Unaccustomed as I am…
‘Friends, Romans, Countrymen…’, ‘I have a dream‘, ‘Well may we say “God Save the Queen”…’, ‘Frankly my dear…’ Speechmaking isn’t all 21st birthday toasts and sporting triumphalism. From great oratory to political grandstanding, eight local writers and performers read their favourite speeches from history, cinema and literature. Hosted by Sophie Black with Tony Birch, Julian Burnside, Noni Hazlehurst, Lisa Gorton, Sam Pang, Sonya Hartnett and Dave Graney.
Introduction by Sophie Black
The Gettysburg Address (Abraham Lincoln) read by Julian Burnside
Excerpt from Frankenstein (Mary Shelley) read by Sonya Hartnett
Excerpt from A Room of One’s Own (Virginia Woolf) read by Lisa Gorton
Excerpt from Notting Hill (character Anna Scott’s speech) read by Sam Pang
Letters from two Aboriginal women, read by Tony Birch
Excerpt from My Discovery of America (Vladimir Mayakovsky) read by Dave Graney
Sam Pang is a writer, presenter and broadcaster. His television credits include the hugely popular Santo, Sam and Ed’s Cup Fever and SBS’s coverage of The Eurovision Song Contest.
Julian Burnside is a Melbourne barrister. He joined the Bar in 1976 and took silk in 1989. He specialises in commercial litigation, and has acted in many very contentious cases - the MUA Waterfront dispute; the Cash-for-Comment enquiry; cases for Alan Bond and Rose Porteous - but has become known for his human rights work and has acted pro bono in many refugee cases.
He is an outspoken opponent of the mistreatment of people who come to Australia seeking protection from persecution. His latest book is Watching Out: Reflections on Justice and Injustice (Scribe).
Tony Birch is a founding member of the Melbourne School of Discontent. He has published three novels; The White Girl, Ghost River and Blood. He is also the author of Shadowboxing and three short story collections, Father’s Day, The Promise and Common People. In 2017 he was awarded the Patrick White Literary Award for his contribution to Australian literature. In 2021 he released two new books, a poetry book, Whisper Songs and a new short story collection, Dark As Last Night.
Sonya Hartnett is the award-winning, internationally-acclaimed author of several novels for adults and younger readers.
Lisa Gorton’s first collection, Press Release, was shortlisted for the Mary Gilmore Award and the Melbourne Prize Best Writing Award, and won the Victorian Premier’s Prize for Poetry.
Noni Hazlehurst is one of Australia’s favourite actors and presenters.
Dave Graney and drummer Clare Moore played with the Moodists from 1978 to 1986. They then played with the White Buffaloes/Coral Snakes from 1987 to 1997. Then the Royal Dave Graney Show and Lurid Yellow Mist. Now it’s the mistLY. Graney and Moore are joined by Stuart Perera (guitar since 1998) and Stu Thomas (bass since 2004).
Releasing a single each month from Feb 2016 to April 2017, their current album is a collection called Let's Get Tight. They released a single in February 2018 called 'Song of Life'.