which only fits together at the very end. Chapters alternate between 2003 (when Rebecca Winter went missing after finishing her late shift at McDonald’s in Manuka) and events of 2014 when the fake Bec takes on the persona of the decade-missing young woman. … Read more.
This year’s Canberra Writers Festival included former Canberran and Doug Anthony All Stars member, Richard Fidler (the ABC’s, Conversations), and Julia Baird, host of The Drum.
A keynote event (Ministry of Truth) hosted by ABC broadcaster, Dan Bourchier, provided lively discussion from Dutch journalist, Rutger Bregman and local journalists, George Megalogenis, Tony Jones and Katharine Murphy, covering many aspects of journalism and news, ranging from “fake news” to a brief outline of Tony Jones’s recent book (set in the 1970s Australia). … Read more.
Marking this year’s International Women’s Day, Charlotte Wood discussed her award-winning book, The Natural Way of Things, at a National Library event.
Speaking with The Guardian’s, Katherine Murphy, Wood described her experiences of writing the book, which focuses on 10 young women waking from a drugged sleep to find themselves in a run-down, Australian sheep station where they are isolated (no computers or telephones) and subjected to cruel treatment and hard labour from their male oppressors, including having their heads shaved and being tethered together. … Read more.
Reckoning by comedian and actor, Magda Szubanski (especially remembered as Sharon in the ABC’s, Kath and Kim), is a stark reminder of the horrors of WWII and Nazi occupation of many parts of Europe, including her father’s homeland, Poland. Magda provides insights into many aspects of life, ranging from her father’s experiences of being “an assassin” during the war as he helped Jewish people escape Nazis as well as her mother’s Scottish heritage and the family’s life in Scotland before coming to 1960s Australia where they settled into a new, outer Melbourne suburb (Croydon). … Read more.
In Grant and I, writer and musician, Robert Forster provides fascinating stories of life with the Go Betweens, the Brisbane band which he and Grant McLennan formed in the 1970s. Forster’s use of language is exquisite as he traces aspects of his childhood from late 1950s Brisbane: a secure family life and education at a local primary school and Brisbane Grammar School and then teaming up at Queensland University drama school with Grant. … Read more.