Writer-in-residence – Julia Faragher

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be getting to know our four writers-in-residence a bit better, before we publish their first pieces for you to dig into! First up, meet Julia Faragher.

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Tell us a bit about yourself!

I am a very arty person, and my hobbies include writing, reading, photography, film, design and music. I currently study Arts/Law at the ANU, taking subjects in English, Gender Studies and Visual Art. Outside of university, I run a short film company called Skybound Productions that makes student-produced content for various film festivals.

What drew you to apply for the residencies? 

I’ve always wanted to be a writer and to have my work published, and to be honest this residency seemed way too good to be true. It combines two of my passions – empowering the voices of women, and writing (both creative and non-fiction as well!). I am a big believer in the fact that you will never get what you want unless you seek it out, so I applied to see where this opportunity might take me if I was lucky enough to get it.

What would you like to get out of the program this year?

I would like to develop my skills as an article writer and editor, as well as meet lots of people who share the same passions as me. I find that I learn not just from lectures and workshops, but from engaging in conversation and discussion with other people.

What’s the best book you read in 2015? 

The Martian by Andy Weir. Originally, I thought the premise of the novel sounded very dark and would make for a serious and potentially depressing read, but I was pleasantly surprised by the content of the novel. I admire Weir’s characterisation so much, especially in regards to the main character of Mark Watney. His relentless optimism and determination to live was absolutely incredible, especially when coupled with all his survival techniques. I was very impressed that Weir was able to write about science in a way that anyone could understand it, but without diminishing or dumbing down the actual knowledge and information.

What do you like about living in Canberra? 

I find Canberra to be a perfect balance between city and country. I grew up in the suburbs of Melbourne, a very big city, so I like the modernity of Canberra but also being able to see the stars at night. I also live on campus, so I love meeting people like me who have come from all over Australia to study here. I’ve met people with so many different interests and passions and it’s really helped to open my worldview.

What’s a topic you would like to see more written about?

I believe that representation in the media is a very important topic that often gets overlooked. For some people, especially young children, they cannot be what they cannot see. I think it’s important that we make an effort to tell the stories of women and people of colour, among others, so that no one feels left out or different. Everyone’s story deserves to be told and children should be able to believe that they can be whatever they want regardless of their gender or race.

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