All posts filed under: Byron Bay Writers’ Festival

Recollections of a good festival

Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard  was the most anticipated writer at Byron Bay Writers’ Festival 2015. Tickets for the day of her appearance sold out and the rush for seats resembled pre-dawn summer swoops on Mediterranean sun lounges. Luckily the previous sessions were entertaining … Malcolm Knox, Richard McHugh, Sarah Armstrong, Mia Freedman, and I was fortunate in that my neighbour in the marquee, accidentally bought an extra coffee. But it was all worth it. We remain curious about Julia. Claire Wright was a thoughtful interviewer and a refreshing alternative from the media mainstays whom we’d heard interview Gillard many times before. There is also something to be said for giving people the space to speak without a pressing need for ‘gotcha’ journalism. We may actually learn something. We certainly learned about Gillard’s passion for her current roles, particularly as Chair of The Global Partnership for Education (GPE). I was struck when Gillard spoke of girls education in sub-Saharan Africa where girls will only start to be educated at early high school level well into the next …