Most of us can name a book that’s left some sort of indelible impression. Perhaps Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre taught you the difference between conventionality and morality. Perhaps Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex convinced you that ‘one is not born, but rather becomes, a woman’. Or maybe Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment made you cancel plans to murder your local pawnbroker. Books can change the way we see the world – shaking us up and changing our minds.
At this year’s Gala Night of Storytelling, ten of Australia’s best thinkers, entertainers and storytellers will share how and why certain books have shaped their thinking. We’ll hear from Anna Funder, Kon Karapanagiotidis, Russel Howcroft, Susan Carland, Tony Windsor, Sarah Blasko, Lee Lin Chin, Jack Charles, Graeme Simsion and Nakkiah Lui.
Prepare for ten very different takes – from funny to provocative to poignant to profound – on those fate-changing moments of communion between writer and reader.
Anna Funder is the author of Stasiland. Her debut novel, All That I Am, won the 2012 Miles Franklin Award.
Kon Karapanagiotidis is the CEO and founder of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, the largest independent human rights organisation for refugees and people seeking asylum in Australia. They assist thousands of people each year, with the help of over 1200 volunteers and 125 staff.
Susan Carland is an academic, author, and social commentator. She has a PhD from Monash University’s School of Social Sciences, and she is the director of the Bachelor of Global Studies, also at Monash University.
Her first book, Fighting Hislam, was published by Melbourne University Publishing in 2017, and her writing has appeared in the Guardian, the Age, the Saturday Paper, in academic publications and in numerous anthologies.
Tony Windsor was the Independent Member for Tamworth (1991–2001) in the NSW Parliament for 10 years, and the Independent member for New England in the federal parliament for 12 years.
For nearly a third of his political career, Tony Windsor held the balance of power working to demand attention for country people from the major parties.
Lee Lin Chin is best known as presenter of SBS World News on Saturday and Sundays, but has found a new following thanks to a series of appearances on SBS 2’s The Feed, including Broadcast Battleground, which sees her leading a violent battle to the death with rival news anchors.
Jack Charles is an actor, musician, potter, Koori elder and national treasure.
After Bastardy, a biographical documentary about Jack, was released in 2008, he rediscovered family members, and is now a respected elder of the Boon Wurrung clan and one of Australia's foremost Indigenous stage and film actors.
As a member of the Archie Roach Foundation’s Council of Elders, Jack has taken his place as a Kadaitcha man — a traditional lawman — and works to help Indigenous prisoners see a better life beyond jail.
Nakkiah Lui is a writer and actor and Gamillaroi/Torres Strait Islander woman. She is a co-writer and star of Black Comedy on ABC TV and is a monthly columnist for the Australian Women's Weekly Online. She has been an artist in residence at Griffin Theatre Company and was playwright in residence at Belvoir from 2012–2014.
Graeme Simsion was born in Auckland and is a Melbourne-based writer of short stories, plays, screenplays and two non-fiction books.
The Rosie Project began life as a screenplay, winning the Australian Writers Guild/Inscription Award for Best Romantic Comedy before being adapted into a novel. It went on to win the 2012 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript, and has since been sold around the world to over 40 countries. Sony Pictures have optioned the film rights with Graeme contracted to write the script.
The Rosie Project won the 2014 ABIA for Best General Fiction Book, and was ultimately awarded Australian Book of the Year for 2014. Its sequel, The Rosie Effect, was released in 2014 to great acclaim and also became a bestseller.
Sarah Blasko is an acclaimed singer, songwriter and performer who has released five studio albums and won numerous accolades, including two ARIA Awards and a J Award. Her most recent album, Eternal Return (2015) was described by the Guardian as 'an extraordinary record' (*****). She has also composed music for film (The Nightingale and The Rose, Ruben Guthrie), theatre (Bell Shakespeare’s Hamlet) & dance (Sydney Dance Company’s Emergence).
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