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Canberra Writers Festival




Continuing on from Saturday, University House will also host a range of events on Sunday, linked to the 2018 Canberra writers festival. Below are the events on for the 26th August:


Common Room:

Into the night (11:00am – 12:00 noon)

This utterly addictive crime thriller is the second novel of Sarah Bailey’s following the world-wide success of The Dark Lake. A troubled and brilliant detective, Gemma Woodstock is facing personal demons as well as an unhappy workplace. Canberra Writers Festival board member Simon Troeth in Conversation with Sarah will look at whether we can function when trust has eroded.


Canberra Criminals (1:00pm – 2:00pm)

The acclaimed Secret City trilogy by Lewis and Uhlmann features Canberra as a central character; the national capital at its brooding best. Now, in his debut novel The Greater Good, Tim Ayliffe also places a hard-boiled journalist at the centre of his narrative. Hear how writing crime and political thrillers can be good for the soul. Dan Bourchier hosts ABC Radio Canberra’s Breakfast program and the 7pm ABC TV News bulletin. Tickets:


A certain light (2:30pm – 3:30pm)

Sacrifice, loss, joy and love collide in this extraordinary memoir by an extraordinary woman. Journalist Cynthia Banham survived the horrific 2007 Garuda air crash, and in this searing tale of family and grief, tells of the determination to overcome her life-threatening injuries. Buoyed by the support of her family – and the birth of her son – Banham’s story is a resounding affirmation of the human spirit. In conversation with ABC Radio National breakfast host Fran Kelly. Tickets:


The art of living alone and loving it (4:00pm – 5:00pm)

Two million Australians live alone. This housing demographic is the fastest growing sector with a quarter of all Australians living in single person household. We may live alone for a period of or for much of our lives – by choice or not – and we usually land there without much idea of how to make it a contented and happy place. Jane Mathews is an international marketing expert and through her own life experiences she has put together this warm, wise and witty inspirational toolkit for solo living and a happy life – for as long as you need it. In Conversation with award winning journalist Tim Shaw. Tickets:


Great Hall:

So, you want to change the world? (11:00am – 12:00noon)

The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals aim to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. But for the goals to be reached by 2030, everyone needs to do their part: governments, business, civil society and ordinary people from every walk of life. In this lively session our panel of passionate authors and real-world researchers will reveal different approaches to supporting sustainability – and solving some of the world’s most wicked problems, one step at a time. – Tickets:


Passion, power & politics in science ( 2:30pm – 3:30pm)

From keeping passion projects alive to intervening in the decisions that matter, scientists and researchers find themselves striving for public, professional and political attention. This outstanding panel will explore how researchers have impact, how we measure that impact and the role that passion plays for their projects. Our international panel comprises Australia’s former Chief Scientist, Professor Ian Chubb AC; the head of the USNSF’s ‘Science of Science’ program, Dr. Cassidy Rose Sugimoto and a global leader who defines creative strategies for scientific impact, Jonathan Drori. Our moderator is Professor Joan Leach, Director, Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science at ANU. Tickets:


Turning last words into music (4:00pm – 5:00pm)

Composer, writer, radio presenter and the ANU H. C. Coombs Creative Arts Fellow Dr. Andrew Ford will introduce his expressive and emotional piece, Last Words. The song cycle will be performed by soprano Jane Sheldon and a trio of ANU School of Music staff trio comprising Tor Frømyhr (violin), David Pereira (cello) and Edward Neeman (piano). Last Words features the final poems, letters and diary entries of some of history’s most iconic figures. Dr. Ford will discuss the emotionally challenging, yet spiritually uplifting aspect of turning people’s intimate last words into art.



Drawing Room:

The way things should be (1:00pm – 2:00pm)

Journalist Bridie Jabour’s debut novel is warm and funny as it explores the conflicting joys and disappointments of millennials. It explores the complex relationships between parents and adult children in a way that is all too real. Acclaimed actor, Lexi Sekuless will unpack the relationships, the weddings and our expectations with Bridie – guaranteed to be entertaining.