Saturday June 3

Plunge into a day’s worth of probing inquiry and playful story-sharing with your Saturday June 3 Pass, entitling you to four (4) talks across two venues.

DAY PASS $89 + booking fee
Book a WEEKEND PASS for nearly $20 discount

You can select which Morning Session you wish to attend, as well as which Afternoon Session. You are free to change venues at the lunch break. It’s a gorgeous 7-minute stroll, either along a quiet backlane or along the beach itself!

Book signings will follow each talk.

These Sessions are accessible via the Saturday Day Pass or Weekend Pass only.


9:45 – 10am Introduction & Welcome to Country

10 – 11am

Kath Koschel. Moderator: Kaya Wilson

Kath Koschel dreamed of a career as a professional cricketer. But life had other ideas… and two broken backs and a devastating personal loss later, so did Kath. After founding the global not-for-profit, Kindness Factory, a social media sensation sharing acts of kindness that went viral, Kath still wasn’t done. In 2016 she put her beliefs to the ultimate test, leaving home with nothing but a change of clothes, her phone and a toothbrush. This is her story.

11.30am – 12.30pm

Claire G. Coleman, Jess Scully, Eve Vincent. Moderator: Alice Workman

How important is it to challenge the status quo? What do we achieve by doing so? Each writer on this panel has been unafraid to suggest something radical; be it the return of Crown Land to Indigenous hands, the complete overhaul of the welfare system, or simply some practical ideas for a fairer world. Together we will hear visions for a better Australia.

9:45 – 10am Introduction & Welcome to Country

10 – 11am

Heather Mitchell. Moderator: Rob Carlton

In the superb memoir Everything and Nothing, celebrated actor Heather Mitchell lets us peer into the ‘snow dome’ of her life through a series of singular stories shared with heart-rending candour and gentle humour. From the (seemingly) sudden death of her mother to sexual encounters and tales from the stage and screen, this is a moving and insightful account of a public and private life lived well.

11.30am – 12.30pm

Paul Daley, Jock Serong. Moderator: Julie Janson

What are the rights and responsibilities around the incorporation of Indigenous stories into fiction? What are the legacies of literal theft and cultural erasure? Join us for a timely discussion around post-colonial truths and why we must all shoulder the work.


1:30 – 2:30pm

Todd Alexander, Rachael Mogan McIntosh, Pip Williams. Moderator: Caroline Overington

Have you ever wanted to pull the rug on your life? These writers and adventurers certainly have… and they had the chutzpah to follow through! Pip Williams spends a summer under an Italian sun, while Todd Alexander kicks his corporate career for a literal treechange to a Hunter Valley vineyard. And Rachael Mogan McIntosh transports her ragtag little family to small-town France… with comme ci, comme ça results. Is the good life all it’s cracked up to be? Let’s find out.

Please note: Cheryl Akle can no longer moderate due to health issues. Caroline Overington will step into this role.

3 – 4pm

Petronella McGovern, Dinuka McKenzie, JP Pomare. Moderator: Anna Downes

Tightening the turns of their twisty plots comes as second nature to this trio of thriller fiction writers. From Victoria we have JP Pomare, whose latest hit The Wrong Woman boasts Ian Rankin as a fan. Dinuka McKenzie joins us from the South Coast of NSW, with her unique crime-fighting creation Detective Kate Miles (The Torrent and Taken). And closer to home we have Petronella McGovern joining us with her latest psychological suspense The Liars, alongside moderator and Central Coast local Anna Downes. Prepare to be thrilled!

1:30 – 2:30pm

Claire G. Coleman, Inga Simpson. Moderator: Shankari Chandran

Between the pages of a dystopian fiction, we get to imagine a future that in some way meaningfully mirrors the world of today – cracks and all. Whether it’s the bigoted surveillance state electrifyingly brought to life in Enclave by Claire G. Coleman or the wholescale bushfire- and virus-plagued hellscape of The Last Woman in the World by Inga Simpson, these books present searing allegories of a paradise lost. What can be found of humanity amidst the rubble?

3 – 4pm

Jane McCredie, Helen Sullivan. Moderator: Ivy Shih

“Good science writers give the world… understanding, insight and … a feeling that we are not helpless pieces of plastic flotsam bobbing on the ocean.” This is Dr Norman Swan’s foreword to the Best Australian Science Writing anthology, and we quite agree! In this session we will explore the intersection of science and culture with two esteemed writers included in the collection, along with its editor. Roving over the Syrian seed bank, the true history of immunisation and more, this will be an eye-opener.

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