A message from our programming and events manager

I’ve been considering the collective noun for Melburnians of late, and have come up with ‘despondency’ as a term that seems to capture how we are all feeling: a little lost, a little sad and a little worried. Some days this emotion weighs heavily on me; I rise and don my activewear, walk for my allotted hour, talk with my family, tidy a little and contemplate dinner. But there are moments in my day when I am taken elsewhere.

It may be when I receive an email from a customer who attended one of our online events and wants to talk more about the subject, or simply to thank the authors and Readings for the event. Ooo, I think, how lovely. It may be when I speak with a publishing house about a new title and we organise an event with the author because I just know we will all want to hear about how this particular story came about.

However, those transportable moments happen mainly when I sit, perched in my corner of the house, and welcome an audience scattered near and far to one of our Zoom events. Welcome, I say, let the next hour take you from your home and place you firmly in the world of our speakers. I can see the audience sitting at their kitchen benches, in their bedrooms or on their couches. It feels like we are together as we lean forward, listening to thought leaders, to novelists, to creators.

As all good parents know, there are no favourites, but I would like to call out a hello to those who were fortunate enough to eavesdrop on Tegan Bennett Daylight (The Details) and Alice Robinson (The Glad Shout) in conversation. I would also like to comment on how beautiful Kate Grenville’s (A Room Made of Leaves) bookshelves are , and ponder why cooking with Julia Busuttil Nishimura (A Year of Simple Family Food) looked so easy. Tom Doig (Hazelwood) and Melissa Davey (The Case of George Pell) taught me things I hadn’t considered. Also, how funny is Richard Fidler (The Golden Maze) – who knew? (Everyone, I know!) All of these memorable moments have happened while my dogs slept at my feet during lockdown.

Over the next few weeks, we have online events happening every weeknight. We will be offering more opportunities to escape and to consider other people’s imaginations and learnings. And please do write and let me know how you are finding our online events. Reaching out makes all the difference when we are isolated from one another.


To see what’s on offer across our whole events program, visit our events calendar.

A Year of Simple Family Food

A Year of Simple Family Food

Julia Busuttil Nishimura

$39.99Buy now

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