Festival Guests 2017
Ben Darsow is a comedian from Adelaide who delivers fresh laugh-out-loud observational and improvised standup. Ben has been award-nominated within Australia’s festival scene, is a headline act within the comedy club circuit, performs for a selection of corporate clients and is a guest entertainer on the P&O cruise lines. Over the past couple of years he has begun touring overseas and has featured in shows at internationally-renowned venues including The Vancouver Comedy Mix, the Kuala Lumpur Crackhouse Comedy Club and The World Famous Comedy Store in Los Angeles. Ben performs with an infectious smile, a cheeky playfulness and an unmistakable joy for the craft.
Sabrina Dudgeon-Swift is descended from the Bardi people from north of Broome, and the Gija people in the East Kimberley. Her story Lilli and Shadow in Trouble is part of the Waarda series for young readers (Fremantle Press) and was inspired by her Nana and the stories she shared.
Karla Hart is a performing artist across all fields and has performed nationally and internationally in China in 2009 and the United States in 2012 and 2014. Karla is a filmmaker, actress and writer, event co-ordinator for Wardarnji Festival 2011-2017 and manager and performer with women’s Noongar dance group Kwarbah Djookian. Karla wrote Tooly which was selected for Yellamundie Festival 2015 and was read at Carriageworks in Sydney. This play will be developed further at Yirra Yaakin Theatre.
Lia Hills is a poet, novelist and translator. Her work has been published, translated and performed in countries as varied as Japan, Switzerland and the US. Lia’s latest novel, The Crying Place, was released by Allen & Unwin in March this year. Lia travelled regularly to the centre of Australia to research and write The Crying Place, set partly in Pitjantjatjara country. As part of the process, Lia stayed in Aboriginal communities and began learning the Pitjantjatjara language. Her debut young adult novel The Beginner’s Guide to Living received starred reviews and was shortlisted for the Victorian, Queensland and Western Australian Premiers’ Literary Awards, and the NZ Post Book Awards, among others.
Jenny Hunter grew up in the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia. She graduated as a teacher majoring in Aboriginal Education and for more than thirteen years has been involved in a wide range of roles associated with the delivery of education and regional opportunity development for Aboriginal communities in the Kimberley. Jenny has a passion for stories, art, indigenous cultures, education and community. Jenny has recently published her first book, White People are Nomads, which includes stories for Teddy Carlton and his family.
Danielle Lim is the author of The Sound of SCH - A Mental Breakdown, A Life Journey, a memoir that won the Singapore Literature Prize 2016 (non-fiction). Published by Ethos Books Singapore in 2014, The Sound of SCH (pronounced S-C-H) has drawn international interest and a Chinese translation was published in Taiwan in 2016. It is also being translated to Tamil for publication in India in 2017. Danielle was featured as one of the top Singapore writers by Publishers Weekly (US) in 2016. She has been a featured speaker at the Singapore Writers Festival in 2015 and in 2017. Danielle graduated from The University of Oxford and is based in Singapore, where she is a Lecturer at the Nanyang Polytechnic and Republic Polytechnic.
Danielle Lim's participation in the program has been enabled by the China Australia Writing Centre.
Fleur McDonald is the bestselling author of eight novels set in rural Australia. Fleur’s debut novel, Red Dust, was the highest selling novel for a debut author in 2009. It was also shortlisted for an Australian Book Industry Award and a Ruby Award in 2010. Her first two books also sold into Germany, and all eight books, including Purple Roads, Crimson Dawn, Silver Clouds and Emerald Springs, have been distributed into the USA and Canada. Fleur’s debut children’s book, Noisy Nights, was released in 2016 and she followed this with the release this year of her latest novel, The Missing Pieces of Us.
Ben Pobjie is an author and comedian. He is known for his television columns for Fairfax newspapers and social and political satire for the ABC and Crikey. His writing has also been found in publications ranging from The Roar Sports, SBS online, Good Weekend, Monocle, The Guardian, New Matilda and many more. He is the author of Error Australis, a comic history of Australia and has an upcoming book, Aussie Aussie Aussie. He has also written for TV shows such as Reality Check, Your Skitting Me and The Unbelievable Truth.
Lucas Proudfoot is from the Tweed Coast Aboriginal and Islander community. He has a background in professional surfing, cultural dance, composing music and song writing. Through his business, Circular Rhythm, Lucas brings his many talents together to perform a one-man show featuring guitar, didgeridoo and stomp box. Lucas has over 25 years’ experience touring the world to destinations such as Brazil, Mexico, Costa Rica, Spain, France, Portugal, South Africa and Hawaii. He was especially proud to be appointed as an Australian Indigenous Education Ambassador in 2011 and is currently a Role Model for Books in Homes Australia. Known for his fast wit and cheeky sense of humour, Lucas has been delighting young audiences with his Circular Rhythm show in schools and kindys across Australia.