26.5 C
Byron Shire
April 15, 2021

Thinking big at the Writers Festival

Latest News

Sally Flannery discovers dark side of ‘Lovemore’

Since declaring her interest in running for Lismore Council, local woman Sally Flannery has been subjected to sustained attacks, both online and upon her property.

Other News

Interview with Jean Kittson

Comedian, writer, and social commentator Jean Kittson has the ability to distil complex ideas into commonsense. Jean is one of the national treasures in conversation with Mandy Nolan and Fiona O’Loughlin at No Eggs for Breakfast, a comedic chat themed around life beyond fertility! It seemed remiss not to ask Ms Kittson on her take on the debacle that is federal politics and gender equity.

Sally Flannery discovers dark side of ‘Lovemore’

Since declaring her interest in running for Lismore Council, local woman Sally Flannery has been subjected to sustained attacks, both online and upon her property.

Poetic plea from Gaza

Gareth W R Smith, Palestine Liberation Centre – Byron Bay This heart cry from Gaza, written by Gazan poet and...

Francis Cloake in running for National Portrait Prize

Byron Bay's Francis Cloake is one of two Northern Rivers photographers named as a finalist in the prestigious Living Memory: National Photographic Portrait Prize.

Rotary Downunder Baton handed over at Byron Bay

The Rotary Club of Byron Bay recently took the Rotary Downunder Baton to the most easterly point of Australia as part of its national journey. As well as being the national celebration of one hundred years of service by Rotary in Australia, the theme for the centenary is 'Rotary says no to domestic violence'.

Is it solar fair?

Meg Pickup, Ballina The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) draft rule change will result in solar households and businesses being...

Rabia Siddique
Rabia Siddique

Whether the topic is terrorism, refugees, the true cost of free speech, war, the Catholic Church, or failing media empires – the Byron Bay Writers Festival is not afraid to tackle major social, ethical and philosophical issues.

This year’s program is as diverse as it is rich and boasts several Big Issue sessions including Dream Boat Refugees; How Vulture Capitalism is Swallowing the World; Secrets and Lies: Should the Catholic Church Confess; Shifting Sands: Lessons from Iraq, Afghanistan; and The Cost of Free Speech. Wide-ranging, provocative and probing commentary will underpin this year’s festival program.

One such session is Soldiers: Lambs to the Slaughter or Sacred Cows on Saturday August 2. Featuring James Brown, David Finkel and Rabia Siddique, it will be chaired by the former editor of The Northern Star, Russell Eldridge.

Panellist Rabia Siddique is a woman of many talents. She speaks four languages, has run the London marathon for charity, undertaken human rights and community aid work in the Middle East, South America, United Kingdom and Australia and is a mother to five-year-old triplet boys.

Siddique is also a criminal and human rights lawyer, a retired British army officer, a former terrorism and war crimes prosecutor and published author.

In 2006, Siddique was awarded a Queen’s commendation for her human rights work in Iraq, and in 2009, she was the runner-up for Australian Woman of the Year UK. She has recently written and published her memoir, Equal Justice.

Siddique is delighted to be involved in the Festival. ‘I’ll elaborate on the story told in my memoir and will further explore the issues of equality, resilience, authentic leadership and the need for us all to have courage in our convictions.’

Julian Burnside
Julian Burnside

Fellow human rights barrister Julian Burnside will tackle the emotional topic of refugees in the session Dream Boat Refugees to be held on Friday August 1.

Burnside will be joined by Vietnamese refugee, award-winning author and publisher Carina Hoang and Antony Loewenstein, Guardian columnist and best-selling author who will also feature in another powerful festival session, How Vulture Capitalism is Swallowing the World.

Then the Big Issues turn to politics and the environment.

Former prime minister Malcolm Fraser and Pulitzer prize winner David Finkel will explore Australia’s relationship with the US, prompted by influential commentator David Marr, while journalists Mike Carlton, Terry Hayes and Kate McClymont will discuss The State of the State.

They will be preceded by retired politician Bob Brown and Tim Flannery, who will explore their environmental vision for our wide brown land.

The Festival runs August 1–3 with workshops commencing July 28. For more information and feature event tickets, visit www.byronbaywritersfestival.com or call 1300 368 552.

All Writers Festival Articles


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

SCU named as partner in two national drought hubs

Southern Cross University has been announced as playing a crucial partnership role in two new Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs.

ALP puts war power reform on the agenda

The Australian Labor Party will hold a public inquiry into how Australia goes to war if elected to government next year.

Help from Red Cross for flood-affected communities in NSW

With disasters coming thick and fast as the climate emergency worsens, Australian Red Cross this morning launched financial help for flood-affected communities in NSW.

Rocky Creek Field Day coming in July

As part of the Rural Landholder Initiative, rural landholders in the Rocky Creek area are invited to an Off-stream Watering and Riparian Habitat Field Day.