From Oscar Wilde’s apologia cataloguing his spiritual awakening to Behrouz Boochani’s prize-winning memoir about his detention on Manus Island, artistic expression has long been a source of dignity and escape for the incarcerated. Together, three speakers uniquely placed to discuss the issue examine how creativity can emerge – and even flourish – in oppressive conditions. Featuring Suzanne Leal (The Deceptions), a bestselling novelist and criminal and refugee lawyer; Stuart Tipple (The Dingo Took Over My Life), an author and defence lawyer who represented Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton; and Omid Tofighian, researcher and the translator of Behrouz’s No Friend But the Mountains, in conversation with Nicole Abadee.

Suzanne Leal (Australian)

Suzanne Leal

Suzanne Leal is the author of The Deceptions, The Teacher’s Secret and Border Street. A regular presenter at literary events and festivals, she was the senior judge for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards from 2017 to 2019 and is a Board Director of Sydney Crime Writers Festival. A lawyer experienced in child protection, criminal law and refugee law, Suzanne is a senior member of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal and former member of the Refugee Review Tribunal.

Omid Tofighian (Australian)

Omid Tofighian

Dr Omid Tofighian is an award-winning lecturer, researcher and community advocate, combining philosophy with interests in citizen media, popular culture, displacement and discrimination. He is Adjunct Lecturer at the School of the Arts and Media, UNSW; Honorary Research Associate for the Department of Philosophy, University of Sydney; faculty at Iran Academia; and campaign manager for 'Why Is My Curriculum White? – Australasia'. His published works include Myth and Philosophy in Platonic Dialogues; he is the translator of Behouz Boochani's multi-award-winning book No Friend But the Mountains: Writing From Manus Prison; and co-editor of Refugee Filmmaking, Alphaville: Journal of Film and Screen Media.

Stuart Tipple (Australian)

Stuart Tipple

Stuart Tipple, LLB (Canterbury University) and Dip. Crim. (Sydney University), practises as an attorney and celebrity speaker. During his career he has received awards for his pro bono work, was named the London Times Lawyer of the Week, won the Young Lawyers essay prize and was awarded the Law Society’s Presidents Medal. Stuart represented Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton, as detailed in his book The Dingo Took Over My Life. He is married to Cherie and has two adult children and two grandchildren.

Nicole Abadee (Australian)

Nicole Abadee

Nicole Adabee is the books writer for The Australian Financial Review. She also writes about books for Good Weekend and Australian Book Review, and appears regularly as a facilitator at writers’ festivals and other literary events. As a literary consultant, Nicole helps writers develop their manuscripts and advises on how to get published.