Discover your reality in the words of some of Australia’s sharpest minds and gifted storytellers. Experience the diversity of issues and ideas currently shaping our world. Enjoy a feast of food for thought during two consecutive weekends of literary events; book readings, panel discussions, in-conversation interviews and workshops, presented by a range of authors, journalists and film-makers.
The inaugural festival in 2008 was held at the Majestic Theatre in Pomona. In 2009, the festival was presented as a season of literary events. But this year, 2010, Reality Bites has a new home – in and around the environs of the new Cooroy Library, in partnership with the Sunshine Coast Regional Council Learning Communities and Embiggen Books, the bookshop where science meets art.
Prices to the various events and ticket information is available here: Reality Bites Festival or call the central booking office on 07 5447 7090. Festival Passes are $120. Weekend passes are $80. One Day Passes are $50.
Embiggen Books will be hosting 8 separate talks. They are as follows:
SATURDAY 24TH JULY
Climate Change 12.30-1.30
Donna Green, one of the authors of the book Screw Light Bulbs, was recruited from the CSIRO to be a founding member of the University of New South Wales’ Climate Change Research Centre, where she works on energy policy and climate change. She was a contributing author to the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report and has won numerous awards for her writing and research. She has taught at the University of California, Berkeley, consulted for the United Nations Development Programme, and advised the London Climate Change Partnership.
Life Boat Cities 3.00-4.00pm
Brendan Gleeson is Director of the Urban Research Program at Griffith University, Queensland. His research interests include urban planning and governance, urban social policy, disability studies, and environmental theory and policy. He has authored, co-authored and co-edited several books and has written numerous opinion pieces for the SMH, the Courier Mail and the Canberra Times. He is co-author (with Nicholas Low) of Justice, Society and Nature: an Exploration of Political Ecology (1998), which received the prestigious Harold and Margaret Sprout award in 1999 from the International Studies Association. In 2006 Gleeson’s Australian Heartlands: Making Space for Hope in the Suburbs won the inaugural John Iremonger Award for Writing on Public Issues. His latest book is Life Boat Cities.
Professor Gleeson has worked professionally in a range of countries, including Britain, Germany, New Zealand, the USA and Australia. In early 2002, Gleeson was appointed by the ACT government to act as a key adviser on a major restructuring of the territory’s planning and land development administration. He was a member of the ACT Planning and Land Council 2003-6 and is currently a member of the Board of the Queensland Urban Land Development Authority. He has most recently been appointed as a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and currently lives in the suburbs of Brisbane with his partner and their two children.
SUNDAY 25TH JULY
Dr Paul Valent:
In Two Minds 11.00am-12.00pm
Dr Paul Valent has a background in medicine, psychiatry, liaison psychiatry, psychotherapy, and traumatology. He has used these disciplines to write scientific and literary pieces that have provided original perspectives on stress, trauma, the unconscious, and mind-body interactions.
Valent graduated in medicine in 1962 at MeIbourne University. He received his post-graduate psychiatric qualification in London in 1967, and was admitted as a Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists in 1970.
He was the founding Secretary of the Psychotherapy Association of Australia. A child survivor of the Holocaust himself, he founded and was President of the Child Survivors of the Holocaust Association in Melbourne and he wrote Child Survivors of the Holocaust.
Valent co-founded and is a past President of the Australasian Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. He was President at the World Conference of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies in Melbourne in 2000. Valent is recognized worldwide as a leader in traumatology. As well as scientific papers he wrote two texts: From Survival to Fulfilment; A Framework for the Life-Trauma Dialectic and Trauma and Fulfilment Therapy; A Wholist Framework. His In Two Minds; Tales of a Psychotherapist, published in 2009 is a multi-layered memoir of his work and thoughts written for both professionals and lay readers for whom it is jargon free and very accessible. Valent has appeared in both the Brisbane and Melbourne writers festivals last year.
The Power of Women 2.00-300pm
Stephen Dando-Collins burst onto the international publishing scene in 2002 with his first non-fiction book about the legions of ancient Rome, Caesar’s Legion, (Wiley). Three more books in the series followed. The success of these works allowed the Tasmanian-born author to explore other non-fiction subjects, including American history. To write Standing Bear is a Person: The true story of a Native American’s quest for Justice, he spent time with the Ponca Indians of Nebraska. Tycoon’s War: How Cornelius Vanderbilt invaded a country to overthrow America’s greatest military adventurer took him to Nicaragua and the Panama Canal.
Meanwhile, since 1988, Stephen had been researching his first Australian history. The resulting Captain Bligh’s Other Mutiny; (Random House), told the true, unvarnished story of the overthrow of Governor William Bligh in Sydney in 1808. Stephen followed this with Pasteur’s Gambit, (Vintage), the true story of Louis Pasteur’s attempt to eradicate Australia’s rabbit plague, an extensively researched tale of science, sabotage, and scandal which won him a Queensland Premier’s Literary Award in 2009. The book was also shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards.
Stephen followed up his Roman legion series with Blood of the Caesars investigating a first century murder with far-reaching consequences. And this year, Wiley have published The Ides: Caesar’s murder and the war for Rome. A book on the Great Fire of Rome is also in the works.
SATURDAY 31ST JULY
A Future in Flames 12.30-1.30pm
Danielle Clode has written several non-fiction books on a variety of topics involving Australian ecology and history. From prehistoric beasts, to killer whales and bushfires, Danielle’s books explore how we see and interact with our natural world, from a variety of perspectives. Her first book, Killers in Eden, was made into an award-winning natural history TV documentary. Voyages to the South Seas, about French scientific voyages of exploration to Australia, won the 2007 Victorian Premier’s Award for Non-fiction.
Danielle’s latest book, A Future in Flames, explores her experiences of the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires, and Australia’s bushfire history, while reflecting on the way in which we can live in a fire-prone landscape. Danielle has a doctorate in zoology and works as a freelance science writer and editor. She also teaches non-fiction writing through Melbourne University. To get a good flavor for what you can expect from Danielle listen to this episode of the Science Show with Robyn Williams.
Robyn Williams in Conversation with Dr Perminder Sachdev
Yipping Tigers 2.00-3.00pm
Dr. Sachdev is past-president of the International Neuropsychiatric Association and inaugural Chair of the Section of Neuropsychiatry of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists. He has published five books and over 250 original papers in peer-reviewed journals. His most recent books are The Yipping Tiger and other tales from the neuropsychiatric clinic and Secondary Schizophrenia. His H-index is 32, and total citations were over 4000 in 2009. He currently holds, as chief investigator, a National Health & Medical Research Council Program Grant, an Ageing Well-Ageing Productively Program Grant and a NHMRC Capacity Building Grant in addition to many other grants. He heads the Brain and Ageing Research Program of the UNSW: www.brainage.med.unsw.edu.au.
Robyn Williams presents Radio National’s The Science Show and Ockham’s Razor. Although he graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in England, Robyn admits to spending as much time acting as studying. Early in his career he made guest appearances in The Goodies, Monty Python’s Flying Circus and Doctor Who, and stood in for Tom Jones for four months in his TV series. He has conducted countless interviews with scientists on ABC TV on programs such as Quantum and Catalyst, narrated the Nature of Australia series and appeared in World Safari with David Attenborough. Robyn Williams is the author and editor of a number of books including Unintelligent Design.
SUNDAY AUGUST 1ST
Maryrose Cuskelly 11.00am – 12.00pm
Maryrose Cuskelly is a Queensland-born writer and editor who, before taking up the pen, spent ten years as a professional actor that included stints as a gardener, a childcare worker, a courier and a careers counsellor (seriously). She has had essays and articles published in a range of magazines, journals and newspapers including the Age, the Australian, Family Circle, WellBeing, The Big Issue, The Melbourne Times and RealTime. She has edited a variety of publications including novels, websites, children’s stories, and junior and adult non-fiction. In 2006 she co-wrote, with Nic Frances, the winning proposal for the Iremonger Award for writing on public issues and the ensuing book The End of Charity published by Allen & Unwin in 2008. Excerpts from Original Skin have been broadcast on Radio National and published in the Age and the Australian newspapers. She lives in Melbourne with her husband and their two sons.
A Voice of Reason
Ian Lowe 1.30-2.30
Ian Lowe AO is president of the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), emeritus professor of science, technology and society at Griffith University in Brisbane, as well as being an adjunct professor at Sunshine Coast University and Flinders University. A Voice of Reason: Reflections on Australia’s Future is Lowe’s latest book. It profiles Lowe’s essays and opinion pieces on the environment, culture, science, politics, education, technology and Australia’s economy, along with new pieces on Copenhagen 2009 and Australia’s chance for survival in this new century. His previous books include A Big Fix and Living in the Hothouse. Lowe has been a referee for the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change, attended the Geneva and Kyoto conferences of the parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change and was a member of the Australian delegation to the 1999 UNESCO World Conference on Science. He attended the UN convention in Copenhagen in December 2009. Ian Lowe’s previous talk at Embiggen Books can be viewed here.