Meet the journalists, politicians, and philosophers who will come together at Byron Writers Festival 2019 to unpack the challenging terrain of modern politics, free speech, and the crisis of democracy that comes with it.
Why are voters so disaffected? A big question in light of the recent election. Join The Saturday Paper’s Paul Bongiorno, political journalist and author of Rusted Off: Why Country Australia is Fed Up Gabrielle Chan, and writer and broadcaster Jeff Sparrow as they discuss voting attitudes with ABC RN’s Paul Barclay.
Former prime minister Kevin Rudd headlines a notable lineup of politicians – expect an insightful conversation with Karen Middleton about his time as PM. Middleton will also chair a panel with former Greens senator Scott Ludlam and former leader of the Australian Democrats Natasha Stott Despoja in the session What’s Happened to our Politics?
Don’t miss Peter Greste and Margot Saville in Action for Free Media. Now a passionate media-freedom advocate, Greste’s incarceration and resulting memoir The First Casualty gripped 2018 festival audiences so Byron Writers Festival has welcomed him back for some timely discourse on recent events.
On Sunday, Peter Greste will also appear alongside Amal Awad, investigative journalist Kate McClymont, and Guardian Australia columnist Ranjana Srivastava in a session hosted by Paul Barclay, How Free is Free Speech?
The always thought-provoking Thea Astley Address on Sunday invites UK philosopher AC Grayling to speak on The Crisis of Democracy. Grayling has riveted local audiences at several out-of-season events so he is an exciting addition to the main Festival program.
Another big Sunday conversation will see veteran journalist Kerry O’Brien in the hot seat as he talks about his memoir Kerry O’Brien: A Memoir. A must-see session for O’Brien fans.
Finally, Sunday will dig up the dirt on The Ethics of Journalism with those in the know – Paul Bongiorno, Stan Grant, and Helen Pitt – chaired by editor of The Saturday Paper Maddison Connaughton.
Catch these sessions and all the action at the Festival site this 2–4 August with a 1-day or 3-day pass, available now via www.byronwritersfestival.com/tickets.