Festival Speakers 2015
Dr Debra Adelaide is the author or editor of 12 books, including novels, nonfiction, and reference works. She joined the permanent Writing staff of UTS in 2003 after many years as a freelance writer, researcher, editor, book reviewer, and as a casual teacher. Her first novel was The Hotel Albatross. Her other books include edited collections, such as A Bright and Fiery Troop (on Australian women writers), the Motherlove series and Acts of Dog. Her novel The Household Guide to Dying was published to critical acclaim in Australia in 2008 and was published in many other countries including the UK, the USA, Canada, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, China and Brazil. Her most recent collection of short fiction, Letter to George Clooney has been long- and short-listed for several literary awards. She has been a judge of a number of literary awards including the Vogel/Australian award for younger writers, the NSW Premier's Literary Awards, the Nita B. Kibble Awards for women writers, and the Patrick White Award.
Judith Beveridge has published six books of poetry; her most recent is Devadatta’s Poems (Giramondo, 2014) and Hook an Eye, which has just been published by George Braziller for the US market. Her first collection The Domesticity of Giraffes (1987), received the Dame Mary Gilmore Award, the NSW Premier's Poetry prize and the Victorian Premier's Poetry prize. In 1995 with Jill Jones and Louise Wakeling, she edited A Parachute of Blue, an anthology of Australian poetry. She has also worked on the literary magazines Hobo and Kalimat and is the current poetry editor of Meanjin. Her second volume, Accidental Grace, won the Wesley Michel Wright Award and was short-listed for other awards. In 1999 she attended the International Poetry Festival in Medellin in Colombia, and in 2003 was one of ten poets invited to Berlin to participate in the poetry translation project. Her third volume of poetry, Wolf Notes won the Judith Wright Calanthe Award for Poetry and the Victorian Premier's Poetry Prize. In 2005 she was awarded the Philip Hodgins Memorial Medal for excellence in literature and in 2015. Judith has won the 2015 Peter Porter Poetry Prize for her poem ‘As Wasps Fly Upwards’. She currently teaches creative writing at the University of Sydney.
Geraldine Doogue AO is a renowned Australian journalist and broadcaster with experience in print, television and radio. While originally planning a career as a schoolteacher after completing her Arts degree, in 1972 Geraldine applied on an impulse for a journalism cadetship with The West Australian instead. During her career with both the ABC and commercial media she has won two Penguin Awards for excellence in broadcasting from the Television Society of Australia and a United Nations Media Peace Prize. In 2000 Geraldine was awarded a Churchill Fellowship for social and cultural reporting. In 2003, she was recognised with an Officer in the Order of Australia for services to the community and media. Geraldine’s recent book is Climb: Conversations with Australian Women in Power.
Libby Gleeson AM has published over 30 books for children and teenagers and in 2015 won two Children's Book Council of Australia Awards. The Cleo Stories: The Necklace and the Present won the Book of the Year for Younger Readers and Go to Sleep, Jessie! won the Book of the Year for Early Childhood. Her first novel was Eleanor, Elizabeth. Libby writes picture books, novels for younger readers as well as novels for young adults. She has written books about writing and two episodes each of the ABC television series, Bananas in Pyjamas and Magic Mountain. Libby’s books have been shortlisted for the CBCA Awards thirteen times, and won three times. The Great Bear (with Armin Greder) was the first Australian book to win the prestigious Bologna Ragazzi Award, in 2000. In 1997 Libby was awarded the Lady Cutler Award for Services to Children’s Literature. She chaired the Australian Society of Authors 1999-2001, and in 2007 was awarded membership to the Order of Australia. Libby’s contribution to children’s literature was recognised with a special award at the 2011 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards – for her writing, her work in education, her advocacy and her mentoring of young writers. She was awarded the 2011 Dromkeen Medal ‘for a significant contribution to the appreciation and development of children’s literature in Australia’. In 2013, she received the Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Children’s Fiction for her book Red. Libby is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Sydney.
Lee Lewis, Artistic Director Griffin Theatre Company, has directed numerous main stage theatres including Sydney Theatre Company, Belvoir Theatre, Bell Shakespeare and Griffin Theatre. She trained as an actor at Columbia University, working on Broadway and Off-Broadway productions before returning to Australia to study directing at the National Institute of Dramatic Art. Her recent directing includes A Hoax at Griffin’s SBW Stables Theatre, Highway for Lost Hearts for the Darwin Festival and Rupert for Melbourne Theatre Company. In 2014 for Griffin Theatre she directed The Serpent’s Table (with Darren Yap), Eight Gigabytes of Hardcore Pornography and Emerald City. In 2007 she was the Richard Wherrett Fellow at the Sydney Theatre Company and Currency House published her essay Cross Racial Casting: Changing the Face of Australian Theatre as part of their Platform Paper series.
Dr Julie Mundy-Taylor is Liaison Librarian at the University of Newcastle. A professional storyteller for over 20 years, Julie is an Accredited Teller with the Australian Storytelling Guild (NSW Branch) and is the Vice President and Foundation member of the Australian Fairy Tale Society. Julie’s doctorate is on ‘Storytelling engagement in the classroom: Observable behaviour cues of children’s story experiences’. Her articles include ‘Storytelling engagement in the classroom’, ‘Tellers Tips’ and ‘The Power of Traditional Storytelling’. She is an advocate of the value of both oral and written literature for children and continues to share stories with adults and children throughout the Sydney and Central Coast region.
Dr Lisa Murray is the City Historian at the City of Sydney Council. She oversees the history program that encompasses local and community history, civic and municipal history, and urban history. Lisa is the award winning author of planning histories. Her many public history publications include Musical Chairs: The Quest for a City Recital Hall and The Capitol Theatre Restoration. Lisa's urban history of Redfern, Alexandria and Waterloo will be published in October 2014. She is currently the Chair of the Dictionary of Sydney and has been a Councillor of the History Council of NSW since 2003. She is a former board member of the Society of Australian Genealogists (2001-2004) and former Chair of the National Trust Cemeteries Committee.
Leah Purcell is a singer, songwriter, actor, playwright, author and director. She co-wrote and acted in Box the Pony at Sydney’s Belvoir Street Theatre, the Sydney Opera House, the 1999 Edinburgh Festival and London’s Barbican Theatre in 2000. She wrote and directed the documentary Black Chicks Talking, which had its premiere at Robert de Niro’s Tribeca Film Festival and won a 2002 Inside Film Award. Her extensive film credits include Lantana, Somersault, The Proposition, Last Cab to Darwin, The Dark Side, Lennie Cahill Shoots Through, Somewhere in the Darkness, Beginnings and Jindabyne. She has performed in many plays including Blood Wedding, King Lear, When the Rain Stops, Parramatta Girls, The Vagina Monologues and Stuff Happens. She is one of the writers, directors and actors in the award winning television series Redfern Now, and has also appeared in Water Rats, Love My Way and McLeod’s Daughters. Leah has won many awards including the Equity Ensemble Award, AACTA Award, Matilda Trophy and Deadly Awards. In 2014 she won the prestigious Balnaves Foundation Indigenous Playwright’s Award for her stage adaptation of Ruby Langford Ginibi’s Don’t Take Your Love to Town, which was staged at Belvoir in 2013, and for an idea for a radical new stage adaption of Henry Lawson’s short story, The Drover’s Wife.
Hannie Rayson is the author of fourteen plays. Her plays have been performed throughout Australia and overseas, in English and in translation. The plays include: Mary, Room to Move, Hotel Sorrento, Falling From Grace, Scenes from a Separation (co-written with Andrew Bovell), Competitive Tenderness, Life After George, Inheritance Two Brothers, The Glass Soldier and The Swimming Club. Hannie has been awarded two Australian Writers’ Guild Awards, four Helpmann Awards, two NSW Premier’s Literary Awards and a Victorian Premier’s Literary Award as well as the Age Performing Arts Award and The Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award. Hannie made playwriting history when Life After George was the first play to be nominated for the Miles Franklin Award. In 2006 and again in 2009 she was shortlisted for the Melbourne Prize for Literature. In her memoir, Hello, Beautiful!, she shines the spotlight on herself.
Theatre director, playwright and creative producer Augusta Supple is a passionate advocate for writers, new Australian writing and local artists. Augusta has commissioned, produced and directed works by many of Australia’s leading playwrights including Hilary Bell, Kate Mulvany, Sarah Carradine, Alana Valentine and Noelle Janaczewska. With nearly 15 years’ experience as a theatre maker and arts commentator, Augusta has garnered national and international attention for her outspoken views on the Australian arts sector and feminism. Previously the Assistant Director of Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Augusta currently works in Strategic Initiatives at Arts NSW with a focus on Arts and Culture in Western Sydney.
Susan Wyndham is the literary editor of The Sydney Morning Herald. In her career as a journalist she has been editor of Good Weekend magazine, New York correspondent for The Australian and a deputy editor of the Herald. She is the author of Life In His Hands: The True Story of a Neurosurgeon and a Pianist, and has edited and contributed to several other books. Her recent biographical collection of stories from fourteen prominent Australian writers, My Mother, My Father: On Losing a Parent, records their memories of losing a parent.