Student Sessions 2022

Student Sessions is presented in partnership with the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA).

Join some of the brightest minds in the nation for a compelling and challenging program of talks, specially curated to complement the school curriculum in ways that educate and enlighten.

Led by widely renowned writers and thinkers, each an authority across literature, film, theatre, media, and more, Student Sessions is rich in learning opportunities for secondary school students. The program builds on student’s classroom learning, extending their capacity for creative and critical thinking and inspiring a deeper understanding of society, language and storytelling.

Recommended for Years 9 to 12.

You can discover more about the program below, download our brochure, read through a flipbook version, or access this one-page, quick-read version

Also discover the Student Sessions Livestream program, which broadcasts the magic of Student Sessions straight to your school.  

Tickets and Booking

Each Student Session runs for 45 minutes. You can create your own schedule of sessions with options to select one, two or three sessions per student. Discounts are available when you purchase multiple sessions.

Ticket prices are:

  • $30 per student for three events
  • $24 per student for two events
  • $15 per student for one event.

You can book tickets to Student Sessions by filling out the online booking form

Make sure you book before Friday 13 May 2022 to guarantee your spot at this not-to-be-missed event.

For more information or if you have any questions contact or call 02 9256 4200.  



10–10.45am Session 1

10.45–11.45am Morning break

11.45am–12.30pm Session 2

12.30–1.30pm Lunch break 

1.30–2.15pm Session 3




Great stories need conflict for the plot to progress – but what is conflict? And how do writers come up with new and exciting ideas to propel their characters forward?

Claire G. Coleman is a Wirlomin Noongar writer whose novels (The Old Lie and Terra Nullius) play out in fast-paced intergalactic and post-apocalyptic dystopian settings. New Zealand–born writer J.P. Pomare’s thrillers (Call Me Evie and The Last Guests) use tension and suspense to keep readers guessing. These two acclaimed writers speak with author Roanna Gonsalves about creating compelling conflict on the page.

Curriculum links: English; Photographic and Digital Media; Photography, Video and Digital Imaging



(Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances this session has been cancelled. If you already have a booking, you will be contacted shortly to discuss alternative options.)

For many, the wonder of cinema is purely found in its capacity to entertain. But studying cinema, and learning to engage with it critically, can deepen your understanding of the complex and fascinating relationship between screen, viewer and the wider world.

In Australia, few film critics have become as widely renowned as David Stratton and Margaret Pomeranz. The two use their unparalleled ability and decades long experience unpicking everything from Hollywood blockbusters to arthouse favourites to share how learning the craft of cinema offers new perspectives of art, people and the world.

Curriculum links: English; Drama; Visual Arts; Screen and Media; Photographic and Digital Media; Photography, Video and Digital Imaging



10.45–11.45am Morning break



Language changes when read aloud; previously unheard rhythms, timbres and tones come alive off the page. So, how do you approach writing a play or spoken-word poem – language designed to be performed? How is it different to writing a novel or short story, for instance?

Bornean-Australian rapper, poet and author Omar Musa (Here Come the Dogs and Killernova) and Gamilaroi actor, writer and director Megan Wilding (A Little Piece of Ash and GAME. SET. MATCH.) share how they write for performance, what it feels like to hear and see your words in motion, and how to plan and prepare when creating your own work of performative writing. The two speak with writer and performer Maeve Marsden (Queerstories).

Curriculum links: English; Drama; Music



We would all like to think of ourselves as critical readers, adept at working out what sources to believe and which ones to approach with scepticism. But how do we make that assessment when consuming media and how do our best journalists navigate their responsibility to the truth?

Rick Morton is the author of two memoirs – One Hundred Years of Dirt and My Year of Living Vulnerably – and an award-winning senior reporter for The Saturday Paper. Journalist, poet and author Erik Jensen is the editor-in-chief of Schwartz Media as well as Rick’s editor. The two take apart the process of making news – from taking an idea through to publication, finding sources and checking facts – and talk through their relationship with each other, their readers and the story. Together, they ask: what are the underlying principles and practices of journalism that make it worthy of our trust?

Curriculum links: English; Drama; Screen and Media


12.30–1.30pm Lunch break



Unfortunately, John Bell and Geraldine Brooks are no longer appearing at this event. Kip Williams, Artistic Director of Sydney Theatre Company, and actress Zahra Newman (Wentworth, Long Story Short) will be joining. 

William Shakespeare is widely regarded as one of the greatest writers in the English language. Far from being dry or hard to understand, Shakespearean language is magical, gruesome, hilarious and provocative.

Join award-winning actor and acclaimed director John Bell, founder of Bell Shakespeare, and actor Geraldine Hakewill, star of Sydney Theatre Company’s recent production of Julius Caesar, as they explore the delights The Bard has to offer. John and Geraldine will unpack how Shakespeare uses language to explore challenging, comedic and conflicting themes about humanity, society and relationships.

Curriculum links: English; Drama



Many works of fiction have looked to history for inspiration, but there are still countless stories yet to be told and new voices to hear from well-known events.

Drama series New Gold Mountain is a gripping murder-mystery that explores the experiences of Chinese miners in the Victorian goldfields during the 1850s gold rush. Director Corrie Chen and producer Kylie du Fresne, who worked together on the show, discuss drawing creative inspiration from historical events, the importance of sharing diverse perspectives on history and the changing way history is depicted in popular culture.

Curriculum links: English; History; Drama; Photographic and Digital Media; Photography, Video and Digital Imaging



For more information about Student Sessions, please contact us:

(02) 9256 4200


Presented in partnership with...
Education Standards Authority