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 AO QC is an Australian barrister who specialises in commercial litigation and is also deeply involved in human rights work, in particular in relation to refugees.
Tony Birch is the author of three novels: the bestselling The White Girl, winner of the 2020 NSW Premier's Award for Indigenous Writing, and shortlisted for the 2020 Miles Franklin Literary Prize; Ghost River, winner of the 2016 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Indigenous Writing, and Blood, which was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award in 2012. He is also the author of Shadowboxing, and three short story collections – Father’s Day, The Promise and Common People.
In 2017 Tony was awarded the Patrick White Literary Award. In 2021 he will release two new books, a poetry collection, Whisper Songs, and a new short story collection, Dark as Last Night. Tony Birch is also an activist, historian and essayist.
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.
Sophie Black is head of special projects at the Wheeler Centre where she has worked on projects such as the writers scheme The Next Chapter, the podcast mentoring scheme Signal Boost, the multi-award-winning podcast, The Messenger, and the ABC RN program, Talkfest.
Previously she was editor-in-chief at Private Media and she is the former editor of Crikey. She has delivered the Adelaide Festival of Ideas as Director, sits on the advisory board for Melbourne University’s Centre for Advancing Journalism and is co-chair of the human rights publication Right Now.
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'.