A post by Nicola Alroe

I was ready.

I acquired a “Stronger Together” button. I devoured Hard Choices. I vetted prospective partners on the basis of their for-or-against Hillary status. For almost two years, I vociferously defended Hillary in political debates against every Bernie Bro I met on campus. I let myself believe – as did a great a many others – that Hillary’s glittering vision for America was a fait accompli.

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Words by Yasodara Puhule-Gamayalage

It was an honour and privilege to speak to the former Governor-General of Australia, Dame Quentin Bryce.

Dressed in ivory, with a bolero jacket draped over her shoulders and Dear Quentin in her hand, she walks into the conference room at the Pier One. Despite the early start from Brisbane, her commitments of the day in Sydney are still not over, at 6:30pm. Yet she eases into the conversation with great enthusiasm and warmth.

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Photograph: Dina Mura

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By Kristi Cheng

On the Saturday of the Sydney Writers’ Festival, I had the opportunity to talk to Annabel Crabb, host of the ABC’s Kitchen Cabinet, author of The Wife Drought, and avid fan of Helen Garner. As I made my way from our office to the Pier One hotel, I walked past Benjamin Law; it was one of the many author-sightings of this festival.

At a few minutes past one, she walked into the hotel, dressed casually, with her curly brown hair tied up, and greeted me with a friendly smile. We didn’t have a lot of time; she had be at another event by one-thirty, which meant we had only around twenty minutes. But when you’re Annabel Crabb, an author, columnist, political journalist, and a mother of three, there’s a lot you can fit into twenty minutes.

I mentally strike out parts of my list of questions, and we started promptly.

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Illustration and words by Yasodara Puhule-Gamayalage

It’s not everyday, that one gets the opportunity to ask a linguist about his or her inspirations. Hence of course, when one does, one must seize it.

After speaking to Professor Nick Enfield about his current projects, he was glad to let me know a bit about the beginning of his journey.

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Illustration and words by Yasodara Puhule-Gamayalage

As people start to leave the Richard Wherrett Studio after the panel discussion, I am hurried by the volunteer usher who shouts ‘run!’, kindly hoping that I won’t miss Professor Nick Enfield. I hurry against the crowd, with my lanyard pulling me back as it gets caught on the back of a chair along way. As the side door starts to close, I push back onto it with more force than I had intended and see him standing there with some of the panel members.

Phew!

Away from the hubbub, we walk across to Pier 8 and on the wooden steps of a building, begin the interview.

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Words by Yasodara Puhule-Gamayalage

Life is complicated; so we must stop trying to simplify it. This especially applies when we discuss food and water, two fundamentals of life, for they are more than things that we consume to keep ourselves alive. They are part of our culture and way of life.

At the Sydney Writers’ Festival, this year, five University of Sydney academics, Beth Yahp, Chin Jou, Tess Lea (facilitator), Astrida Neimanis and Elspeth Probyn joined together to discuss the fundamentals of life at stake

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Photograph: Kate Mayor

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By Kristi Cheng

I take in my scenic surroundings as I walk to the office we’ve called home for the past few days; I probably won’t be here in early in the morning for a while. There weren’t as many people today as there were yesterday – this I was surprised about – but there were so many more... small people. There were little people here, little people there. There were little people everywhere. Some were slightly larger little people, but let’s just say – and I don’t consider myself a tall person, in any way – I crashed headfirst (well, their head, my torso) into at least three small children during the day because they were out of my range of sight. You see, today was Family Day, and parents were here to get their children to put the fidget spinners down, and pick up a book.

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