Political Landscapes Explored and Debated at Byron Writers Festival

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Photo by Mike Snee

As the final votes are counted in the Australian election, the UK and the EU grapples with Brexit realities and the US faces a possible future under Donald Trump there will be no better place to hear in-depth analysis of the world’s pressing political and social issues than at Byron Writers Festival 2016.

Among the many eminent thinkers, commentators, politicians and journalists on hand to debate these seismic political events will be lauded American satirist and political commentator P.J. O’Rourke, Walkley-Award winning journalists Kerry O’Brien and Ross Coulthart, former deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer, ALP visionary John Faulkner, Independent politician Tony Windsor, and former Greens leader Bob Brown. These agile political minds will be joined by Stan Grant, Canberra Press Gallery correspondent Niki Savva, the ABC’s Ben Knight and fellow journalists Leigh Sales, Sarah Ferguson, Paddy Manning andAnnabel Crabb.

“Byron Writers Festival has always showcased contemporary political issues. Recent global events and the Australian election have heightened the political realities governing our lives and our children’s futures. We need to debate these issues, and we will, guided by expert political minds,” said Festival Director, Edwina Johnson.

An impressive contingent of US guests including P.J. O’Rourke; award-winning author Jeffery Renard Allen; Pulitzer prize winner and The New Yorker staff writer William Finnegan and debut novelist Angela Flournoy will come together to share their views on The State of the United States on the first day of the Festival.

Closer to the home, True Believers presents a triumvirate of ABC heavyweights Sarah Ferguson, Kerry O’Brien and Leigh Sales discussing key figures from the Labor Party. Find out what really happens behind the scenes in Canberra Uncut with Ferguson, press gallery correspondent and former Liberal party stafferNiki Savva, Turnbull biographer Paddy Manning and journalist Matthew Condon. Expect entertaining yarns and informative discussions when former deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer joins Tony Windsor and Paddy Manning for Election Stories: The Privileges of Democracy.

On Festival Sunday former ALP Senate leader, National President and Cabinet minister John Faulknerlooks at Fixing the System with Gabbie Stroud, former primary school teacher and writer whose frank memoir piece Teaching Australia in Griffith Review went viral on social media. They will be in conversation with Griffith University’s Professor of Politics, Anne Tiernan.

Separately ticketed evening Feature Events include a Literary Dinner on Friday 5 August, Political Persuasions, with Paddy Manning and Niki Savva in conversation with Simon Marnie at the stunning Beach Restaurant, Byron Bay with wine generously supplied by Howard Park & Madfish wines and on Saturday evening Stan Grant will be in conversation with David Leser at Byron Theatre.

To be part of these significant conversations head to Byron Writers Festival 5-7 August. Tickets on sale at byronwritersfestival.com