Sydney Writers Festival - Live & Local 2019 image

3 May 2019 08:00am - 4 May 2019 12:30 PM

Location: Albany Public Library, 221 York Street, Albany 6330

Price: Free

Contact Name: Albany Public Library

Contact Email:

Live & Local brings the Sydney Writers Festival to Albany Public Library. On Friday May 3 and Saturday May 4 we will be livestreaming select sessions. This is a free event, registrations are not required. Simply drop-in on the session you want to see.

Friday May 3 8.00am – 9.00am – Leigh Sales “Any Ordinary Day”

Please note: the library will open early to allow entry to this event. No other admittance will be possible. Normal library operations and services will only be available from 9.00am

In Any Ordinary Day, ABC 7.30’s anchor Leigh Sales investigates how ordinary people endure the unthinkable. Her widely acclaimed book weaves together stories of those who have survived everything from natural disasters to terrorism – and even Leigh’s own brush with mortality – in an exploration of how people move forward from hardship not just with shock and sadness, but strength, hope and even humour. Join Leigh – a Walkley Award winner and co-host of the Chat 10 Looks 3 podcast – at this special event about her warm, wise and layered book.

Friday May 3 9.30am – 10.30am – “Is Russia the Enemy We’ve Come to Believe?”

We are used to vehemently decrying Putin’s domestic and foreign actions, but have we begun to exaggerate the Russian threat, fuelling hatred, suspicion and sowing misunderstanding? Is it time we re-evaluate our expectation that Russia will behave like other democratic nations or respond constructively to traditional punishments like sanctions? Host of ABC RN's Between the Lines and political advisor Tom Switzer and Emeritus Professor Graeme Gill debate the issue with Walkley Award–winning former ABC Russia correspondent Monica Attard moderating.

Friday May 3 11.30am – 12.30pm – “Can You Spot a Liar?”

We lie to protect ourselves or others. We lie to avoid consequences. We lie to be cruel. Sometimes, we lie just because we can. Chris Taylor talks to three people who detect lies for a living – crime and corruption reporter Matthew Condon, Gold Walkley–award winning investigative journalist Kate McClymont and forensic psychiatrist Dr Calum Smith. They reflect on the crimes they’ve solved, the scandals they’ve exposed and the discoveries they’ve made about the inner workings of the deceitful mind.

Friday May 3 1.00pm – 2.00pm – Ben Quilty: “Home”

Archibald Prize–winning artist Ben Quilty has assembled a heartbreaking and awe-inspiring collection of artworks by the most vulnerable victims of a brutal civil war into a book, Home: Drawings by Syrian Children. With a forward by Man Booker Prize winner Richard Flanagan, and proceeds from the book going towards World Vision programs in the Middle East, it is an extraordinary testament to the resilience of a generation of survivors. Ben talks with barrister and human rights and refugee advocate Julian Burnside QC about the book and his experiences collating it in refugee camps across Europe.

This event is part of the Thinking Globally series, supported by UNSW Arts & Social Sciences.

Friday May 3 2.30pm – 3.30pm David Marr: “My Country”

My Country confirms David Marr’s place as one of Australia’s most unflinching and forensic reporters of political controversy, and one of its most subtle and eloquent biographers. This definitive collection of David’s writing spans from the 1978 Mardi Gras police bashings all the way to Patrick White, Pauline Hanson and Cardinal Pell. A perennial Festival favourite, David joins Sally Warhaft to share insights into his illuminating reportage and storied career.

Saturday May 4 9.30am – 10.30am – The Kingdom and the Power – Saudi Arabia

Since becoming Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman has pushed a new public relations vision of a country in which women are free to drive, attend sporting matches and enjoy live music. But the arrest and torture of feminist activists, oppression of queer people, enduring male-guardianship laws and murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi reveal a darker truth. Four Corners reporter Sophie McNeill joins Australian-based Saudi Manal al-Sharif – founder of the #WomenToDrive movement – and street artist, PhD candidate and creator of #IAmMyOwnGuardian, Ms Saffaa, to discuss women’s and queer rights in Saudi Arabia, experiences in the country, self-exile and hopes for the future.

Saturday May 4 11.30am – 12.30pm – Whose ABC?

The ABC is about to turn 90, yet seldom has the public broadcaster seen such controversy: public spats, budget cuts, accusations of bias, political pressure and leadership tensions. Sally Warhaft talks to On Us author and former ABC managing director Mark Scott (in a rare appearance discussing the broadcaster), On Aunty author and former Media Watch host Jonathan Holmes, host of ABC podcast Download This Show and co-anchor on SBS VICELAND’s The Feed Marc Fennell and journalist Margaret Simons about Michelle Guthrie’s dismissal and why the broadcaster must adapt to survive a new era of media.