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Festival Guide: Father’s Day

With Father’s Day just around the corner, we’re diving into our best selection of events for discerning dads. Whether it’s waxing lyrical on the best of Cold Chisel with Don Walker and Paul Kelly or hearing from Bob Brown talk about resilience, love and the environment with his partner Paul Thomas, there’s plenty on offer to spoil that special someone (or maybe just yourself).


Ben Quilty: Reckoning 
Saturday 31 August, 2.30pm
Described as ‘one of the anointed saints of contemporary Australian art’, painter and activist Ben Quilty launched his solo survey exhibition, Quilty, at the Art Gallery of South Australia and will tour it nationally. The stunning self-titled book accompanying the exhibition documents his broad and brilliant career, though it is the tribulations and emotional challenges behind the scenes that he will sit down to talk about with his friend Lex Lasry.


Ben Folds: About Lightning Bugs
Saturday 31 August, 8pm
Regarded as one of the major music influencers of our generation, American singer-songwriter and producer Ben Folds has toured the world with his patented brand of heart-pop. He’s now penned an extraordinary memoir and will be in conversation with Charlie Pickering about the influencers who changed his life, as well as playing live songs that shaped him.


Family Day
Sunday 1 September, 11am
Flaunt your heart on your sleeve, bear witness to daring fun, learn what really matters, and be inspired by the world’s possibilities at our free Family Day. With authors including Maxine Beneba Clarke, Andrew Daddo, Tai Snaith, Oliver Phommavanh and Stephen Michael King, don’t miss this day of dedicated programming for kids aged 3 and up.


Don Walker: Songs
Sunday 1 September, 2.30pm
One of the nation’s greatest songwriters, Cold Chisel’s Don Walker has penned some of Australia’s most epic rock anthems. He discusses his latest book Songs with Paul Kelly, sharing the inspirations behind some of this country’s most gargantuan classic hits and what makes his musical heart beat.


Powerful Landmarks
Sunday 1 September, 4pm
Enza Gandolfo’s The Bridge and Kristina Olsson’s Shell both centre around the construction of Australia’s most iconic structures, using them as catalysts to examine how we reckon with difficult pasts and uncertain futures. They discuss with Veronica Sullivan.


Leave the Lights on Please
Friday 6 September, 11.30am
Connection to sex, intimacy and the body doesn’t disappear as one ages, so why aren’t more artists interrogating the concepts of desire past middle age? Dennis AltmanPatricia CorneliusAndrea Goldsmith and Alex Miller discuss with Maureen Matthews.


Love All
Friday 6 September, 2.30pm
Sport has the power to turn the most level-headed of humans into shrieking, emotional wrecks. Musician Dave Graney speaks with political writer and football aficionado George Megalogenis, Tigers fan Nyadol Nyuon, and writer Ahmed Yussuf about sport’s impact on the heart.


Duets: Allara & Archie Roach
Friday 6 September, 5.30pm
Yorta Yorta woman Allara explores culture and storytelling while looping double bass. Archie Roach became the voice of the Stolen Generations with his ballad Took the Children Away. They explore music and politics.


Graphic Art Day
Saturday 7 September, 11am
An entire day of free programming devoted to comics, cartoons, and graphic art. Featuring workshops and in-conversations with some of your favourite graphic novelists and artists including Shaun Tan, Charlotte Allingham, Oslo Davis, Rachel Ang, Khale McHurst, Mandy Ord and the artists from Squishface Studio.


Imagine Me and You: Bob Brown & Paul Thomas
Saturday 7 September, 2.30pm
Activist, environmentalist and former leader of the Greens, Bob Brown has been with his partner, photographer Paul Thomas, for 23 years. Now ‘Green Nomads’ since Bob’s retirement from Canberra, they discuss resilience, love and the environment.


Samer Nashef: The Angina Monologues
Saturday 7 September, 4pm
Author and cardiac surgeon Samer Nashef has had a closer view of our pulsating, vibrant hearts than most. His collection of essays, The Angina Monologues, slices open the emotional truth of dealing with catastrophes when someone’s life is in your hands. With Karen Hitchcock.


Richard Flanagan: You Win Some, You Lose Some
Saturday 7 September, 8pm
Is all writing the sum of unspent love? Booker-winning novelist Richard Flanagan has had a compelling life, producing lauded work in literature, film and journalism. But by his own admission he never viewed it in terms of success or failure. In a rare Melbourne appearance he reflects on the vast body of his work, how he almost gave up writing after his first novel initially failed, and muses on future projects. With Toni Jordan.


For the Love of Crime
Sunday 8 September, 2.30pm
A commitment to a life of crime (writing) might seem like the perfect job, but it’s not all plot twists and shiny daggers. Three giants in the genre – Scottish icon Val McDermid and award-winning Australian greats Mark Brandi and Christian White – come clean about the trials and tribulations of a life devoted to the wrong side of the law. With Jason Steger.