I congratulate the Varuna team on the Varuna and Sydney Writers' Festival that was held earlier this year and for enabling and growing the festival from its humble beginnings 17 years ago.
In particular I congratulate Veechi Stuart, Amy Sambrooke, Rebecca Goosen, Vera Costello and Kathy Dobson on the festival team.
It was fantastic to acknowledge the Dark family who bequeathed Varuna to the writers of Australia 30 years ago. Sadly, Mick Dark died in 2015 but it was wonderful to have Jill along.
The board members of Varuna, particularly David White, Susan Hayes and Jennifer Scott, were in attendance when I was there listening to the incredible Tara Westover.
There were international and Australian artists, poets and performers and it was the most fantastic festival.
I congratulate those involved.