Transforming the future at Southern Cross University BWF panel discussion

Published 19 August 2022
Saul Griffith and Claire O'Rourke Byron Writers Festival Saul Griffith and Claire O'Rourke.

Southern Cross University will host a free Byron Writers Festival satellite event, ‘How Do We Transform the Future?’, on Thursday 25 August 2022 at the Lismore campus.

The panel discussion with authors Saul Griffith and Claire O’Rourke will cover topics such as achieving a green future, rapid decarbonisation, sustainable farming and low-impact lifestyles.

Saul Griffith is an inventor, engineer and author. He founded the independent research and development lab, Otherlab, and works with government agencies and companies to understand energy infrastructure and deep decarbonisation. Earlier this year, Mr Griffith published the book The Big Switch – Australia’s Electric Future, which puts forward a blueprint for taking climate action by using electric power in homes, vehicles and communities.

Claire O’Rourke is a campaigner, journalist and behavioural change expert who is passionate about climate action. She is the Energy Transformation Program Co-Director at The Sunrise Project, an organisation supporting the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy. Ms O’Rourke’s book Together We Can: Everyday Australians doing amazing things to give our planet a future highlights Australians who are making a difference in regards to climate change.

Southern Cross University is a proud founding partner of the Byron Writers Festival.

Panel moderator, Mr Ben Roche, Vice President (Engagement) at Southern Cross University, said it was essential to drive conversations of importance to the community and beyond.

“The Byron Writers Festival is the region’s leading literary and cultural festival and Southern Cross University has been involved right from the beginning,” he said.

“Southern Cross University has fostered radical thinking for decades, from developing the first regenerative agriculture degree in the country to embedding Indigenous knowledge into our health degrees. Our ideals go hand-in-hand with the Byron Writers Festival and our partnership continues to flourish.

“We welcome the community to attend our free satellite event discussing how to transform the future, which I am positive will be insightful and empowering.”

The Byron Writers Festival has been running for more than 20 years, with the previous two events postponed due to the pandemic.

Byron Writers Festival Artistic Director Zoë Pollock said Southern Cross University was an incredible partner.

“Our growth from a small regional event to one of the leading literary festivals in the country can be directly linked to the wonderful support we have enjoyed from Southern Cross University since our inception,” Ms Pollock said.

“We are so excited to be working with Southern Cross University towards achieving a better tomorrow by hosting the conversations that matter with leaders, thinkers and writers from across Australia and beyond. We’re also incredibly proud to be featuring gifted Southern Cross staff and alumni, as well as working with Southern Cross students to make the festival a reality.”

The Byron Writers Festival will take place on the grounds adjacent to Elements of Byron from Friday 26 August to Sunday 28 August.

Event details

‘How Do We Transform the Future?’

Whitebrook Theatre at Southern Cross University’s Lismore campus, Military Road, East Lismore

Thursday 25 August, 2pm-3pm

A free event, however bookings are essential at

Media contact: Sharlene King, media office at Southern Cross University 0429 661 349 or