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2017 Sunshine Coast International Readers and Writers Festival Website Program

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friday       saturday        sunday

  • SCIRWF Festival office opens at 8am on Saturday, August 12th in Coolum Civic Centre for Ticket Sales, Programs and a hearty welcome to Coolum! (Online ticket sales suggested to avoid sell-out)
  • The Official Festival Bookshop is being managed by Coolum’s own independent 'Sandy Pages' Bookshop and will feature our amazing authors’ works plus postcards and prints of our Signature Art by Jandamarra Cadd titled “Ancient Dreaming, Tomorrow’s Vision” and copies of our Inaugural 2016 Festival Souvenir Poster that you can buy and get signed by all our guest artists during the festival - a great souvenir. The Sandy Pages Festival Bookshop opens from 8.30am to 5pm, Saturday, September 10 and Sunday, September 11 in the Coolum Civic Centre. If you wish to buy a book before that, Sandy Pages at Birtwill Street, have them all.
  • Poet’s Corner,  Jack Morgan Park, Coolum will feature open-to-the-public performances by Bazza the Bush Poet, Joy Machine’s Barbara Brewster and Co, Aboriginal comedian Sean Choolburra, ‘Passport’ poet Antoine Cassar from Malta, rap poetry from Zohab Zee Khan, musician and rap poet Tah Riq Amawi, musician Mark Heyward, Aboriginal poet, author and storyteller Uncle Herb Wharton and so much more.
  • Festival Artisan Alley – Quality invitation-only Artisan stalls will be operating in Jack Morgan Park from 8.30am to 5pm on Saturday, September 10 and Sunday, September 11 featuring acclaimed Indigenous chef Dale Chapman’s Coolamon Food Creations (innovative and quality bush tucker products); Bridgette Chilly’s Aboriginal art and crafts, bush foods, ‘fire stones’ tool-making and basket-weaving displays; Coolum’s own Cordially Yours’ handmade stitched rope bowls and baskets; Coolum’s own Kezign custom-made coffee table books using the customer’s own images; Coolum artist Julie Chizzoni who hand-paints original, vibrant, acrylic beach culture on canvas; the Queensland Koala Crusaders’ handmade koala soft toys; Bunya Bunya Country Aboriginal Corporation information stall; Coolum & North Shore Coast Care’s information stall; Surfrider Foundation Sunshine Coast branch information stall; the Marine Conservation Society's information stall; the United Synergies coffee pod and much, much more.
  • Children’s Craft and Storytime Marquee – Our festival is hosting a free marquee area in our Festival Artisan Alley for children’s storytelling and craft activities including Sam Welbourne’s Building Fairy Houses and Trolls Cave workshop (15 children maximum at 1pm on Sunday, September 11), Bridgette Chilly’s basket weaving, children’s book illustrator Emma Middleton’s drawing activities, author Casey Ardron’s book readings and so much more.azza the Bush Balladeer with his box of tricks, puzzles and riddles (with kangaroo and koala offsiders (props); and so much more.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 9: 6pm to 11pm

Official Opening Ceremony and Celebrations hosted by Sunshine Coast radio legend Cam Young featuring:

  • Welcome to Country with Lyndon Davis and the Gubbi Gubbi Dancers. 
    The Sunshine Coast International Readers and Writers Festival Inc would like to acknowledge the region’s Traditional Owners, the Gubbi Gubbi people of the Sunshine Coast and Gympie. Lyndon is the founder of Gubbi Gubbi Dance formed in 1997. The troupe features Indigenous artists, performers and cultural educators from the Sunshine Coast - many of them are direct descendants of the local Gubbi people, whose traditional lands stretch from Pine River in the south, to Burrum River in the north, Connondale ranges to the west. Performing together for the past 18 years, Gubbi Gubbi have built a reputation as one of the best traditional Aboriginal Dance companies in south-east Queensland. They have performed internationally and nationally at many major events including the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and have performed for dignitaries such as Prime Ministers of Australia, the Dalai Lama and Queen Elizabeth II at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. Providing an unforgettable cultural experience, their magical presentation of song and dance leaves the audience spellbound. Gubbi Gubbi have worked extensively at community events, running exciting and informative cultural education programs, and within the Educational Department in implementing the Australian Curriculum and Indigenous Learning perspectives into Queensland schools.
  • Lyndon Davis with an Introduction to Country Story: Lyndon Davis is a true ambassador for his people and has vast knowledge of our region’s Indigenous culture and history, Gubbi Gubbi language, traditional song and dance and the arts. Born and raised on the Sunshine Coast, Lyndon is a Traditional Custodian and representative of the Local Gubbi Gubbi/Kabi Kabi people and works extensively within local schools, universities and the community presenting an exciting and informative Aboriginal Cultural Education Program.  
  • Torres Strait Islander tribute by Alister Bartholomew.  Alister plays a traditional Saibai Island drum and is an amazing cultural singer-guitarist. He has written a song dedicated to Uncle Herb Wharton. (An opening night surprise for Uncle Herb Wharton, our esteemed 80-year-old poet from Cunnamulla).
  • Official Festival Opening by Ubud Writers & Readers Festival founder and director Janet DeNeefe. SCIRWF is honoured that this remarkable woman has accepted our invitation to officially open our new festival – born in the spirit of the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival. The UWRF is the major annual project of the not-for-profit foundation, the Yayasan Mudra Swari Saraswati. It was first conceived of by Janet DeNeefe, co-founder of the Foundation, as a healing project in response to the first Bali bombing in 2003 and held its inaugural festival in October, 2004 with the theme: “Through Darkness to Light”.
  • Festival Welcome by Member for Fairfax Ted O'Brien and Sunshine Coast Council's Division 9 councillor Steve Robinson: Acknowledging the value of this exciting new festival to our Sunshine Coast region.
  • Festival Welcome with SCIRWF founder and director Wendy O’Hanlon: A born-and-bred Sunshine Coaster and a born writer, Wendy is more than thrilled that her ‘dream’ has become a ‘reality’ with this new festival which celebrates the Sunshine Coast’s creative soul.
  • Introduction of SCIRWF Foundation Committee and Volunteers: With the first SCIRWF committee meeting on just February 23, this year, this group has certainly performed miracles!
  • Aboriginal comedian Sean Choolburra: Sean is one of Australia’s best Aboriginal comedians and a huge inspiration to the youth of Australia. He is in constant demand as an MC, comedian, dancer, Hip Hop didge player and Traditional workshop performer. Sean is a vibrant, dynamic and captivating performer who will have festival-goers in stitches.
  • Legendary Sunshine Coast singer-songwriter Barry Charles: A seasoned and respected singer-songwriter, Barry offers up some powerful and jaw-dropping vocals, mixed in with harmonica and a punchy percussive style of guitar playing. His captivating performances encompass deep grooves, digging into the soul and message of a song with mesmerising energy.
  • The soulful Andrea Kirwan Duo: This Sunshine Coast original singer-songwriter, crosses into various contemporary genres including hip-hop, folk, funk and soul. An Australian-Fijian, Andrea’s smooth laid-back vocal tones bring each song to quivering life.
  • Australia’s 2014 Slam Poetry Champion Zohab Zee Khan: With a commanding stage presence, Zohab’s high-energy and powerful slam poetry confronts a range of social justice issues from racism to gender inequality and socio-economic disparities.
  • Coolum’s very own dynamic songstress Janice Smithers: Janice is our very own Coolum-based singer-songwriter and award-winning contemporary artist with a difference. Having a long and distinguished career in the Australian Music Industry, Janice has become well known as a passionate performer covering many genres.
  • Slam poet, children’s book author and flamenco guitarist Tah Riq Amawi: The inspirational Tah Riq uses words to slice cleanly through the fog of modern-day living. Tah Riq was born in Amman, Jordan and now lives in Bali where he runs his SuperHero Factory - a fun indoor gym (parkour) concept for learning how to overcome mental obstacles. In 2014, Tah Riq won the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival’s Poetry Slam championship.
  • Europe’s ‘Passport’ poetry crusader Antoine Cassar:  Antoine is a Maltese poet whose iconic work, Passport, is embraced by so many during his international tours. He is the founder of the Facebook page Spread Poetry, Not Fear launched in reaction to the Paris bombings; a translator, cultural organiser and a creative activist for migrants’ rights and universal freedom of movement.
  • The chilled-out and funky Mettaphor: Angelika Heinrich and Kaeleen Hunter are Mettaphor - 100 percent independent original Australian artists freestyling live over home-grown beats with funky riffs and lyrical food for thought. Mettaphor are nu-jazz soul-infused groove, vocal, sax, guitar and chillbeatz.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 10 

LITERARY BREAKFAST: 'Start with a Laugh' at My Place Restaurant, Coolum

7am to 8.30am: Enjoy a rousing breakfast with Special Guests: Ubud Writers & Readers Festival’s founder and director Janet DeNeefe and Aboriginal comedian Sean Choolburra. My Place Restaurant offers stunning views over the ocean and boardwalks – you may even sight a passing whale or a playful dolphin or three during your delicious one-course breakfast.
Special Event Ticket available ONLY to One-Day and Two-Day Festival Ticket Holders.

COOLUM CIVIC CENTRE: KC's Fireworks Displays' stage (main venue):

8.30am to 9.30am: Uncle Herb Wharton, Australia’s legendary 80-year-old Aboriginal poet and storyteller from Cunnamulla will regale Festival-goers with his bush poetry and yarns. Uncle Herb is an internationally acclaimed Aboriginal author, poet, oral historian, novelist, short-story writer and storyteller who left school at the age of 12 and began droving. And such began an extraordinary life. In 2003, he was awarded the Centenary of Federation Medal for service to Australian society and literature. Uncle Herb has travelled throughout Australia, Europe and Japan and in 1998 was selected for a residency at the Australia Council studio in Paris. Uncle Herb will be introduced by Bridgette Chilly, from the Sunshine Coast’s Mooloolah Dhdugga Kabi Kabi people.

9.45am to 10.45am: Ubud Writers & Readers Festival founder and director Janet DeNeefe will talk about her “fairytale” life in Ubud, her creation of the Ubud Festival which has been named by Harper’s Bazaar, UK, as “one of the top Festivals in the world” and by ABC’s Asia-Pacific network as “the next Edinburgh Festival of Asia”. Janet will also talk about her passion for food which has evolved into three books, three restaurants and The Casa Luna Cooking School. Introduced by Eileen Walder.

11am to noon: The Lucky Country? - Reinventing Australia: The latest incisive book by Professor Ian Lowe.  Can we reinvent The Lucky Country? In 1964, Donald Horne described Australia as “a lucky country run mainly by second-rate people who share its luck” in his iconic book.  Now, more than five decades later, internationally respected scientist and environmentalist Professor Ian Lowe shows that little has changed after generations of short-sighted leadership. In his frank and fearless way, Prof Lowe assesses the state of Australia in four key areas: our environment, population and society, geographical position, and unrelenting pursuit of economic growth.  Highlighting that the global economy and the environment are in crisis, Prof Lowe illustrates the need – and the opportunity – to transform Australia into the world-leading model of sustainable development that we have the potential to become. Moderated by Angela Wilson.

12.15pm to 1.15pm: Literary ‘Picnic’ Lunch Environmental Discussion Panel – Meet the people at the front line of protecting our environment. This important discussion panel features the esteemed Professor Ian Lowe, Coolum and North Shore Coast Care president Leigh Warneminde, Bunya Bunya Aboriginal Corporation’s Bridgette Chilly and Kerry Jones, Surfriders Foundation Australia’s Sunshine Coast branch president Craig McIntyre and Lake Baroon Catchment Care board secretary Steven Lang. Gorgeous platters of Sunshine Coast regional and bush-tucker foods served ‘picnic style’ courtesy of our local cafes and restaurants. No extra cost!

1.30pm to 2.30pm: Indonesian Dreaming: Join acclaimed best-selling Indonesian authors Tia Setiadi, Ahmad Fuadi, Jakarta-based expat author Mark Heyward and author-traveller Jay Bishoff in their stories of life and adventure in Indonesia and Borneo. The session will be moderated by Sunshine Coast journalist Lucinda Dean, a frequent Bali visitor who has lived and worked in Jakarta.

2.45pm to 3.45pm: Europe’s ‘Passport’ poetry crusader Antoine Cassar:  Antoine is a Maltese poet whose iconic work, Passport, was launched in Malta in 2009 and since then at several venues in Europe, Asia and North America. Passport is a protest poem denouncing a long, non-exhaustive list of border absurdities and atrocities, nested inside a love poem to humanity as a naturally migrating species. Printed in the form of an 'anti-passport' valid for all peoples and for all landscapes, the booklet is currently available in nine languages, with proceeds passed on to grassroots associations and collectives that provide direct assistance to refugees in 14 countries. Antoine is the founder of the Facebook page Spread Poetry, Not Fear launched in reaction to the Paris bombings; a translator, cultural organiser and a creative activist for migrants’ rights and universal freedom of movement. Introduced by Kat Thanhauser.

4pm to 5pm: Jan Latta - the ‘voice’ of endangered animals – has devoted her life to photographing, filming and writing about endangered animals from all over the world. Jan has travelled to the jungles of Borneo for orangutans, India for tigers, Sri Lanka for the elusive leopards, Uganda for Dame Jane Goodall’s chimps, the mountains of China for pandas, and 10 journeys for the African animals. She walked with four young lions in Zambia and has been charged by elephants in Amboseli. A cheetah came up to her in Nanyuki and she has held the horn of a rhino! Jan will be introduced by SCIRWF founder and director Wendy O’Hanlon who met this amazing woman at the 2011 Ubud Writers & Readers Festival and instantly became entranced!

Dreamtime Stories Marquee – Jack Morgan Park, Coolum:

8.30am to 9.30am: Coolum and North Shore Coast Care and Coolum Community Native Nursery will host a public dune-planting event in association with Coolum Boardriders Club. The public assembly point is the Dreamtime Stories Marquee in Jack Morgan Park at 8am for a dune planting along Coolum’s northern main beach dunes.  This event is followed by Coast Care’s Festival presentation in the Dreamtime Stories Marquee in Jack Morgan Park from 9.45am to 10.45am open to Festival Ticket Holders only.

8.30am to 9.30am: The Play’s the thing – a playwriting panel discussion moderated by Sunshine Coast writer, actor and teacher Eileen Walder. Three very successful Queensland playwrights - Sue Sewell, Simon Denver and Hugh O’Brien - share their experiences and ideas to get you inspired to write the successful play you have within you. 

9.45am to 10.45am: Coolum and North Shore Coast Care presentation: Our beautiful natural coastal environment is all the healthier due to the hard work of these passionate volunteers. Their area of interest is the coastal strip from the northern shore of the Maroochy River north to Coolum Beach, for habitat restoration projects, and as far north as Sunshine Beach for their turtle monitoring program. Come along and learn what they do and why they do it! The session will include an interactive discussion with audience participation on what it is about the coastal zone that inspires coast carers, readers and writers alike. Introduced by Angela Wilson.

11am to noon: Dreamtime story-telling with Lyndon Davis, Sunshine Coast author Robin Wells and Queensland historian Ray Kerkhove. Enjoy riveting Dreamtime stories of our Sunshine Coast region presented by a true ambassador for his people, Lyndon Davis. Born in the Mooloolah River, Sunshine Coast-Gubbi Gubbi country, Lyndon has devoted his life to educating people to an understanding and more awareness of Aboriginal people, our native birds, wildlife, plants and in doing so appreciate the beauty around them. Lyndon says he's driven to be a positive role model for the next generation. "I'd describe myself as a big fig tree - a totem that was passed down to me by an Elder. It houses animals, provides food and shelter, has strong roots and is well grounded.”  Robin Wells is the author of the definitive book, In the Tracks of a Rainbow - indigenous cultures and legends of the Sunshine Coast. Researcher and historian, Ray Kerkhove, while working with Traditional Owners, has researched and written about Aboriginal Sunshine Coast for the last 30 years, including Bush Heritage Sunshine Coast with Sim Symons & Co. Introduced by Wendy O'Hanlon.

12.30pm to 1pm: Gubbi Gubbi Language workshop with Lyndon Davis. The Gubbi Gubbi language is the beautiful and fascinating Aboriginal language of the Sunshine Coast region. Learn some of the most common words for nature and life. Lyndon preserves his people’s rich culture and says that while his greatest inspiration was his Nan, he also learnt a lot from his old uncles and his family - each one playing a big part in his life. 

1.45pm to 2.45pm:  Children's Picture Book Creatives. Enter the world of children’s books and meet our engaging Sunshine Coast children’s book writers and illustrators Aleesah Darlison, Gregg Dreise, Allison Marlow-Paterson and  Peter Carnavas as they share their secrets to success and talk about their latest publications. Moderated by Mary-Lou Stephens.

3pm to 4pm: Exploring the Delights of Poetry with the Deanne Lister and Judith Bandidt from Flaxton’s Pente Poets and award-winning poet Julie Hyndman from Ninderry. Pente Poets have published three anthologies: Fridays at Flaxton, Some Other Landscape and Hinterland to Headland: A Poetry Trail for the Sunshine Coast. Julie Hyndman’s poetry includes A Place, which won first prize in the Australian Writers (Queensland) 2011 Annual Poetry Competition and a compilation of her early poetry Pushing Shadows, a compilation of her early poetry, including A Place and Threads, which won third place in an international poetry competition. Moderated by Mary Atkins.

4.15pm to 5.15pm:  Evolving poetry to song workshop presented by Andrea Kirwan. Sunshine Coast singer-songwriter Andrea Kirwan has developed her poetry-to-song workshops in response to many requests over the years of her career. Andrea weaves melodies and storytelling together to create a rich tapestry, much like the way her Fijian grandmother used to weave pandanus mats in the village. Andrea’s songs are crafted in a way that allows the listener to subtly enter into the space between words and really experience the story, whether it is a love story or about letting go. 

Publishers Marquee – Jack Morgan Park, Coolum:  

Some of Australia’s best independent publishers, editors and illustrators will be manning their own information stalls from 8.30am to 5pm on both Saturday and Sunday, September 10 and 11 – plus presenting one-hour workshops and presentations on writing, editing, publishing, marketing, illustration and public speaking. Great surrounds to sit and have a cuppa with new-found Festival friends and to meet and talk with the best in the business about evolving your writing and illustration dreams. Gondor Writers’ Centre (Elaine Ouston and Ron Day, Kilcoy); Pente Poets (Flaxton); Keypress Connections (Palmwoods); Wombat Books (Capalaba); True To Life Books (Jan Latta, Sydney, NSW); Writing From The Heart (Rose Allen, Coolum), Buderim author Barbara Brewster, Currimundi author and journalist Scott Nicol, Ninderry poet Julie Hyndman and Coolum Toastmasters Simon Cornwill.

8.30am to 9.30am: “Creating Memorable Characters” with self-published authors, boutique publishers and editors Elaine Ouston and Ron Day of Gondor Writers’ Centre. This is a very intensive two-session workshop that examines how to create real and believable characters to whom the reader can relate. It examines the many personality types we meet and shows you how to portray them effectively. For crime and mystery writers, the character workshop includes an examination of criminal types and what drives them to commit crimes.

 9.45am to 10.45am: “Creating Memorable Characters” Continued with Elaine Ouston and Ron Day of Gondor Writers’ Centre, Kilcoy. This is a very intensive two-session workshop that examines how to create real and believable characters that the reader can relate too. It examines the many personality types we meet and shows you how to portray them effectively. For crime and mystery writers, the character workshop includes an examination of criminal types and what drives them to commit crimes. 

11am to noon: Secrets Revealed: How to Create, Write and Pitch your Children's Series. Join Aleesah Darlison, creator of the internationally published Unicorn Riders and Totally Twins series as she shows you how to plan characters, settings and plots for a multi-book series as well as providing tips for presenting your series proposal to publishers. Aleesah Darlison is an award-winning Australian children's author who writes picture books, chapter books and novels. Her much-loved stories promote courage, understanding, anti-bullying, self-belief, friendship, teamwork and environmental themes. Aleesah has won numeous awards for her writing including an Australian Society of Authors (ASA) mentorship. 

12.30pm to 1.30pm: “Pure Poetry”. Meet award-winning poet and Sunshine Coast local Julie Hyndman who loves sharing the gift of poetry with aspiring poets. Julie’s poetry workshop delves into what poetry is, what makes poetry good, where the ideas come from, and why you must get those ideas down on paper before they are carried away by the wind.

1.45pm to 2.45pm: “Self-publishing in the Digital Age”.  The passionate Jan Latta from True To Life Books, Sydney, is possibly the only woman in the world who is the author, wildlife photographer, designer and publisher of books on endangered animals. With 15 books to her name, she has a wealth of knowledge to share about the creative process and how to be a successful publisher.  

3pm to 4pm: “Avoiding Those Literary Roadblocks”. Author, journalist and writing teacher Scott Nicol got off to a great start in his writing career when he continually passed English, but failed Maths throughout his high-school tenure. After a 38-year journalistic career in Australia and across the world, Scott began his own creative writing career. But as many have found, journalists don't always make an easy transition to creative writing. "Creative writing, particularly fiction, is definitely a different animal when compared with the day-to-day grind of news-story production.  I experienced firsthand what it was like to hit literary roadblocks. So I did what all good journos do - I researched the subject.  In fact, I compiled so much material that I turned it into a book and called it You Can Write a Book - Yes You Can.

4.15pm to 5.15pm: “Juggling and Writing". Author and teacher Allison Marlow Paterson talks about her journey as an author and her decision to soon become a full-time author after a lifetime juggling a career as a teacher-librarian. Allison is the author of Anzac Sons: The Story of Five Brothers in the War to End All Wars and the children's version, Anzac Sons: Five Brothers on the Western Front which made the 2016 Australian Book Industry Awards longlist. Her latest book is the children's book Granny's Place and she is now working on Shearing Time which will be released in October, 2016.

Coolum Bowls Club private outdoor function area:

A Smorgasbord of Authors - Blackboard Menu - 10am to 5pm: A smorgasbord of up-close-and-personal presentations by our guest writers, publishers, illustrators, poets and songwriters. Here is your chance to not only learn of their personal stories "journeys", but to also get some tips from those that have ridden that rocky road of dreams. Feel free to chat and introduce yourselves and enjoy this cruisey "Cool"-um experience. Chalkboard program, just come along. Hot and cold snacks served throughout the day and drinks available at bowls club bar. Authors and poets include Mary-Lou Stephens, Aishah Macgill, Antoine Cassar, Ruth Bonetti, Tah Riq Amawi, Zohab Zee Khan, Uncle Herb Wharton, Jan Latta, Julie Hyndman, Ken Fisher, Casey Ardron, Barbara Brewster, Mark Heyward, Scott Nicol, Bazza the Bush Balladeer, Colin Beard, Lynette Noni, Noel David, Simon Cornwill (Toastmasters), Rose Allen, Annah Faulkner, James B. Clifton, P.J. Parker, Maggie Christensen, Professor Ian Lowe, Lynne Kelly, Eileen Herbert-Goodall, comedian Sean Choolburra, Robert Macklin, Alison Marlow Paterson and more.

Poets and Songwriters Night: Coolum Civic Centre, 6pm to 11pm: Hosted by the SCIRWF foundation committee.

We are bringing in the cushions, couches and bean bags from the USC Marquee and chillaxing to simply some of the best poets and songwriters in THE world!! Be inspired by our slam poets, rap artists, bush poets and amazing singer-songwriters from Indonesia, Europe, USA, Fiji, Australia and even our own Sunshine Coast!

Bazza the Bush Balladeer: Bazza loves nothing better than belting out the Australian bush poetry classics of Banjo Paterson, Henry Lawson, Dorothea Mackellar and more to keep the spirit of their words and the spirit of the Australian bush alive and well in modern Australia.

Uncle Herb Wharton: Australia’s legendary 80-year-old Aboriginal poet and storyteller from Cunnamulla will regale Festival-goers with his bush poetry and yarns.

Andrea Kirwan solo: Andrea is a singer-songwriter from the Sunshine Coast with Australian Fijian roots who weaves melodies and storytelling together to create a rich tapestry, much like the way her Fijian grandmother used to weave pandanus mats in the village. 

Zohab Zee Khan: Australia’s 2014 Slam Poetry Champion and founder of the hugely successful Inaugural 2016 Pakistan Poetry Slam. Zohab’s incisive slam poetry really hits the mark and poses many questions about the world we live in today.

Mark Heyward: Author, musician, songwriter and education consultant, Mark was born in Tasmania and has spent the past 25 years based in Indonesia in Jakarta and Lombok. Mark puts on his musos hat tonight to present some stirring originals. 

Antoine Cassar: Antoine is a Maltese poet whose iconic work, Passport, was launched in Malta in 2009 and since then at several venues in Europe, Asia and North America. Passport is a protest poem denouncing a long, non-exhaustive list of border absurdities and atrocities, nested inside a love poem to humanity as a naturally migrating species.

Jay Bishoff jams with Sunshine Coast original songwriters including Coolum’s Billy Ryan. Jay is the organiser of Sound Feast at The J in Noosa. Prior to this extremely popular regular music event, he ran Peregian Originals for more than a decade. 

Tah Riq Amari: The 2014 Ubud Writers & Readers Festival’s Poetry Slam champion, Tah Riq’s powerful slam poetry “lifts the blinds” on our modern, blinkered and cloistered world.

The Lyrical: Get ready for a powerhouse closing performance by this much-in-demand Queensland band. With an infectious blend of roots, reggae and hip hop in tow, The Lyrical commands a strong stage presence as Karl Smith spits his politically charged and socially conscious expressions.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 11 

LITERARY BREAKFAST: Start with a Laugh at My Place Restaurant, Coolum

7am to 8.30am: Enjoy a rousing breakfast with Special Guests: Aboriginal comedian Sean Choolburra, legendary Aboriginal poet and storyteller Herb Wharton and Bazza the Bush Balladeer. My Place Restaurant offers stunning views over the ocean and boardwalks – you may even sight a passing whale or a playful dolphin during your delicious one-course breakfast. Special Event Ticket available ONLY to One-Day and Two-Day Festival Ticket Holders.

COOLUM CIVIC CENTRE: KC's Fireworks Displays' stage (main venue):

8.30am to 9.30am: Tah Riq Amawi – start the new day with the inspirational Jordan-born, Bail-based poet, slam poet, flamenco guitarist, children’s author and motivational coach who runs his own Superhero Factory in Kuta, Bali. Audiences will hang on every word. Introduced by Kat Thanhauser

9.45am to 10.45am: Lynne Kelly. The Memory Code. In Conversation with Bridgette Chilly (Davis). This brand-new release by Victorian science writer Lynne Kelly discusses the traditional Aboriginal memory technique that unlocks the secrets of Stonehenge, Easter Island and ancient monuments the world over. Lynne has discovered that a powerful memory technique used by the ancients can unlock the secrets of the Neolithic stone circles of Britain and Europe, the ancient Pueblo buildings in New Mexico and other prehistoric stone monuments across the world. We can still use the memory code today to train our own memories. In the past, the elders had encyclopaedic memories. They could name all the animals and plants across the landscape, and the stars in the sky too. Yet most of us struggle to memorise more than a short poem.

Using traditional Aboriginal Australian songlines as the key, Lynne has identified the powerful memory technique used by indigenous people around the world. She has discovered that this ancient memory technique is the secret behind the great stone monuments like Stonehenge, which have for so long puzzled archaeologists. The stone circles across Britain and northern Europe, the elaborate stone houses of New Mexico, the huge animal shapes at Nasca in Peru, and the statues of Easter Island all serve as the most effective memory system ever invented by humans. They allowed people in non-literate cultures to memorise the vast amounts of practical information they needed to survive. In her fascinating book The Memory Code, Lynne shows us how we can use this ancient technique to train our memories today.

11am to noon: Zohab Zee Khan. Hailing from country NSW, Zohab is Australia’s 2014 Australian Poetry Slam champion and the founder of the inaugural 2016 Pakistan Poetry Slam which launched with huge success in February. Zohab is a fourth-generation Australian of Pakistani heritage. Zohab’s commanding stage presence and uber-fast delivery of words will enthrall audiences. Introduced by Bazza the Bush Poet.

12.15pm to 1.15pm: Literary ‘Picnic’ Lunch:  “Our Acclaimed Surfing Culture and History” Discussion Panel featuring Noosa Festival of Surfing founder, former Tracks magazine editor and author Phil Jarratt, Aboriginal surfer Mark Sidaway, Coolum Boardriders’ life member and Yaroomba Boardriders member Peter McNamara, Sunshine Coast branch president of Surfriders Foundation Australia Craig McIntyre, pioneering Sunshine Coast surfer Simone Day and surf stars Serena Brookes and Gary ‘Kong’ Elkerton. Gorgeous platters of Sunshine Coast regional and bush-tucker foods served ‘picnic style’. No extra cost!

1.30pm to 2.30pm: “Our Modern Media Landscape – can we see the wood for the trees”.  Discussion Panel featuring Walkley-award-winning ABC journalist Sean Dorney; international news photographer and author Giulio Saggin; legendary Channel 7 cameraman and former The Courier-Mail photographer John Emmett, Queensland journalist and university tutor Trina McClellan (a specialist in trauma in journalism), iconic Australian photographer Colin Beard, and Festival founder and journalist Wendy O’Hanlon. This panel, discussing the vast changes in our news-gathering methods today and the future of journalism as we know it, will be moderated by long-time Sunshine Coast radio host Cam Young from 104.9 Sunshine FM.

2.45pm to 3.45pm: Colin Beard – interviewed by photographer and journalist Jordan Cullen. Internationally acclaimed photographer, Colin Beard has travelled the world with his cameras and worked for many of the world’s most famous publications such as National Geographic and Vogue. His experiences will inspire any aspiring photographer. Colin began photography in the mid-1960s as a founding member of Australia’s first rock ‘n’ roll magazine Go-Set which lead to a whirlwind career throughout the 60s and 70s photographing rock legends such as The Rolling Stones and The Beatles throughout the UK and USA. He is a founding photographer of Australian Geographic, co-author and photographer of (in collaboration with Sydney-based author James Cowan) The River Men, The Mountain Men, Sacred Places and Starlight's Trail. He began teaching in 1977 as a founding member of the staff of the Sydney College of the Arts and later joined Sydney’s Design Faculty of The University of Technology. He now lives in Imbil and, at the grand-old age of 77, is still mentoring students and hosting workshops. Our most-esteemed Festival Foundation Committee member.

4pm to 5pm: Prolific Australian author Robert Macklin, from Canberra, tells the story of our unsung Australian explorer, Hamilton Hume. While English-born soldiers, sailors and surveyors have claimed pride of place among the explorers of the young New South Wales colony, the real pathfinder was a genuine native-born Australian. Hamilton Hume, a man with a profound understanding of the Aboriginal people and an almost mystical relationship with the Australian bush, led settlers from the cramped surrounds of Sydney Town to the vast fertile country that would provide the wealth to found and sustain a new nation. This book tells the heroic tale of this young Australian man who outdid his English “betters” by forging a land route from Sydney to Port Phillip; leading Charles Sturt to the discovery of the Darling which opened up western New South Wales; and by finally crossing the Blue Mountains. His contribution to the development of the colony was immense but downplayed in deference to explorers of British origin. Hamilton Hume uncovers this brave man’s achievements and reveals an intriguing and at times shocking portrait of colonial life. Robert Macklin is the author of the bestselling SAS Sniper; the critically acclaimed history of Norfolk Island, Dark Paradise; Kevin Rudd’s biography and many more titles.

Dreamtime Stories Marquee – Jack Morgan Park, Coolum:

8.30am to 9.30am: Meet some of our Sunshine Coast’s own successful authors and learn of their different writing journeys - featuring Coolum’s Annah Faulkner (The Beloved); Ken Fisher (Beach Spinifex), Maggie Christensen (Broken Threads), Golden Beach’s James B. Clifton (My Brother Gun), Buderim's Barbara Brewster (Down Under All Over) and Caloundra’s P.J. Parker (The Long Goodbye). This panel is moderated by former ABC Sunshine Coast FM radio host and author Mary-Lou Stephens.

9.45am to 10.45am: Meet teenage Sunshine Coast author and social entrepreneur Samara Welbourne. Now just turned 16, Samara was an author at the age of 12, one of Australia’s youngest social entrepreneurs, a Queensland Culture Champion (Dept Arts) and the 2014 Sunshine Coast Young Citizen of the Year (an award shared with Bindi Irwin). Samara’s book, How To Make Fairy Houses, was published by Boolarong Press in 2013 and became their best-selling children’s book of the year. For the last two years whilst living in Bali, Samara used the proceeds of her fairy house business solely to raise money for a number of projects to assist the Balinese. Her current project, with 14-year-old Balinese teenager Tyas, is to build a library in the village of Bungaya, Bali, to support children improve their reading skills and learn English. This project is hosted by Sunshine Coast and Balinese teenagers with help from the staff of Puspadi Bali which assists people with physical disabilities to access rehabilitation services so that they can establish their place in society as productive citizens. Not bad for a kid who initially hated writing! Samara is heading back to Bali in March, 2017 to build the library. Maybe she can convince you to join the project too. (*Samara will present a special free one-hour children’s workshop on building whimsical and gorgeous fairy houses and troll caves at our festival’s free Children’s Activities Marquee in the Artisan Markets Alley at 1pm today – 15 children maximum, so make a note of the time).

11am to noon: Women’s Dreamtime Stories and Tool-Making Demonstration with Bridgette Chilly Davis of Mooloolah’s Dhdugga Kabi Kabi people. Bridgette tells of her deep connection to this land and of the Aboriginal women’s Dreamtime stories of this region. The Sunshine Coast is a place the Kabi Kabi Traditional Custodians have been calling home for over 40,000 years. The Kabi Kabi are saltwater people, shellfish eaters, canoe makers and medicine men and women. They are true knowledge holders of 'Country', with continuous connection to waters, lands and seas. They are creating a living culture of physical, mythical and spiritual levels that has swept across the Sunshine Coast through ancient songlines of creation, customs, beliefs, language, lore and ceremony creating equal balance on Mother Earth since time began. Introduced by Lynne Kelly.

12.15pm to 1.15pm: The amazing and imaginative world of young adult fiction with Sunshine Coast authors Lynette Noni and Casey Ardron.  Lynette Noni is the author of the five-part young adult fantasy series, The Medoran Chronicles, described as a combination of Harry Potter, Narnia and X-Men. Her first book, Akarnae, was released in 2015, with the second, Raelia, in April 2016, and the third, Draekora, coming out soon. A regular panelist at national and local events, Lynette has featured at acclaimed writers’ festivals throughout Australia as well as the Supanova Pop Culture Exhibition and GenreCon. Casey Ardron has been writing for over 25 years – and this year celebrates the launch of his first published full-length work – the young-adolescent book, Xavier Wintersbee and the Book of Virtues. It is a story that had its beginnings in the imagination of young author in the making – around 37 years ago. Moderated by Mary Atkins.

1.30pm to 2.30pm: “I am you, you are me”. Meet our inaugural Festival Bursary winners from the University of the Sunshine Coast’s creative writing department. SCIRWF Bursary winners Kate Eagles, Linda Morse, Kiarna Triggs and Jade Dor will present at this year’s Ubud Writers & Readers Festival which boasts the theme “I am you, you are me” (Tat Tvam Asi)- an ancient Hindu tenet which expresses the relationship between the individual and the supreme reality. Hear our Bursary winners present their interpretations of this message to show its relevance in today’s world. This panel will be moderated by Eileen Walder.

2.45pm to 3.45pm: Evolving childhood scribbles into major publications with Sunshine Coast comic-book writers and illustrators Daniel O’Callaghan and Jessica Gibson. Daniel needed a place to start liberally publishing his own comic books and graphic novels and so he started Ardent Comics in 2014 and published Descendant of the Nephilim, a dark fantasy, and The Third Hand, an epic time travel story. Not long after meeting Jessica Gibson, the two started working on Feral Horizon, marking Daniel and Jessica’s first collaborative comic book project which launched to much acclaim this year. Moderated by Robin Fleming.

4pm to 5pm: The Embarrassed Colonialist – Australia’s colonialisation of PNG with Brisbane-based journalist and author Sean Dorney.  After reporting on the Pacific (with a particular focus on Papua New Guinea) for over four decades, Sean left the ABC in August 2014. During his time with the ABC, he won a Walkley Award for his coverage of the Aitape tsunami and was both deported and awarded an MBE by the Papua New Guinean Government. Forty years after independence, Papua New Guinea is the largest single recipient of aid from Australia, yet Australians seem to be largely ambivalent about the country. Few Australians know the history of our colonial rule in PNG and our long ties to the country are quickly being forgotten. PNG expert Sean Dorney examines PNG’s weaknesses and strengths since independence and argues that, for moral and practical reasons, Australia needs to reconnect with Papua New Guinea. It is time we shed our embarrassment about our colonial past and embrace our relationship with our nearest neighbour. Sean is also the author of Papua New Guinea: People, politics, and history since 1975 and The Sandline Affair: Politics and Mercenaries and the Bougainville crisis.

Publishers Marquee – Jack Morgan Park, Coolum:  

Some of Australia’s best independent publishers, editors and illustrators will be manning their own information stalls from 8.30am to 5pm on both Saturday and Sunday, September 10 and 11 – plus presenting one-hour workshops and presentations on writing, editing, publishing, marketing, illustration and public speaking. Great surrounds to sit and have a cuppa with new-found Festival friends and to meet and talk with the best in the business about evolving your writing and illustration dreams. Gondor Writers’ Centre (Kilcoy); Pente Poets (Flaxton); Keypress Connections (Palmwoods); Wombat Books (Capalaba); True To Life Books (Sydney, NSW); Illustrator Richard Marman; Writing From The Heart (Coolum), Buderim author Barbara Brewster, Currimundi  author and journalist Scott Nichols, Ninderry poet Julie Hyndman and Coolum Toastmasters Simon Cornwill.

8.30am to 9.30am: The Pitfalls of Publishing and Marketing Tips with self-published authors, boutique publishers and editors Elaine Ouston and Ron Day of Gondor Writers’ Centre. So you’ve written your book. Well done! But the hard part has just begun! Getting your work published is a maze many authors get lost in – and as for marketing, that’s a whole new box of dice! 

9.45am to 10.45am: World building and Character Development: Prolific young adult fantasy author Lynette Noni is a much-sought-after presenter for schools across Australia and for National Youth Week activities. An engaging presenter, Lynette is the author of the five-part young adult fantasy series, The Medoran Chronicles - described as a combination of Harry Potter, Narnia, and X-Men. Her first book, Akarnae, was released in 2015, with the second, Raelia, in April 2016, and the third, Draekora, coming out soon. 

11am to noon: “Rambunctious Writing Workshop”. The irrepressible Barbara Brewster will have you in stitches while creating. “Fun, Freedom, Flow! Discover the power of playful writing to help us reconnect with and expand self-awareness, creativity and wholeness. In this gentle but exhilarating workshop we’ll shake out the cobwebs, stimulate our spontaneity, and tickle our imaginations — and perhaps unveil some surprising personal insights. Even if you’re not a writer, why not come and play and surprise yourself.

12.15pm to 1.15pm: “The Road to Self-Publishing". Author, publisher and graphic designer Aishah Macgill has self-published five books to date, with several more currently being completed. When she is not writing, she is helping other authors who wish to self-publish via her Facebook Writers Group - Australian Writers Rock.

1.30pm to 2.30pm: The Art of Book Illustration. Author and illustrator Richard Marman discusses the illustration process. Richard works with most traditional art media, photographs and digital graph programs. His illustrated books include A Tale of Two Turtles, A Whale’s Tale, Hannah Meets a Dragon and Martha the Aeronaut. Richard has written and illustrated eight novels for young adults: The Wealth, Dragon Stalkers and six books in The McAlister Line series.

2.45pm to 3.45pm: The Art of Public Speaking.  Coolum Toastmasters’ Simon Cornwill and team give authors and aspiring authors some expert tips on the art of public speaking – a must-have skill if you happily find yourself on the book-promotion and writers’ festivals circuits.  

4pm to 5pm: Writing from the Heart. Coolum’s own author, editor and workshop host, Rose Allen presents her most-acclaimed workshop. Rose has been presenting this workshop for more than 15 years and feels strongly about its value as a practical and exciting way into the often baffling process of writing and into the mystery of our own hearts. 

Coolum Bowls Club private outdoor function area:

A Smorgasbord of Authors - Blackboard Menu -10am to 5pm: A smorgasbord of up-close-and-personal presentations by our guest writers, publishers, illustrators, poets and songwriters. Here is your chance to not only learn of their personal stories "journeys", but to also get some tips from those that have ridden that rocky road of dreams. Feel free to chat and introduce yourselves and enjoy this cruisey "Cool"-um experience. Chalkboard program, just come along. Hot and cold snacks served throughout the day and drinks available at bowls club bar. Authors and poets include Mary-Lou Stephens, Aishah Macgill, Antoine Cassar, Ruth Bonetti, Tah Riq Amawi, Zohab Zee Khan, Uncle Herb Wharton, Jan Latta, Julie Hyndman, Ken Fisher, Casey Ardron, Barbara Brewster, Mark Heyward, Scott Nicol, Bazza the Bush Balladeer, Colin Beard, Lynette Noni, Noel David, Simon Cornwill (Toastmasters), Rose Allen, Annah Faulkner, James B. Clifton, P.J. Parker, Maggie Christensen, Professor Ian Lowe, Lynne Kelly, Eileen Herbert-Goodall, comedian Sean Choolburra, Robert Macklin, Alison Marlow Paterson and more.

Coolum SLSC Function Room:

Intense Workshops:

8.30am to 9.30am: Comic book illustration and writing workshop with Daniel O’Callaghan and Jessica Gibson. (Part One).  This dynamic duo of the comic book and graphic novel world have just launched their Feral Horizon series, their first collaborative comic book, to much acclaim at events including Gold Coast Supanova and the Melbourne Supanova. Daniel started Ardent Comics in 2014 and published Descendant of the Nephilim, a dark fantasy, and The Third Hand, an epic time travel story before joining forces with Jessica, an illustrator extraordinaire. 

9.45am to 10.45am: Comic book illustration and writing workshops with Daniel O’Callaghan and Jessica Gibson. (Part Two). Daniel and Jessica continue their intensive comic book and graphic novel illustration workshop. This two-hour workshop (with 15-minute break) is ideal for emerging illustrators to hone their skills and learn the tricks and tips of this creative art form.

11am to noon: The Magic of Photography - Creative Photography workshop with iconic Australian photographer Colin Beard. (Part One). The Sydney Morning Herald has described Colin Beard as “a master of light, who brings to photography a unique sensibility that embodies superb craftsmanship and creative energy that is reflected in all his work.” 

Who doesn’t take photographs nowadays - photographs of friends, families, holidays and almost any special circumstance that needs an affirmation of existence. But a camera is a machine - how could it possibly capture the true feelings of a situation within that cold automatic function.  Of course, the camera never does – it is the human desire behind the camera that seeks to embrace the passion of the moment and to keep it safe within one’s experience. This is the point at which photography as snapshot ends and photography as true art and poetry begins.  Photography is the art of narrative, of bringing to the world enchanting stories.  It is the art of recognising visionary geography and sacredness in the landscape around us.   Photography can also reassure us that the world around us exists – not just as a tangible reality but as symbol and metaphor. 

12.15pm to 1.15pm: The Magic of Photography - Creative Photography workshop with iconic Australian photographer Colin Beard. (Part Two). In the final analysis, the whole purpose of a photograph is to communicate the energy of the subject, the actual reality of the events that are being recorded without the obvious intervention of the photographer. It is the narrative, the drama, the tragedy, the humour or simply an insightful commentary on the human condition that is unfolding for the viewer to look at and perhaps be moved by. Photographers work with light. ‘Photos – Graphos’ are ancient Greek words meaning ‘Light-Drawing’.  Sun light, moon light, cloud light, morning light, afternoon light, forest shadows, window light, tungsten light, flash light – this is the paint palette of the photographer.   

1.30pm to 2.30pm: Field of Words Writing workshop with acclaimed Sunshine Coast author Eileen Herbert-Goodall. (Part One). Workshop participants will be asked to write in response to a visual image. Where do we get story ideas from and what is the primary task of the writer? The answer: To entertain - but first we must lure readers into the story world and sustain their interest.  We need to take them upon a journey of discovery. Participants will be asked to examine the Story Pyramid; brainstorm creating a great setting to allow readers to ‘see’ the story world; develop engaging and believable characters that readers can empathise with on some level; create a character arc and effective plot; and discuss good writing and concise expression; purposeful dialogue; a theme and a crux of meaning.

2.45pm to 3.45pm: Field of Words Writing workshop with acclaimed Sunshine Coast author Eileen Herbert-Goodall. (Part Two). In this session, participants will be asked to use this knowledge to write a piece of flash fiction which will be read out during the session and critiqued. Eileen will also advise participants on the importance of getting their work critiqued and edited.

4pm to 5pm: Using Ancient Indigenous ‘Memory Codes’ to Train your Memory - with Victorian science writer Lynne Kelly, author of the new-release The Memory Code. Using traditional Aboriginal Australian songlines as the key, Lynne Kelly has identified the powerful memory technique used by indigenous people around the world. She has discovered that this ancient memory technique is the secret behind the great stone monuments like Stonehenge, which have for so long puzzled archaeologists. Lynne discusses the traditional Aboriginal memory technique that unlocks the secrets of Stonehenge, Easter Island and ancient monuments the world over. She has discovered that a powerful memory technique used by the ancients can unlock the secrets of the Neolithic stone circles of Britain and Europe, the ancient Pueblo buildings in New Mexico and other prehistoric stone monuments across the world. We can still use the memory code today to train our own memories. In the past, the elders had encyclopaedic memories. They could name all the animals and plants across the landscape, and the stars in the sky too. Yet most of us struggle to memorise more than a short poem. Lynne shows us how we can use this ancient technique to train our memories today.

Coolum Library, Jack Morgan Park:

10am to 1.30pm: Acclaimed Aboriginal children’s book author, illustrator, artist and musician Gregg Dreise will delight festival-goers with this special three-hour series of workshops covering children’s book writing, illustration and storytelling all mixed in with his vibrant music and singing. 

Gregg Dreise is the award-winning author and illustrator of Silly Birds, Kookoo Kookaburra and Mad Magpie. These stories are about teaching morals. Silly Birds is based on the saying, “It’s hard to soar like an eagle when you are surrounded by turkeys”. Kookoo Kookaburra is based on the saying, “Kindness is like a boomerang - if you throw it often, it comes back often. If you never take the chance to throw it, it never comes back”. Mad Magpie is based on the words of wisdom, “Stay calm like the surface of the water, yet strong like its current. And know that there is a song out there for you.”

A descendant of the Kamilaroi tribe, from south-west Queensland and north-west New South Wales, Gregg was born and raised in St George, Queensland and moved to Noosa during high school. Gregg is currently a teacher at Federal School on the Sunshine Coast. He has completed writing four more picture books waiting their turn for publishing; and is also working on a chapter book for upper primary. For Gregg, the most exciting part of writing is going to schools and libraries with his didgeridoo and guitar, with the aim to educate an audience filled with smiles. Coolum Library staff will provide workshop participants with tea, coffee and snacks during the breaks.

Festival Closing Celebrations: The Travelling Sound Feast Stage at Tickle Park (open to the public)

6pm-6.15pm – Acknowledgements and thanks to all our amazing creatives and sponsors at our inaugural 2016 Sunshine Coast International Readers and Writers Festival. 

6.15pm- 7pm: The very funny Sydney-based Aboriginal comedian Sean Choolburra will entertain festival-goers and the general public with his comedy, Hip-Hop rap, dance and didge playing. Sean is a vibrant, dynamic and captivating performer.

7pm to 8.50pm: Jay Bishoff’s Travelling Sound Feast Stage takes the spotlight featuring powerful, amazingly brilliant Sunshine Coast original singer-songwriters and musicians.

8.50pm to 9pm: Enjoy a massive beach fireworks display by SCIRWF major sponsor KC’s Fireworks Displays – simply the best!

9pm: Thank you all and see you next year - September 8, 9 and 10, 2017 – for our special tribute to the 50th anniversary of the naming of the ‘Sunshine Coast’ and added Fringe Events including the Brahminy Festival at Peregian Beach in association with Annie’s Bookshop!

 signature art

Signature Artwork for Festival - Ancient Dreaming, Tomorrow’s Vision - Jandamarra Cadd

Coolum artist Julie Chizzoni who hand paints original, vibrant, acrylic beach culture on canvas