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Festival brings Australia’s favourite environmentalists to town

Edwina Johnson (picture by Tim Eddy)

Edwina Johnson
(picture by Tim Eddy)

It’s with great pleasure we announce that Tim Flannery, the Former Head of the Australian Climate Commission and 2007 Australian of the Year and Bob Brown, the Former Parliamentary Leader of the Australian Greens, will head up the environmental component of this year’s Writers Festival.

Tim told us: ‘in so many ways, this is the critical decade for sustainability in Australia. I look forward to being in Byron Bay with Bob Brown. Together we can outline what’s required of our country over the next six years.’

Many people will remember when Tim highlighted the passion Australians held for the environment when he and his co-Commissioners raised an impressive $1 million via crowd-funding in just five days. These funds were used to launch the Climate Council after the Climate Commission was dismantled in 2013.  It was incredible to witness so many people prepared to contribute to protect the Australian environment.

In his recent book, Among the Islands,Flannery outlines his ground-breaking work on the mammals of the south-west Pacific. His findings allowed the International Union for the Conservation of Nature to rank these mammals’ vulnerability to extinction.

We’re also delighted that Bob Brown has accepted the invitation to return to the Festival. His determination and commitment to informing Australians about threats to our environment is truly inspiring. The marquees at his 2012 Festival appearances were overflowing. Those of you who were there will remember he received standing ovations at the end of his sessions.

Bob’s visit to the Festival coincides with the launch of his new book, Optimism. In Optimism, Bob shares his stories and insights from both his public and private life, revealing the events that have made an impression, the ideas that have caught his imagination and the people that have stayed in his thoughts. We’re thrilled Byron Bay is the first stop on the Optimism book tour.

Both Tim Flannery and Bob Brown have contributed significantly to the preservation of our unique environment. It’s a great privilege to host them at the Festival.

Remember, the big reveal of the entire program and huge list of over 100 writers and thinkers will take place on 6 June. So watch this space.

Edwina Johnson, Director, Byron Bay Writers Festival


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