Byron Writers Festival 2020 Secondary Schools Program provides an insight into storytelling, debate, and big ideas, eloquently delivered by some of Australia’s foremost writers and thinkers. Video sessions are available to stream, details and links below.
Sessions are now available on-demand and in your classroom, from 3 – 7 August 2020. To watch, simply click WATCH NOW on your chosen sessions(s), listed below, to access the session via YouTube. For technical troubleshooting, please refer our Tech Support PDF or call 6685 5115.
Check session details below for stage suitability and to download teacher resources. Resources are available as a PDF and include author information, curriculum links, discussions guides and activities.
A message for teachers from our program partner, Southern Cross University
With thanks to
Secondary School Sessions
Video sessions now available on-demand from 3 – 7 August. Click ‘Watch Now’ on your chosen session to view in YouTube.
The Stories Behind the Songs
Clare Bowditch in conversation with Zacharey Jane
Musician and writer Clare Bowditch discusses song-writing and self-doubt with author, teacher and opera singer Zacharey Jane. How do you take personal stories and transform them into song? How do you tame that inner-critic? Clare walks us through her own struggles with mental health and body image, and explains how she learned to re-frame her inner-narrative.
Craig Foster, former captain of the Socceroos and refugee advocate talks with Maeve Marsden about his role in the fight to save fellow footballer and refugee Hakeem al-Araibi from imprisonment and imminent extradition by the Bahraini Government. Craig discusses his reasons for writing the book and the place of activism in sport more broadly, declaring that sport should not separate itself from social, cultural and political life.
Being Black ‘N Chicken & Chips: A Story about Growing Up (when everything is falling apart)
Matt Okine in conversation with Sunil Badami
Writer, comedian and broadcaster Matt Okine talks with Sunil Badami about the writing of his novel Being Black and Chicken and Chips, a work of fiction inspired by true events in Matt’s early life, including the loss of his mother to cancer. He discusses the difficult task of merging fact and fiction, of writing about your friends and family, and the role of humour in working through trauma.
19-year old author Vivian Pham talks with mentor and Executive Director of Story Factory, Dr Cath Keenan, about the writing of her novel The Coconut Children – a story of love, loss and migration set in Sydney’s Cabramatta in the 1990s. Vivian reflects on the complexities of writing about your friends, family and community, and considers how her heritage and history informed this story.
LGBTQI rights activist Sally Rugg talks with Maeve Marsden about her role in the five-year long campaign for marriage equality and the subsequent writing of her book, How Powerful We Are. How do social movements succeed? Does the outcome of the campaign justify the means of getting there and the personal cost incurred? Sally articulates her reasons for writing the book and reflects on the importance of storytelling in change making. She touches on her own experience of coming out, and offers advice for any young person struggling with questions of sexuality.
Christos Tsiolkas in conversation with Benjamin Law
Christos Tsiolkas is the celebrated author of six novels including Loaded, which was made into the feature film Head-On, The Slap and Barracuda. In this session he discusses his early reading life and his journey into writing as a young man. He offers wisdom and insight for any young person considering pursuing the artistic life. Christos also talks about the themes that connect his latest novel, Damascus, to his back catalogue. These are some of the very same themes that have obsessed him throughout his writing life: the nature of goodness, faith and doubt, sexuality, and the bonds and obligation of family.
Love, Language, and Land: Telling the Stories that Make Us Who We Are
Ellen van Neerven in conversation with Benjamin Law
Ellen van Neerven is an award-winning writer of Mununjali Yugambeh (South East Queensland) and Dutch heritage. In this session they talk with Benjamin Law about their journey into writing, and their experiences at university as a young person, that eventually lead them to discover First Nations literature and stories of resistance. Ellen discusses the recurring themes of their work, from gender queer identity, to inter-racial relationships and black pride, ending with a powerful reading from their new collection Throat, titled ‘The Only Black Queer in the World’.
This program is supported by our friends at the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund and Southern Cross University. Thanks also to our long-term funding partner, Create NSW.
Overall Digital Schools Program
Welcome to Country audio: Delta Kay Post production editing and drone footage: Sam Rhodes And a huge thanks to all the publishers for their support and assistance
Secondary Schools Program
Zoom Technician and Editor – Amy Cater Shooter and Editor Story Factory shoot– Richard Mockler Producer – Story Factory shoot – Sunil Badami Story Factory Executive Director – Dr Cath Keenan Curriculum consultants – Zacharey Jane, Alix Johnson and Siboney Duff
Byron Writers Festival Team
Artistic Director: Edwina Johnson Head of Development: Emma Keenan
Head of Operations: Sarah Ma Schools Day Producer: Gabby Le Brun Marketing & Communications: Anika Ebner Festival Administrator: Emily Brugman Partnerships Co-ordinator: Aarna Hudson
Want to help us create a stand-out Festival in 2021? You can donate today.