Stellar headliners on Southern Cross Uni stage at Byron Writers Festival

Published 25 July 2019
Nevo Zisin Nevo Zisin

After more than two decades of partnering with the iconic Byron Writers Festival, Southern Cross University has sealed the deal signing another three-year agreement.

Headline guests in the Southern Cross University Marquee at the Byron Writers Festival from August 2-4, will include former PM and diplomat Kevin Rudd, Indigenous elder and one of Australia’s best-loved actors Jack Charles, ABC 730 host Leigh Sales, award-winning writer Bruce Pascoe, philosopher AC Grayling and documentary filmmaker Damon Gameau.

And in a free satellite event, Southern Cross University Lismore campus will host an exclusive ‘In Conversation’ interview with author Nevo Zisin on ‘gender and everything that comes with it’ a day earlier on August 1 to kick off the Byron Writers Festival celebrations.

Nevo is a Jewish, queer, non-binary writer, activist and public speaker with a particular focus on issues surrounding gender, sex, culture and sexuality, and is the author of award-winning Finding Nevo, a memoir on gender. Nevo will be in conversation with Professor William MacNeil, Dean of the Southern Cross University School of Law and Justice.

The free event is on Thursday 1 August, 1.30 – 2.30pm and bookings are essential as places will fill quickly. Tickets available at

Southern Cross University Vice Chancellor Professor Adam Shoemaker, one of Australia's leading researchers in the area of Indigenous literature and culture, will host the Uncle Jack Charles ‘in conversation’ on Saturday August 3 at 12.45pm (session 44 in BWF program). Uncle Jack Charles is an Australian legend: survivor of the Stolen Generation, Indigenous elder, actor, musician, activist and former heroin addict and cat burglar.

Professor Shoemaker said he was looking forward to sharing the stage with an Australian living legend, one highlight of a festival full of literary delights.

“This University believes in the power of both the written and spoken word, so we’re happy to be a partner because we cover off the written word in our courses and the spoken word in events like Byron Writers Festival,” Professor Shoemaker said.

Southern Cross University teaching talent chairing Byron Writers Festival sessions include Dr Lynda Hawryluk on ‘The Power of Poetry’ and ‘Research and Writing’, and Dr Emma Doolan on ‘The craft of storytelling’. Other established writers who teach at Southern Cross University such as Jesse Blackadder, Sarah Armstrong and Anneli Knight will also participate in sessions across the weekend. Professor MacNeil will also chair a true crime discussion.

Southern Cross University has been a proud founding partner of the Byron Writers Festival since the literary event’s beginnings in 1997.

Byron Writers Festival 2019 will unfold from 2-4 August in the beautiful grounds of Elements of Byron resort. 

Media contact: Jessica Nelson 0417288794 or