Lotterywest Heritage Conversation: INSPIRE Writers in conversation

Join us to hear Dave Allan-Petale and John Mateer talk about their time as INSPIRE Writers in Residence at National Trust places.

Both writers share a common theme in their works, with wartime Australia as a backdrop.

The INSPIRE Writer in Residence initiative is a partnership between the National Trust of Western Australia and the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries. The initiative offers five emerging or established Western Australian writers a stipend of $5000 each and a residency for up to 15 days in a National Trust heritage place.

The talk will take place in the Annexe at the rear of the Old Observatory, 4 Havelock Street, West Perth, Western Australia.

Light refreshments will be served after the event in the Drawing Room at the Old Observatory.

The writers will be in conversation with Will Yeoman, CEO at Writing WA and former literary editor and senior writer at The West Australian and The Sunday Times. Will is also a regular contributor to Limelight and Gramophone magazines. An experienced facilitator at local, national and international writers’ festivals, Will is the founder of the New Norcia Writers Festival and Artistic Director of The York Festival and York Writers Festival. He has been a Guest Curator of Perth Festival Writers Week (2018 and 2019), and has interviewed everyone from Jonathan Franzen, Germaine Greer and John Howard to Helen Garner, Tim Winton and Kim Scott.

Doors open at 5.45 pm and free on-site parking is available.

Places are limited.

Tickets: Adults $15.00 | Concession $12 | Members $10 plus booking fee.

This event is part of the Australian Heritage Festival, proudly supported by Lotterywest.
Book tickets

Meet the INSPIRE Writers in Residence

David Allan-Petale

Writer in Residence at Curtin Family Home, 2021

David’s debut novel, Locust Summer, will be published by Fremantle Press in July 2021. The manuscript was shortlisted for the Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award and developed through a fellowship at Varuna, The National Writers’ House. David was a radio, TV and online journalist with ABC News in regional Australia for many years, before working for BBC World News and Al Jazeera in London.

During his residence at Curtin Family Home, David researched his second novel, Black Clouds, which is set in and around Fremantle harbour during the Second World War. The residency at Curtin Family Home in nearby Cottesloe provides the opportunity to create this work amid the surroundings of heritage buildings strongly linked to the period, affording Black Clouds a deeper sense of place, inspiring his writing process to create characters with authenticity.

Black Clouds seeks to illustrate the ordinary, everyday struggles and temptations of the home front in WW2. The Curtin Family Home in Cottesloe will inspire through the quiet heritage of its suburban street, the proximity to the Indian Ocean where the conflict loomed, the warmth of family life acting as a beacon while Curtin made decisions that would decide the fate of the nation.

John Mateer

Writer in Residence at Peninsula Farm, 2021

John Mateer has degrees in English Literature and Art History. He has been widely published in Australia and internationally, completing residencies in Lisbon, Portugal; Berlin, Germany; Penang, Malaysia; El Gouna, Egypt; Hudson, New York; Kyoto, Japan. His poetry has been published by Giramondo, Sydney, Shearsman, Bristol, UK; Fremantle Press, and in anthologies by Puncher and Wattman, Sydney; University of Queensland Press, Phoenix education, Putney UK; Five Islands Press and Paperbark Press in Sydney.

John researched a work of fiction drawing on the localities of Maylands and East Perth, focused in particular on the history of the little-known Maylands Aerodrome, Perth’s first airport. The Maylands aerodrome was an important connection to the outside world in the past. Its history also records many events of national and international significance – among them, the record-breaking arrival of Charles Kingsford Smith, the war-time presence of US bombers used on missions in South-East Asia, and the arrival of refugees fleeing the Japanese invasion of the Dutch East Indies. The Aerodrome will be a story about Iain, a man in his late twenties, who is fascinated by the idea of flight, obsessed with the aeroplanes of the former aerodrome and the memories they evoke. (Photo by Daniel Terkl.)

Plan your Visit

Lotterywest Heritage Conversation: INSPIRE Writers in conversation


Old Observatory, 4 Havelock Street, West Perth

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