26 July 2018

Award-winning author Richard Flanagan will be the special guest speaker at this year’s Garma Telstra Corporate Dinner, the Yothu Yindi Foundation said today.

YYF CEO Denise Bowden said Flanagan, who won the Man Booker Prize in 2014 for The Narrow Road to the Deep North, would address up to 400 guests at the dinner, on Saturday, 4 August.

“Richard Flanagan’s reflections on Australia challenge us all to think deeply about who we are as a nation,” Mrs Bowden said.

“He speaks with passion and insight about Australia’s politics, its values, its history, and the way we see ourselves.

“His comments earlier this year about the need to confront the truth of our past are particularly pertinent given the truth-telling theme of this year’s Garma.”

Flanagan has written more than a dozen novels and non-fiction books, including Death of a River Guide, The Sound of One Hand Clapping, Gould’s Book of Fish, The Unknown Terrorist, and Wanting.

In a speech to the National Press Club in April, he said Australia had yet to face up to the truth of its colonial history.

“In the deepest, most fundamental way we are not free of our colonial past,” he said. “Freedom exists in the shadow of memory. For Australia to find out what freedom means it has to face up to the truth of its past.

“And it’s time we decided to accept what we are and where we come from, because only in that truth can we finally be free as a people.”

Mrs Bowden thanked Telstra for their support as sponsors of this year’s Corporate Dinner. This year’s Garma – the 20th anniversary - will take place from 3-6 August at Gulkula in northeast Arnhem Land.

Tickets for this year’s event have now sold out.


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