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Joëlle  Gergis

Joëlle Gergis in conversation with Ashley Hay

Join us for a conversation with Ashley Hay about the new Quarterly Essay Highway to Hell by Joëlle Gergis. 


Australia is in peril. Do we truly grasp the impact of a warming planet – in particular, what it will mean for our sunburnt country? As temperatures rise, the climates of our capital cities will change. The sea will rise, and we will see increased fire and drought.

In this powerful essay, Joëlle Gergis, a leading climate scientist, depicts the likely future in vivid and credible detail. Working from the science, she discusses the world’s and Australia’s efforts to combat climate change. She outlines how far Australia is from keeping its promises to cut emissions. She takes aim at false solutions and the folly of “adaptation” rather than curbing fossil fuel use. This is an essay about government paralysis and what is at stake for all of us. It’s about getting real, in the face of an unprecedented threat.

“How many disasters does it take to wake people up to the fact that Australia’s climate is becoming more extreme, with today’s destruction set to be dwarfed by things to come? Do people realise that adapting to climate change won’t be possible in some parts of the country?” — Joëlle Gergis, Highway to Hell


Joëlle Gergis is an award-winning climate scientist and writer. She served as a lead author for the IPCC's Sixth Assessment Report and is the author of Humanity's Moment: A Climate Scientist's Case for Hope and Sunburnt Country: The history and future of climate change in Australia. Joëlle also contributed chapters to The Climate Book by Greta Thunberg, and Not Too Late: Changing the climate story from despair to possibility, edited by Rebecca Solnit and Thelma Young Lutunatabua.

Date:   Saturday 22 June

Time:   2:30pm

Venue: Avid Reader, 193 Boundary Street, West End QLD 4101

Price:   This is a free event.

Joëlle  Gergis

Jöelle Gergis in conversation with Polly Hemming

The latest Quarterly Essay by Joëlle Gergis is Australia’s Biggest Book Club book for June 2024.

Australia is in peril. Do we truly grasp the impact of a warming planet – in particular, what it will mean for the sunburnt country?

In Highway to Hell: Climate Change and Australia’s Future, leading climate scientist Joëlle Gergis takes aim at the folly of “adaptation” rather than cutting emissions, and at government policy inertia. She shows what rising temperatures will most likely mean for the Australian continent and coastline, and outlines clearly how far Australia is from its most recent promises, let alone what is required.

Join Joëlle for an in-depth conversation on her searing essay with Polly Hemming, Director of the Australia Institute’s Climate and Energy program.

Australia’s Biggest Book Club is brought to you by the Australia Institute.

Date:   Friday 28 June

Time:   11:00am

Venue: Online

Price:   This is a free event.

Ariane Beeston

Ariane Beeston in conversation with Carly-Jay Metcalfe

Join us for a conversation between Ariane Beeston and Carly-Jay Metcalfe for the book Because I'm Not Myself, You See. 

Ariane Beeston is a child protection worker and newly registered psychologist when she gives birth to her first child – and very quickly begins to experience scary breaks with reality. Out of fear and shame, she keeps her delusions and hallucinations secret, but as the months pass Ariane gets worse. Much worse. Finally admitted to a mother and baby psychiatric unit, the psychologist is forced to learn how to be the patient.

With medication, the support of her husband, psychotherapy and, ultimately, time, Ariane rebuilds herself. And she also begins a new chapter working in perinatal mental health, developing resources to support other new mothers.

Because I'm Not Myself, You See is a candid, often humorous memoir of motherhood and madness, interwoven with research and expert commentary. It's the story of the impossible pressures placed on new mothers and how quickly things can go wrong during 'the happiest time of your life'. It's also about life on the other side of serious illness, trying to make sense of what doesn't make sense, and finding humour, beauty and joy when things don't go according to plan.

Date:   Friday 28 June

Time:   6:00pm

Venue: Avid Reader Bookshop, 193 Boundary Street, West End QLD 4101

Price:   $15

Barbara Minchinton

Book Launch: Madame Brussels

Join us to hear Barbara Minchinton in conversation with Fiona Patton.

Madame Brussels, the most legendary brothel keeper in nineteenth-century Melbourne, is still remembered and celebrated today. But until now, little has been known about Caroline Hodgson, the woman behind the alter ego. Madame Brussels is a must-read biography of an enigmatic personality who helped shape early Melbourne.

Free, but bookings are essential.

Date:   Tuesday 2 July

Time:   6:30pm

Venue: Woiwurrung Country, State Library Victoria, 285-321 Russell St, Melbourne 3000, Victoria

Price:   This is a free event.

Aarti Betigeri

Book Launch: Growing Up Indian in Australia

Please note: This event has had a location change

Join us to celebrate the launch of Growing Up Indian in Australia, edited by Aarti Betigeri.

Growing Up Indian in Australia reflects and celebrates this vibrant diversity. It features contributions from Australian-Indian writers, both established and emerging, who hail from a wide range of backgrounds, religions and experiences. This colourful, energetic anthology offers reflections on identity, culture, family, food and expectations, ultimately revealing deep truths about both Australian and Indian life.

Free, but bookings are essential.


Date:   Tuesday 9 July

Time:   6:30pm

Venue: The Common Room, Trades Hall. Cnr of Lygon and Victoria Street, Carlton

Price:   This is a free event.

Southcoast Readers & Writers Festival: Anne Manne

Southcoast Readers & Writers Festival: Anne Manne

Join us in Thirroul over the weekend of 13-14 July for the 2024 South Coast Readers and Writers Festival!

With a festival line-up featuring more than 40 stellar award-winning authors, talented new voices, acclaimed poets, broadcasters and thinkers, in over 22 sessions to choose from, the South Coast Readers and Writers Festival promises a weekend filled with captivating stories, thought-provoking discussions, and inspiring conversations.

Date:   Sunday 14 July

Time:   1:00pm

Venue: Thirroul District Community Centre & Library, 352-358 Lawrence Hargrave Dr, Thirroul, NSW 2515

Price:   Ticketed

Book Launch: Bina: First Nations Languages, Old and New

Book Launch: Bina: First Nations Languages, Old and New

Join us for a discussion between authors Gari Tudor-Smith, Paul Williams, Felicity Meakins and moderator Daniel Browning for the book Bina.

Australia's language diversity is truly breathtaking. This continent lays claim to the world's longest continuous collection of cultures, including over 440 unique languages and many more dialects. Sadly, European invasion has had severe consequences for the vitality of these languages.

Amid devastating loss, there has also been the birth of new languages such as Kriol and Yumplatok, both English-based Creoles. Aboriginal English dialects are spoken widely, and recently there has been an inspiring renaissance of First Nations languages, as communities reclaim and renew them.

Bina: First Nations Languages, Old and New tells this story, from the earliest exchange of words between colonists and First Nations people to today's reclamations. It is a creative and exciting introduction to a vital and dynamic world of language.

Gari Tudor-Smith is a Barada, Yiman, Gangulu and Gureng Gureng linguist. Gari's focus is on language and cultural reclamation and empowering First Nations communities. They are currently working as a linguist at the University of Queensland, contributing to the development of a Graduate Certificate in Indigenous Language Revitalisation and working on legacy language collections.

Paul Williams is a Gamilaraay man from Tamworth, New South Wales. Since 2020, Paul has worked as a linguist at the University of Queensland, where he has contributed to a number of Indigenous language projects including dictionaries and grammars and working with archival materials.

Felicity Meakins is a professor of linguistics at the University of Queensland. She has worked for over two decades with Indigenous communities documenting their languages. This work extends beyond the traditional boundaries of linguistic research, such as dictionaries and grammars, to projects grounded in the artistic, cultural and land-based practices of these communities.

Date:   Wednesday 31 July

Time:   6:30pm

Venue: Avid Reader Bookshop, 193 Boundary Street, West End, QLD 4101

Price:   This is a free event

Rebecca Strating

Bendigo Writers Festival 2024: Security Starts at Home

Just when DO neighbours become good friends – or enemies? Join three security analysts to discuss the finer points of diplomacy and the strategic challenges facing Australia today. With Professor Bec Strating (Girt By Sea), Allan Behm (The Odd Couple), Dr Kylie Moore-Gilbert (The Uncaged Sky) with Dr Sally Warhaft.

Date:   Saturday 17 August

Time:   11:00am

Venue: La Trobe Art Institute, 121 View Street, Bendigo, VIC, 3550

Price:   $15.00