Tambourine Mountain’s Judith Wright Festival Takes Off!

This month is the centenary of Judith Wrights birth – if you are in Brisbane, think about hoing up to Mt Tamborine for one of the many events they are holding there – If not, or as well, have a read of a short piece penned by Humphrey McQueen, reminding us about the real things we should be celebrating in Australia, rather than the jingoistic drums of war that Brendon Nelson would have us listen to … http://www.surplusvalue.org.au/McQueen/current_politics/current_politics_judith_wright_100_yrs.htm


Tamborine Mountain is keen to celebrate the work and life of one of its most renowned residents.

Many local groups are having events in May to celebrate the centennial of the birth of Judith, which is on 31st May.

Judith lived on the Mountain from the late 40s to the early 70s. This period covered her happy partnership with Jack McKinney (author, philosopher and gardener), and the birth, childhood and early teen years of their daughter Meredith.

Judith was both a poet and a social activist. Some of her memorable poems are ‘South of My Days’, ‘Lyrebirds’, ‘Brush Turkey’, ‘The Flood’ and many poems inspired by her personal life, like ‘Woman to Man’ and ‘Woman to Child’.   The natural world was a huge inspiration. Her various flame tree and forest poems, and many others, were directly inspired by her Tamborine Mountain years. You’ll get a shock of recognition if you read them.

Judith Wright’s Tamborine years were also the start of her social activism. She campaigned for the Barrier Reef and Fraser Island, and later went on to be active in Indigenous rights issues, marching in a Reconciliation event in Canberra in 2000, just a few weeks before her death. She wrote (with H.C. ‘Nugget’ Coombs) We Call for a Treaty, a key document in the history of Indigenous and non-Indigenous relations in Australia. The extent of her public activities is huge.   All her life, she was an anti-war campaigner, partly sparked by Jack’s experiences in World War I.

Events include:

1 May Judith Juke box (Library): 10.30am-4.30pm. Local actor and musician margy Rose performs an all-day recitation of Judith’s poetry.

4 and 11 May U3A short course: Judith Wright and her poetry (Masonic Lodge): 2.30 pm. Lots of time to enjoy your favourite poems. Book via grahameandhelen45@gmail.com.

7 May Talented Women and other poets (regular Library poetry group): 2 pm.Discusses her poetry.

14 May Good Afternoon (regular library event): 2 pm.Panel discussion: is JW’s writing and poetry still relevant in 2015?

21 May Knoll Stroll with Judith (commencing at the library):  10 am.Join us for a leisurely walk in the steps of JW.

22 May The Burning Glass: Friday Night Philosophers Club (Zamia Theatre): 7.30 pm.A panel of speakers from near and far discusses Judith’s activism and her poetry, with lots of audience input.

23-30 May Tamborine Mountain Little Theatre (Zamia Theatre): Hearts Ablaze, a locally-written play commemorating Judith and Jack’s life on Tamborine Mountain. Starring Margy Rose, Linda Simister, Will Bligh. Four performances over two weekends. Book at http://www.tmlt.com.au.

27 May Jane Austen book group (regular library event): 2 pm. Discusses JW autobiography Half a Lifetime.

31 May Community Centenary Birthday Picnic: time and venue TBA.

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