A new chapter has begun at Australia’s biggest writers’ festivals, written by a new generation of female thinkers. In the last three weeks the trio of Lisa Dempster, Kate Eltham and Jemma Birrell have all begun their posts as the respective directors of the Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney writers’ festivals. Who are these young women, all in their 30s and bringing digital and international perspectives to shake up the book-fests?
Lisa Dempster celebrated her 33rd birthday on Monday, the same day she officially took over the reigns as director of the Melbourne Writers’ Festival. She comes to the gig after three months in Bali on an Asialink residency, working with the programming department at the highly-regarded (what author wouldn’t want to combine work with a tropical holiday?) Ubud Writers’ & Readers’ Festival.