This year the University of Melbourne’s Janet Clarke Hall celebrates its 125th anniversary and will hold a series of events marking its heritage as Australia’s oldest residential college for women and one of the first in the world. The first of these will be an afternoon panel and discussion forum at the Wheeler Centre featuring college literary luminaries. Writers and novelists Helen Garner, Anna Goldsworthy, Alice Pung and Lee Tulloch have all dwelt within Janet Clarke Hall’s ivy-clad walls as students, tutors or artists in residence, and will gather to discuss its influences, their work and the literary life with fellow JCH alumni, Jan McGuinness.
Anna Goldsworthy is the author of the memoirs Welcome to Your New Life and Piano Lessons, and Quarterly Essay 50, On Women, Freedom and Misogyny. Her writing has appeared in the Monthly, the Age, the Adelaide Review and Best Australian Essays.
‘It is astonishing how much shit a woman will cop in the interests of civic and domestic order.’
Helen Garner is a legend. Our poet-laureate of the acute observation, the award-winning novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter and journalist has made a peerless contribution to Australian letters, Australian culture and our sense of ourselves. In 2006 she received the inaugural Melbourne Prize for Literature, and in 2016 she won the prestigious Windham Campbell Prize for non-fiction and the Western Australian Premier’s Book Award. In 2019 Garner was honoured with the Australia Council Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature. Her books include Monkey Grip, The First Stone, This House of Grief and Everywhere I Look.
Alice Pung is an award-winning writer, editor, teacher and lawyer based in Melbourne. Her books include Close to Home, On John Marsden, the memoirs Unpolished Gem and Her Father’s Daughter, and the novel Laurinda. She is the editor of the anthologies Growing Up Asian in Australia and My First Lesson.
Lee Tulloch is a journalist and novelist.