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.
Russel Howcroft has recently joined PwC as a partner and as the firm’s first Chief Creative Officer.
Russel was most recently the Executive General Manager of Australian free-to-air television broadcaster Network TEN, responsible for TEN’s operations in Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. In this capacity, he was also a founding board member of ThinkTV Australia.
Dr Susan Carland is an academic, author, and social commentator. She has a PhD from Monash University, and is a Discovery Early Career Research Award (DECRA) Fellow and a Churchill fellow, researching the intersection between gender, Islamophobia, and social cohesion. Susan hosted the television quiz show Child Genius, and currently hosts the podcast What Happens Next? Her first book, Fighting Hislam: Women, Faith and Sexism, was published by Melbourne University Publishing. She is a columnist for Sunday Life in the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age, and her writing has also appeared in the Guardian, the Age, The Saturday Paper, The Conversation, The Australian Women’s Weekly, Australian Vogue, The Quarterly Essay, in academic publications, and 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/actor and Gamillaroi/Torres Strait Islander woman. She is a co-writer and star of ABC's Black Comedy. She has been an artist in residence at Griffin Theatre Company (2013) and was playwright in residence at Belvoir Theatre from 2012–14. In 2012, Nakkiah was the first recipient of The Dreaming Award from The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Arts Board of the Australia Council. The same year, Nakkiah was also the inaugural recipient of the Balnaves Foundation Indigenous Playwright Award. In 2014, Nakkiah was the recipient of the Malcolm Robertson Prize and a Green Room Award for Best Independent Production. Most recently Nakkiah won the NSW Premier’s Literary Award 2018, Nick Enright Prize for Playwriting for Black is the New White.
Graeme Simsion is a Melbourne-based novelist and screenwriter. The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect have combined global sales approaching five million copies.
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).
All messages as part of this discussion and any opinions, advice, statements, or other information contained in any messages or transmitted by any third party are the responsibility of the author of that message and not the Wheeler Centre.