Saturday 28 October 2017, Bankstown Arts Centre

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Welcome to country


Boundless plains

According to our national anthem we have boundless plains to share. Since 1788, Australia has experienced successive waves of immigration. From post-war Europeans to refugees from Africa, Liza-Mare Syron (chair) discusses how diverse voices become part of the national story with Michael Mohammed Ahmad, Hoa Pham, and Markus Zusak.


Deadly and hectic

Sweatshop: Western Sydney Literacy Movement presents a critical dialogue between writers from Indigenous backgrounds and writers from migrant backgrounds. With Maryam AzamLouisa BadayalEvelyn CorrWinnie DunnEmma HicksShirley LeOscar Managhan, and Stephen Pham.


Shaping the horizon

These powerful new voices are reshaping the landscape and literature of Australia and influencing how we see ourselves as a community. Hear excerpts of their work and a discussion of what it is to find your voice. With Michael Mohammed AhmadJulie KohPeter PolitesEllen van Neerven, and Benjamin Law (chair).


Who’s writing who on stage

When we look at our stages, what do we see reflected back to us? Going beyond white Australia, playwrights from Aboriginal and diverse backgrounds are exploring important conflicts in our society and giving voice to broad experiences. With Sheila Pham (chair), Andrea JamesDisapol Savetsila, and Aanisa Vylet. Curated by Sheila Pham and presented by NSW Writers Centre.


The locals: writing the west

Commissioned by Urban Theatre Projects and Sweatshop. Join us for a work-in-progress reading of short-works by Maryam AzamBee CruseWinnie DunnShivanjani LalStephen Pham, and Anjali Roberts.



Root and branch

BYDS presents excellent writers, poets and digital artists working alongside children and young people from Bankstown to create startlingly imaginative and creative scripts, stories, poems and illustrations with the intention of presenting the work in a theatre and performance setting.


What needs to be said

What fires you up? How do you write about difficult, uncomfortable issues? Sarah AyoubHelen Chebatte and Roanna Gonsalvesdiscuss these questions in relationship to their work and what people expect them to write about and deal with. Chaired by Irini Savvides. Age range: 12-16. Presented by WestWords.


All in the family

Families nurture, and at times, restrict us, but either way they never leave us. So how do you write about families without offending your own? With Cathy CraigieMireille JuchauBenjamin LawOmar Sakr, and Jennifer Wong (chair).


Bankstown Poetry Slam

Australia’s largest regular poetry event is renowned for providing a platform for people of all ages to engage with issues through the medium of spoken word poetry. BPS closes the festival with their October slam featuring national spoken word legend Luka Lesson. You will laugh, you will cry, and most importantly you will click your fingers and stomp your feet.



GetSmART: publishing

Get an insider’s look into the world of book publishing with leading publishers Chren Byng(HarperCollins), Ivor Indyk(Giramondo) and Robert Watkins(Hachette). Chaired by Jennifer Wong, host of Bookish on ABC iView. Presented by Bankstown Arts Centre and NSW Writers’ Centre.


CuriousWorks film screenings


Writing with community and power

A panel discussion featuring four CuriousWorks writers – each writing stories personal to their community, across film, theatre and the visual arts. With Miranda AguilarGuido GonzalezDaisy MontalvoS. Shakthidharan(convenor), and Shawn Spina.


CuriousWorks film screenings



Writing your origin story (workshop)

Be the hero of your own epic adventure! Join Wai Chim in exploring how to write about your own life. Find out how to how to pick a real experience to write about and fictionalise it for an exciting tale! You’re the hero – are you ready to write your own beginning? Age range: 10-12. Presented by WestWords. FREE but, bookings are essential


From potential to publishable (workshop)

Where do ideas come from? And how do you take that seed of an idea and branch it out into a bigger, publishable story? Join journalist and author Sarah Ayoub for some quick tips and tricks on giving your ideas publishing potential. Presented by WestWords. Age range: 16-18. FREE, but bookings are essential.


ASA professional development workshop

As the book industry continues to rapidly change, the Australian Society of Authors has some tips to help emerging writers navigate their way around some of the many pitfalls on the way to building a writing career. Presented by Australian Society of Authors CEO, Juliet Rogers. Bookings are essential.



All Day

Trans-Scribe Bankstown Arts Centre presents a multimedia exhibition of poetry, scripts and other writings by students from Bankstown Public School and Bankstown Girls High School. Including transcribed interviews from the Stories of Strength project by local young people. A partnership between Bankstown Arts Centre, BYDS, and Sydney Story Factory.