Melbourne Writers Festival at M.A.D.E a great success

Budding writers were in their element at this year’s Melbourne Writers Festival. 

Authors Jackie French and Nicolas Brasch take part in the Melbourne Writers Festival at the Museum of Australian Democrary at Eureka on Sunday.

Authors Jackie French and Nicolas Brasch take part in the Melbourne Writers Festival at the Museum of Australian Democrary at Eureka on Sunday.

More than 450 people walked through the doors at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka on Saturday with strong crowds again on Sunday making this year’s Melbourne Writers Festival in Ballarat even more popular than the last.

Locals had the chance to hear from some of Australia’s leading writers, historians and thinkers who shared with audiences stories of resistance, rebellion and struggle.

M.A.D.E director Jane Smith said the two-day event received plenty of support from the community with feedback from the event highlighting the exceptional speakers at this year’s festival.

“By Friday we had 43 per cent more tickets sold than the previous year,” she said.

“It was a really good opportunity for people here in Ballarat and surrounds to experience.

“There was a really good sense about it, people were here for the whole day.”

Former Greens leader Bob Brown was a popular guest among festival goers with prominent writers Clare Wright, Tony Moore and David Hunt making big impressions on their fans.

“Bob Brown had sold out, and we had respectful audiences for the other speakers,” Ms Smith said.

“Bob had not been here before and he thought it was fantastic.”

“Clare Wright spoke about how women don’t get represented in history.... and Tony Moore had some really interesting takes on history as well.”

But it was history lesson on the rebellion of Vinegar Hill told by David Hunt that surprised many.

“I didn’t even know about this, it was very interesting,” she said.

“Many people think Australia doesn’t have much of a history, but in fact we do.”

Huge crowds also turned out on Sunday for one of Australia’s great storytellers, Jackie French, who spoke with audiences about the inspiration for her work.

Festival goers also had the chance to learn about grassroots activism with Garry Muratore, find out about what’s it like to be an aid worker with Tom Bamforth yesterday.

“There were some great questions asked,” Ms Smith said.

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