Session 1: Kenneth Binns Lecture

Landscapes and Emptiness, Murray Bail

Murray Bail was born in Adelaide in 1941, and lives in Sydney. He has won numerous awards, including the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and the Miles Franklin Literary Award for Eucalyptus. His most recent novel The Voyage was published in 2012.

Speakers notes: Landscapes and Emptiness

Chair: Anne-Marie Schwirtlich

Anne-Marie Schwirtlich took up her appointment as Director-General of the National Library of Australia in March 2011.

Between February 2003 and February 2011 she was Chief Executive Officer and State Librarian at the State Library of Victoria.   In 2006 she was seconded for six months to act as the Director of Arts Victoria – the Victorian department of the arts.

In the period 2000 – 2003, Anne-Marie was the Acting Director-General of the National Archives of Australia having previously held senior positions at that institution, the National Library and the Australian War Memorial.  She has also taught at the University of Canberra and at the University of NSW where she completed her post-graduate work in archives management.

She has been active in professional associations in Australia and internationally and has published widely.

Audio: Session 1: Landscapes and Emptiness

Session 2: Droughts and Flooding Rains

Matthew Condon

Journalist and writer, Matthew Condon was born in Brisbane and has lived in the UK, Germany and France. His first book, The Motorcycle Cafe, was widely reviewed and praised. Usher and The Ancient Guild of Tycoons were both shortlisted for the NBC Banjo Award for Fiction. A Night at the Pink Poodle and The Lulu Magnet won back-to-back Steele Rudd Awards for Short Fiction. His bestseller, The Trout Opera was shortlisted for the Qld Premier's Prize for Fiction.

Adrian Hyland

Adrian Hyland is the award-winning author of Diamond Dove and Gunshot Road. He lives in St Andrews, north-east of Melbourne, and teaches at LaTrobe University.

Speakers notes: Droughts and flooding rain

Anna Rose

Anna Rose is an author, freelance writer, environmentalist and lecturer. She teaches Leadership & Influence at the Australian National University. Anna is the author of the book Madlands: A Journey to Change the Mind of a Climate Sceptic, a non-fiction work based on her trip around the world with former finance Minister Nick Minchin to change his help him accept the science of climate change (the journey was filmed for an ABC documentary). Anna is a Churchill Fellow, a former Young Environmentalist of the Year, a former fellow of the International Youth Foundation and this year was recognised by Cosmopolitan magazine as one of Australia's 30 Most Influential Women Under 30.

Anna is a Director of the Bob Brown Foundation and Green Music Australia. Anna lives on the south side of Canberra with her husband, ACT Greens Senate candidate Simon Sheikh.

Speaker notes: Solastalgia, extreme weather and the writer's role in a climate changed

Chair: Marie-Louise Ayres

Marie-Louise Ayres has worked at the National Library of Australia since 2002, and is currently Assistant Director-General, Resource Sharing.  Prior to this appointment, Marie-Louise held positions as Senior Curator, Pictures and Manuscripts, Curator of Manuscripts, and Project Manager, Music Australia.  Before moving to the National Library, she worked with special collections and the AustLit database at the University of New South Wales at ADFA, and completed a Ph.D. in Australian Literature. 

 Marie-Louise is passionate about documentary heritage (especially rich archival collections) and about making that heritage accessible to all Australians through online services. 

Audio - Session 2: Droughts and Flooding Rains

Session 3: Imagining the Capital

Geoff Page

Geoff Page has published twenty collections of poetry as well as two novels and five verse novels. He’s also won the Grace Leven Prize and the Patrick White Literary Award. His recent books are A Sudden Sentence in the Air: Jazz Poems (Extempore 2011), Coda for Shirley (Interactive Press 2011), Cloudy Nouns (Picaro Press 2012) and 1953 (University of Queensland Press 2013).

Matthew Higgins

Matthew has been a Canberra professional historian for 30 years, working with the Australian War Memorial, the Australian Heritage Commission, and the National Museum of Australia. His many freelance projects include oral history interviews for the National Library of Australia, and he is the author of numerous articles and a number of books. Matthew's Rugged beyond imagination: stories from an Australian mountain region (NMA Press 2009) was shortlisted for the ACT Book of the Year Award. Matthew is passionate about the Australian high country and he skis and bushwalks as often as opportunity allows.

Speakers notes: What lies beyond: knowing and writing about Canberra's mountain hinterland.

Participating chair: Andrew Croome

Andrew Croome is a writer living in Canberra. His first novel, Document Z, a retelling of the Petrov affair, won the 2008 The Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award and saw him named as a Sydney Morning Herald Young Novelist of the Year. His second novel, Midnight Empire, was published in 2012. Andrew's articles and reviews have appeared in various publications, including The AgeThe Australian and Meanjin. He holds a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Melbourne.

Speaker notes: participating chair

Audio: Session 3: Imagining the Captial

Session 4: Crossing the Continent

Sue Woolfe

Sue Woolfe is the author of four novels: Leaning Towards Infinity, Painted Woman, The Secret Cure and The Oldest Song in the World, as well as a book about her research into creativity: The Mystery of the Cleaning Lady: A Writer Looks at Creativity and Neuroscience.

Speakers notes: Landscape and the Heart

Ros Moriarty

Ros Moriarty is Managing Director and co-founder of both the Jumbana Group and the not-for-profit Nangala Project. Ros' memoir, Listening to Country, was published by Allen & Unwin in 2010 and was shortlisted for The Age Book of the Year. Ros published two children's picture books with A&U in 2012.

Speakers notes: Crossing the Continent - Literary Journeys

Felicity Volk

Felicity Volk is a writer and an adviser to Australia’s Global Ambassador for Women and Girls. Her first novel, Lightning, was published in July 2013. She has received fellowships from the Eleanor Dark Foundation and her short story No place like home, was a prize-winner in The Australian Women’s Weekly/Penguin Short Story Competition (2006).

Speakers note: Crossing the Continent - Literary Journeys

Chair: Margy Burn

Margy Burn has worked at the National Library of Australia since 1999, in the role of Assistant Director-General, Australian Collections & Reader Services. Before coming to Canberra she held positions in state and university libraries in New South Wales and South Australia. She has spent her career working with rich archival collections, including pictures.

 Audio: Session 4: Crossing the Continent

Session 5: Keynote Address

The Biggest Estate on Earth, Bill Gammage.

Bill Gammage is a historian and adjunct professor in the Humanities Research Centre at the Australian National University. He is best known as author of the ground-breaking The Broken Years: Australian Soldiers in the Great War.

Speakers notes: The Biggest Estate on Earth

Chair: Mark Corbould

Mark Corbould joined the National Library of Australia in 1998 and is currently Assistant Director-General, Information Technology. Prior to joining the Library, Mark worked at the Australian National University in a number of roles including as Coordinator, Centre for Networked Information & Publishing

Mark studied Computer Science at the Australian National University and then competed a Masters of Science at the University of Toronto. 

Mark’s areas of interest include collecting and managing born-digital information, the long-term preservation of digital resources, and the use of open source software.

Audio - Session 5: Keynote Address

Session 6: Reshaping the Landscape

Lesley Harding

Lesley Harding joined Heide Museum of Modern Art as Curator in 2005. She is co-author with Kendrah Morgan of Sunday’s Kitchen: Food and Living at Heide (2010), Sunday’s Garden: Growing Heide (2012), and the forthcoming double biography of Heide founders John and Sunday Reed for Melbourne University Publishing.

Kendrah Morgan

Kendrah Morgan is a curator at Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne. She co-authored Sunday’s Kitchen: Food and Living at Heide (2010) and Sunday’s Garden: Growing Heide (2012) with Lesley Harding. They are currently writing a double biography of Heide founders John and Sunday Reed, due for publication in 2015.

Speaker notes: A Personal Eden: The Growing of Heide

Charles Massy

Charles Massy manages a 2,000 ha. sheep and cattle property on the Monaro grasslands, southern NSW. He recently submitted a PhD at the Fenner School, ANU, on innovation in regenerative agriculture. Charles has published a number of books on the wool industry’s politics and history of the Merino sheep, along with published poetry, fiction and non-fiction writing across a range of subjects. 

Speakers notes: Reshaping the Landscape post-1770: Have We Yet Arrived as Australians?

Jennifer Harrison

Jennifer Harrison has written five poetry collections, the most recent being Colombine: New & Selected Poems (Black Pepper 2010), shortlisted for the Western Australian Premier’s Prize. Among other awards, she has won the Anne Elder Poetry Prize, and the Martha Richardson Poetry Medal. She co-edited Motherlode: Australian Women’s Poetry 1986-2008 (Puncher & Wattmann 2009), a highly praised anthology about mothering and mother-experience. She holds Honorary Fellowships at Monash University and the University of Melbourne, and is currently curating poetry for the Dax Centre, the Australian collection of mental health art housed at the University of Melbourne. In 2012 she was awarded the Christopher Brennan Award for lifetime achievement in Australian poetry. In 2013, supported by an established writer’s grant from the Literature Board of the Australia Council for the Arts, she will be completing her sixth poetry collection, Phrenology Poems.

Chair: Peter Rose

Peter Rose is a poet, memoirist and novelist who grew up in country Victoria. Throughout the 1990s he was the publisher at Oxford University Press and since 2001 he has been Editor of the Australian Book Review.

Audio - Session 6: Reshaping the Landscape

Session 7: Cityscapes

Deborah Burrows

Deborah Burrows lives in Perth. She is a lawyer who specialises in medical law, and also has several history degrees, including a post-graduate degree in Medical History from Oxford University. Her novels, A Stranger in my Street and Taking a Chance, are set in WW2 Perth and incorporate her mother's stories about life at that time.

Speakers notes: The landscape of the past: wartime Perth as a backdrop to mystery.

Steven Carroll

Steven Carroll was born in Melbourne and grew up in Glenroy. He went to La Trobe University and taught English in high schools before playing in bands in the 1970s. After leaving the music scene he began writing as a playwright and became the theatre critic for The Sunday Age. He has recently given up his lecturing post at RMIT to write full time and lives in Brunswick, Victoria. His novels The Art of the Engine Driver and The Gift of Speed were both shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award. In 2008 The Time We Have Taken won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book, South-East Asia and South Pacific region as well as the 2008 Miles Franklin Award, Australia′s most prestigious literary prize.

Speakers notes: Renovating the Suburbs

Kerryn Goldsworthy

Kerryn Goldsworthy, the 2013 winner of the Pascall Prize for Critical Writing, is an author, critic and reviewer whose book Adelaide is part of the NewSouth ‘Cities’ series. She has written a regular column on local tourism, and her PhD thesis was on representations of place in Australian fiction.

Speakers notes: Reading, recognition and memory: Adelaide and other cities.

Chair: Morag Fraser

Morag Fraser AM, is a writer, newspaper columnist, and one of Australia’s most experienced literary judges and commentators. Her books and essays range across a wide range of subjects, from higher education to literature, gardening, politics and theology.  She was a judge of the Miles Franklin from 2005 to 2011, and is currently chair of Australian Book Review, among many other roles. In 2004 Morag received the Order of Australia for services to journalism.

Audio - Session 7: Cityscapes

Session 8: The Wide Brown Land for Me

Patrick Allington

Patrick Allington’s novel Figurehead (Black Inc. 2009) was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award. His short fiction has appeared in Meanjin, Griffith Review, The Melbourne Review, Kill Your Darlings, The Big Issue, Southerly and in anthologies. His non-fiction and critical writings appear widely in newspapers, magazines and journals.

Speakers notes: New Community Coming Soon

Jeanine Leane

Jeanine Leane is a Wiradjuri woman from South-west New south Wales. A Doctorate in literature and Aboriginal representation followed a long teaching career at secondary and Tertiary level. Formerly a Research Fellow at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander Studies, she currently holds a post-doctoral fellowship at ANU. In 2010, Jeanine’s first volume of poetry, Dark Secrets After Dreaming: AD 1887-1961 won the Scanlon Prize for Indigenous Poetry from the Australian Poets’ Union and her manuscript, Purple Threads won the David Unaipon Award at the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards and is shortlisted for the 2012 Commonwealth Book Prize. Jeanine is the recipient of an Australian Research Council grant for a proposal called Reading the Nation: A critical study of Aboriginal/Settler representation in the contemporary Australian Literary Landscape.

Speakers notes: Writing Landscapes

Jane Gleeson-White

Jane Gleeson-White is a writer with degrees in literature and economics. She’s the author of the internationally acclaimed award-winning Double Entry: How the merchants of Venice shaped the modern worldAustralian Classics and Classics. Jane’s edited Australian fiction, including Christos Tsiolkas’s The Slap and Dead Europe, and blogs at

Speakers notes: Fishnets and Facial Hair: A Landscape of Flight and Imposture

Chair: Zoë Rodriguez

Zoë Rodriguez is a lawyer who has worked at CAL for nearly ten years. She works in policy, lobbying government to promote Australia’s visual arts and publishing industries. She also manages the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund and the Creative Industries Career Fund, which provide grants to organisations and individuals in the publishing and visual arts sectors. Cultural funding is used to support people’s professional development and in establishing an environment that enables creators to derive an income from their work.

Audio - Session 8: The Wide Brown Land for Me