Outspoken former High Court judge Michael Kirby, and high-profile QC and former Media Watch presenter Stuart Littlemore, will be special guests at this year’s Byron Bay Writers’ Festival.
The two great names, who have helped shaped modern Australia’s legal and political debate, will each bring their own brand of gravitas, humour and charisma to the event.
They will appear alongside other Australian writers and activists who have given us alternative visions of how we can think of ourselves. They include Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith author Thomas Keneally, young solo sailor Jessica Watson, and Australian Youth Climate Coalition co-founder Anna Rose.
As a judge in Australia’s highest court of appeal, Sir Michael Kirby was well known for his outspoken views and passionate advocacy for the causes he believed in and for his ability to argue them in a most eloquent and persuasive manner. He served on many national and international bodies, including the World Health Organization’s Global Commission on AIDS, the UNESCO International Bioethics Committee and the UNAIDS Reference Group on HIV and Human Rights.
Now that he has stepped away from the restrictions of his professional role his voice is louder than ever on a broad range of topics from gay marriage to ethics, human rights and preserving Australia as a constitutional monarchy.
At this year’s festival, Kirby will discuss his shift from law into the world of documentary through the creation of his 2010 film Michael Kirby: Don’t Forget the Justice Bit. Voted as one of Australia’s top ten creative minds by The Bulletin magazine, Kirby will give us insight into the man behind the story, in the lead-up to the launch of his biography Law, Love & Life. Kirby will be joined by documentary maker and biographer Daryl Dellora at the festival to discuss his view from the bench.
Every first-time novelist is advised to ‘write what you know’ and that advice would have given Stuart Littlemore a large pool to draw from when writing his first novel Harry Curry: Counsel of Choice.
Littlemore has been a presenter of one of journalists’ most feared television programs, Media Watch, and as a barrister he’s represented high-profile clients including Pauline Hanson and Mercedes Corby in defamation actions against media outlets. Littlemore even made guest cameo appearances in the much-loved Australian satire Frontline. In his novel, Littlemore’s protagonist is suspended for professional misconduct and in twists of the plot he explores society’s underbelly and how to find loopholes in the law.
The Byron Bay Writers’ Festival takes place 3–5 August. It is an event that draws together thousands of literature lovers and hundreds of guest writers. For further information visit www.byronbaywritersfestival.com or call the booking hotline on 1300 368 552.