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Monday, 24 February 2014
Page: 708

Mr HUTCHINSON (Lyons) (16:16): The small northern Tasmanian town of Beaconsfield in my electorate of Lyons, after 12 months of preparation, will launch its inaugural Festival of Golden Words on 14 March. Organisers are already claiming the event as the biggest regional writers festival in Australia, with 80 writers from all around the country taking part. They include some high-profile names who will lead forums that will be mostly free to the public. Barrister and human rights advocate Julian Burnside will officially open the festival. Leading novelists who will appear include: Carrie Tiffany, the author of Mateship with Birds; Romy Ash, who wrote Floundering; and the author of the international sensation Burial Rites, Hannah Kent. Katherine Scholes, Rachael Treasure, Rohan Wilson, Heather Rose and Danielle Wood will be among the well-known Tasmanian novelists on the program. Andy Griffiths is a Tasmanian who would be well known to any parent of boys—and I particularly enjoyed his book, entitled The Day My Bum Went Psycho. Festival convenor, Mr Dando-Collins, will be talking about his upcoming biography on Sir Henry Parkes. As convenor he has led the committee of local volunteers to organise the inaugural festival. Deputy convenor and West Tamar Deputy Mayor Christina Holmdahl told me that one of the best things to come out of all the hard work for the three-day event was that every interstate writer when contacted said, 'If it's in Tasmania we're coming.' Many have decided to extend their stay to explore the rest of the state.