Twelve storytellers – from different backgrounds, disciplines, life experiences – take to the stage in one special gala event to share a story about the changing of a mind. Whether it’s another person, an argument, a work of art or a lived experience, each tale will elucidate and untangle moments of influence and transformation. Guests including Evelyn Araluen, Ben Quilty, Damon Galgut, Morris Gleitzman, Toni Jordan, Thomas Keneally, Amanda Lohrey (appearing via video), Jazz Money, Omar Musa, SJ Norman, Chelsea Watego and Hanya Yanagihara bring their distinctive storytelling talents to bear on what it takes to make us who we are. Personal or polemic, reflective or incendiary, this unforgettable night will delight, transport, and maybe even change you.

This event is Auslan interpreted. Contact our ticketing team either by phone on (02) 9256 4200 or via email at ticketing@swf.org.au to book the best sight line. Visit our Accessibility page for more information. 

Evelyn Araluen (Australian)

Evelyn Araluen

Evelyn Araluen is a poet, researcher and co-editor of Overland Literary Journal. Her widely published criticism, fiction and poetry has been awarded the Nakata Brophy Prize for Young Indigenous Writers, the Judith Wright Poetry Prize, a Wheeler Centre Next Chapter Fellowship, and a Neilma Sidney Literary Travel Fund grant. Born and raised on Dharug country, she is a descendant of the Bundjalung Nation. Evelyn’s debut collection Dropbear won the 2022 Stella Prize. 

 

Omar Musa (Australian)

Omar Musa

Omar Musa is a Bornean-Australian author, visual artist and poet from Queanbeyan, Australia. He has released four poetry books (including Killernova), four hip-hop records, and received a standing ovation at TEDx Sydney at the Sydney Opera House. His debut novel Here Come the Dogs was longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award and the Miles Franklin Award and he was named one of the Sydney Morning Herald’s Young Novelists of the Year in 2015. His one-man play, Since Ali Died, won Best Cabaret Show at the Sydney Theatre Awards in 2018. He has had several solo exhibitions of his woodcut prints.

Chelsea Watego (Australian)

Chelsea Watego

Chelsea Watego (formerly Bond) is a Munanjahli and South Sea Islander woman and Associate Lecturer within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit at The University of Queensland. With over 20 years’ experience working within Indigenous health as a health worker and researcher, she is a prolific writer and public intellectual. She is a founding Board member of Inala Wangarra, an Indigenous community development association within her community, and was one half of the Wild Black Women radio/podcast show. Her forthcoming book Another Day in the Colony is to be released in November 2021.

Toni Jordan (Australian)

Toni Jordan

Toni Jordan is the author of five novels including the international best-seller Addition, Nine Days which was awarded Best Fiction at the 2012 Indie Awards, and Our Tiny, Useless Hearts, which was longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award and for the Voss Literary Award. Toni has been widely published in newspapers and magazines, and she holds a bachelor of science and a PhD in creative arts. Her most recent novel is Dinner with the Schnabels.

Amanda Lohrey (Australian)

Amanda Lohrey

Amanda Lohrey lives in Tasmania and writes fiction and non-fiction. She has taught at the University of Tasmania, the University of Technology Sydney and the University of Queensland. Amanda is a regular contributor to The Monthly and a former senior fellow of the Australia Council's Literature Board. She received the 2012 Patrick White Award. In 2021 her novel The Labyrinth won the Miles Franklin Literary Award, a Prime Minister's Literary Award and the Voss Literary Prize, and was shortlisted for The Age Book of the Year and a Queensland Literary Award.

Morris Gleitzman (Australian)

Morris Gleitzman

Morris Gleitzman grew up in England and came to Australia when he was sixteen. After university he worked for ten years as a screenwriter. Then he had a wonderful experience. He wrote a novel for young people. Now, after 42 books, he’s one of Australia’s most popular authors. He was appointed the Australian Children’s Laureate for 2018–2019. His most recent book is Always.

Jazz Money (Australian)

Jazz Money

Jazz Money is a Wiradjuri poet and artist currently based on Gadigal land. Her practice is centred around the written word while producing works that encompass installation, digital, film and print. Jazz's writing has been widely performed and published nationally and internationally. Her David Unaipon Award-winning debut collection how to make a basket was published in 2021.

Damon Galgut (International)

Damon Galgut

Damon Galgut is the author of nine novels. He won the Booker Prize 2021 for The Promise, having been shortlisted for the prize twice before (The Good Doctor and In A Strange Room). He lives and works in Cape Town.

Hanya Yanagihara (International)

Hanya Yanagihara

Hanya Yanagihara is a writer and the editor in chief of T: The New York Times Style Magazine. She is the author of three novels: The People in the Trees, A Little Life, and, most recently, To Paradise, which debuted at number-one on the New York Times bestseller list. She lives in New York.

SJ Norman (Australian)

SJ Norman

SJ Norman is an artist, writer and curator. Their work has been commissioned by the likes of Performance Space New York and the National Gallery of Australia. They are the recipient of numerous awards for contemporary art and their writing has won or placed in several prizes, including the Kill Your Darlings Unpublished Manuscript Award and the ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize. They co-curate Knowledge of Wounds, a global gathering of queer First Nations artists with Joseph M Pierce. Permafrost is their first book.

Thomas Keneally (Australian)

Thomas Keneally

Thomas Keneally was born in 1935 and his first novel was published in 1964. Since then he has written a considerable number of novels and non-fiction works. His novels include The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, Schindler's List and The People's Train. He has won the Miles Franklin Award, the Booker Prize, the Los Angeles Times Prize, the Mondello International Prize and has been made a Literary Lion of the New York Public Library, a Fellow of the American Academy, recipient of the University of California gold medal, and is now the subject of a 55 cent Australian stamp.

Ben Quilty (Australian)

Ben Quilty

Ben Quilty lives and works in Australia. Widely known for his thick, gestural oil paintings, Ben has worked across a range of media including drawing, photography, film, sculpture and installation. His works often serve as a reflection of social and political events; from the current global refugee crisis to the complex social history of our country, he is constantly critiquing notions of identity, patriotism and belonging. Ben’s work has been exhibited in a number of significant national and international exhibitions. In 2011 the Australian War Memorial commissioned Ben to travel to Afghanistan as Australia’s official war artist. The resulting body of work exhibited at the National Art School Gallery in 2013 received critical acclaim and went on to tour art galleries across Australia up until 2016. In 2014 he was selected as the overall winner of the Prudential Eye Award, Singapore and invited to become the first Australian to hold a solo exhibition at Saatchi Gallery in London (2014). He is represented by Jan Murphy Gallery, Brisbane, Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne and Arndt Art Agency, Berlin. Ben lives and works on Gundungurra Country, South of Sydney, Australia.