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Gala Night of Storytelling 2016: The Book that Changed Me


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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

Anna Funder is the author of Stasiland. Her debut novel, All That I Am, won the 2012 Miles Franklin Award. Anna Funder was born in Melbourne in 1966. She has worked as an international lawyer and documentary film-maker. In 1997 she was writer-in-residence at the Australia Centre in Potsdam. She liv... Read more

Kon Karapanagiotidis

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.   Kon grew up in ... Read more

Russel Howcroft

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.... Read more

Susan Carland

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 qui... Read more

Tony Windsor

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... Read more

Lee Lin Chin

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. ... Read more

Jack Charles

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 an... Read more

Nakkiah Lui

Nakkiah Lui is a writer/actor/director and Gamillaroi/Torres Strait Islander woman. She began her playwriting career at Sydney Theatre Company under the artistic directorship of Andrew Upton and Cate Blanchett, since then she has worked with every major theatre company in Australia. Nakkiah was acto... Read more

Graeme Simsion

Graeme Simsion is a Melbourne-based novelist and screenwriter. The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect have combined global sales approaching five million copies. Graeme is also the author of the international bestsellers The Best of Adam Sharp and – co-written with his wife, Anne Buist – Two ... Read more

Sarah Blasko

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... Read more


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90-120 Swanston Street Melbourne Victoria 3000

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