One last question: are words more important than actions?
‘Hell is full of good meanings, but heaven is full of good works’, so it’s said. But why should we trust even those words?
To close our inaugural Festival of Questions, we’re assembling ten of our esteemed Brains Trust to look beyond the act of asking, and reflect on what comes next: more talk, or action?
Adam Liaw, Alan Brough, Cheryl Strayed, Graeme Innes, Maggie Ryan Sandford, Mary Norris, Nakkiah Lui, Rob Delaney, Sally Warhaft and Upulie Divisekera will bring us ten stories that traverse the confessional, allegorical and universal – revealing and questioning the deeds and decisions that move and change our lives and worlds.
An action that affected everything. The consequences of a simple sentence. Language as a vehicle for justice, deception and atonement. And – as with relationships, negotiation, politics and responsibility – those moments when words and actions are one and the same.
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Rob Delaney is a writer and comedian who co-writes and co-stars in Catastrophe. His other television credits include Key & Peele, Chelsea Lately, Burning Love, and Cougartown. His first novel and bestselling memoir, Rob Delaney: Mother Wife Sister Human Wa... Read more
Cheryl Strayed is the author of the number one New York Times bestselling memoir Wild, the bestselling advice essay collection Tiny Beautiful Things, the novel Torch and the quotes collection Brave Enough. Her books have been translated into 40 languages aroun... Read more
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
Maggie Ryan Sandford is a science journalist, fiction and comedy writer, and human behavior researcher at the Science Museum of Minnesota, whose work focuses on equity in science education, the relationship between science and art, and cetaceans. With a background in broadcast radio and TV productio... Read more
Upulie Divisekera is a molecular biologist, science communicator and writer based in Melbourne. Over her research career, Upulie has worked in cancer research, developmental biology and is currently involved with nanotechnology research. She co-founded the highly successful science outreach program,... Read more
Alan Brough was born in New Zealand and is quite a bit older than he’d like to be. Alan has always loved books and, from an early age, wanted to be a writer. Then he and his Dad went to see Star Wars and Alan decided that, actually, he really, really, really, really, really wanted to be an act... Read more
Adam Liaw is a unique voice in Australian food. He is a food columnist for Fairfax and the Guardian, and the author of four hugely popular cookbooks on Asian cuisines. On television, Adam hosts the SBS food and travel program, Destination Flavour, now in its fourth season. He was the ... Read more
Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer. She is the host of The Fifth Estate, the Wheeler Centre’s live series focusing on journalism, politics, media, and international relations, and The Leap Year, a Wheeler Centre podcast about Australians’ lives in the fog of ... Read more
Graeme Innes is a lawyer, mediator and company director. He has been a human rights practitioner for more than 30 years. Graeme was a Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission for almost nine years, responsible for issues relating to disability, race and human rights. In this role... Read more
Mary Norris is the author of Greek to Me and the New York Times bestseller Between You & Me, an account of her years in the New Yorker copy department. Originally from Cleveland, she lives in New York. Her favourite pencil used to be the Dixon Ticonderoga No. 1, but she now makes do with th... Read more
Michael Williams joined Sydney Writers’ Festival in September 2020, as the Artistic Director navigating the post-pandemic landscape going into the 2021 festival. He has spent the past decade at the Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas in Melbourne; as its founding Head of Programming in 200... Read more
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