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Writing About Trauma

22 October 2022 @ 2:00 pm - 2:45 pm


How difficult is it to write about lived experience when that experience has been traumatic? Author Tim Baker, filmmaker Jane Castle, and emergency room doctor and author Michelle Johnston bring their diverse personal perspectives to this discussion with Dawn Barker.


Tim Baker is an award-winning author, journalist and storyteller specializing in surfing history and culture, working across a wide variety of media from books and magazines to film, video, and theatre. He is the best-selling author of The Rip Curl Story, Occy, High Surf, Bustin’ Down The Door, Surf For Your Life, Century of Surf and Surfari.  He is a former editor of Tracks, Surfing Life and Slow Living magazines, a three-time winner of the Surfing Australia Hall of Fame Culture Award, and a popular and compelling public speaker. His latest book is Patting the Shark.

Dr Michelle Johnston is a consultant Emergency Physician who works at an inner city hospital. Mostly her days consist of trauma and mess. She believes there is a beating heart of humanity, art, and beauty within the sometimes brutal reality of the Emergency Department, and she has dedicated her career to finding that sweet spot between creativity and critical care medicine. Books are her other oxygen, and writing her sustenance. She is the author of two novels, Dustfall and Tiny Uncertain Miracles.

Jane Castle ACS is a multi-award winning filmmaker whose work as director includes the documentary Sixty Thousand Barrels and the short drama Roadside Café. She is also an award-winning cinematographer and the second woman to be accredited by the Australian Cinematographer’s Society. She has worked extensively in the US and Australia shooting feature films, documentaries and commercials, as well as music videos for performers such as Prince, U2, Mary J Blige, Usher and INXS. Jane has combined her filmmaking with her environmental activism, making a range of campaign videos for groups such as Greenpeace and The Total Environment Centre. When the Camera Stopped Rolling is her first feature-length documentary.

Dr Dawn Barker is a psychiatrist and author of three novels, as well as non-fiction pieces for various magazines and websites including Good Weekend, Mamamia, Essential Baby, Quartz, Artlink, and the Medical Journal of Australia. Dawn’s first novel, Fractured was shortlisted for the 2014 Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards.



22 October 2022
2:00 pm - 2:45 pm


The Rechabite Hall
224 William Street
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