Bendigo Writers Festival 2019

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Bendigo Writers Festival 2019

Inspiration can come in many forms, but there’s no greater way than hearing from those you idolise – and the Bendigo Writers Festival is full of people who fit the mould perfectly.

From August 9 – 11, the festival will be featuring a glittering line-up of 150 household names, commentators, writers, entertainers, and many more, in more than 100 events across seven venues in the heart of Bendigo.

This year – with the city bidding to become a UNESCO City of Gastronomy – food, health and sustainability are at the heart of the festival agenda.

Australia’s top food writer, Jill Dupleix, will be telling audiences about the finest and most innovative restaurants in the country. As one of Australia’s best-known food writers, the long-time restaurant reviewer, reporter and recipe columnist for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age will take the festival by storm with 16 cookbooks behind her.

Joining the foodie ranks, the Friday night event will feature popular SBS Food Safari presenter, Maeve O’Meara. As the founder of food-tour company Gourmet Safaris, O’Meara has spent the past two decades collecting culinary treasures and stories from all around the globe and is sure to bring a wealth of knowledge to the festival that will inspire foodies and writers alike, while ‘food and mood’ psychiatrist, Felice Jacka, will also be there armed with her new book on how to feed a healthy brain.

Alongside the foodies, the program also includes American fire management expert Stephen J. Pyne; PEN International President and novelist Jennifer Clement; bestselling Korean- American novelist Min Jin Lee; and British philosopher A.C. Grayling, whose books include “Liberty in the Age of Terror” and most recently “Democracy and Its Crisis”.

Representing down under, Australian writers include scientist Peter Doherty, feminist Clementine Ford, comedian Greg Fleet, money-man Alan Kohler, revolutionary farmer Charles Massy, Jessica Rowe and best-selling doctor and writer, Ranjana Srivastava.

“Saturday night’s event in Ulumbarra Theatre tackles the biggest question of them all – What Is Life?, with astrobiologist Paul Davies returning to Australia to deliver this keynote address which reveals the very latest in what scientists believe is the foundation of life itself,” Capital Venues and Events Manager David Lloyd said.

It’s Sunday’s Closing Address this year that will have your heart swelling with hope and joy.

“To close the festival, inspirational surgeon Munjed Al Muderis will talk about going back to Iraq, 18 years after he fled to Australia as a refugee, to perform the life-changing limb replacement surgery on people who had lost limbs in the war against ISIS,” David explains.

Munjed Al Muderis’ extraordinary story is told in the book, Walking Free, and now, he has written about his return to Iraq, as a world-renowned limb replacement surgeon, in a new book. Going Back. This brilliant speaker and influential human rights advocate is a must-see so mark Sunday 11 August, 4.30pm in your diaries now.

munjed al muderis

For young and old, for writers and readers, this festival will provide a friendly, exuberant, tempting program. You can view the full program online at

Photo from SBS TV