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Wed, 11 Dec


Erskineville Village Anglican ChurchHall

Leah Purcell - The Drover's Wife

Join us as we welcome legendary Australian actor, director & writer Leah Purcell. Leah's re-imagining of the Henry Lawson classic The Drover’s Wife is an incredible Australian Western thriller, full of passion and fight. She is in-conversation with Simon Longstaff.

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Leah Purcell - The Drover's Wife
Leah Purcell - The Drover's Wife

Time & Location

11 Dec 2019, 6:30 pm

Erskineville Village Anglican ChurchHall, 55 Erskineville Rd, Erskineville NSW 2043, Australia


About The Event

Join us for our final author event of the year as we welcome legendary Australian actor, director and writer Leah Purcell, whose reimagining of the Henry Lawson classic The Drover’s Wife is an incredible Australian Western thriller, full of passion and fight. 

Leah will be joined in conversation by Dr Simon Longstaff AO FCPA. 

Tickets are just $5 or free when you pre-order a copy of The Drover's Wife. Copies will also be available to buy and get signed by Leah on the night! 

About the Book

In The Drover’s Wife: the Legend of Molly Johnson, Purcell takes us to Australia’s violent 1800s frontier. Heavily pregnant Molly Johnson has sent her four kids to town to prepare for her birth. Her husband, Joe Johnson, is said to be away drovin’.

Molly finds an injured black man collapsed outside her hut. Yadaka is wearing a collar, covered in blood, and accused of killing the wife and children of the Edwards’, a prominent family in the district.

Though Molly’s fearful, Yadaka proves he’s of good character. The stoic white woman and the outlaw blackfella form a bond. He delivers to Molly a long-hidden secret about her dead mother.

But peace doesn't last long. Yadaka is wanted dead or alive for the Edwards' murder, preferably dead. Troopers are swarming. In this beautiful and brutal landscape, armed with a rifle, she'll fight to save her reputation, her children, and her land.

This novel continues Purcell's passion for bringing black stories into white literature and history, writing into Lawson’s classic story the portrait of a fierce female avenger.

The Drover’s Wife was first a play written by and starring Purcell, which premiered at Belvoir St Theatre in late 2016 and swept the board during the 2017 awards season, winning both the Victorian and New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards for Best Play, Book of the Year and Prize for Literature; the Australian Writers’ Guild Award for Best Stage Work, Major Work and the David Williamson Prize for Excellence in Writing for Australian Theatre; the Helpmann Award for Best Play and Best New Australian Work; and the Sydney-UNESCO City of Film Award.

About the Author

Leah Purcell is a multi-award-winning and self-made author, playwright, actor, director, filmmaker, producer, screenwriter and showrunner. At the heart of her work are female and First Nation themes, characters and issues. 

The feature film adaptation of The Drover’s Wife, written, directed and starring Leah Purcell, is slated for a 2020 release. Leah Purcell is a proud Goa, Gunggari, Wakka Wakka Murri woman from Queensland.

About Simon Longstaff

Simon Longstaff began his working life on Groote Eylandt in the Northern Territory of Australia. He is proud of his kinship ties to the Anindilyakwa people. After a period studying law in Sydney and teaching in Tasmania, he pursued postgraduate studies as a Member of Magdalene College, Cambridge. 

In 1991, Simon commenced his work as the first Executive Director of The Ethics Centre. In 2013, he was made an officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for “distinguished service to the community through the promotion of ethical standards in governance and business, to improving corporate responsibility, and to philosophy.” 

Simon is an Honorary Professor at the Australian National University, a Fellow of CPA Australia, the Royal Society of NSW and the Australian Risk Policy Institute. He serves on a number of Boards and Committees and as Independent Integrity Adviser to the Australian Taxation Office.


  • Event Ticket

    Your ticket to the event.

  • Event Ticket + Book

    Your ticket to the event, plus a pre-ordered copy of The Drover's Wife (a saving of $5)




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