Language & Identity - Melbourne Writers Festival

The Melbourne Writers Festival concluded on Sunday, after 10 days' focus on books and writing.

Amongst sessions covering issues as diverse as whether Australian needs a 'bill of rights' (Bob Carr thinks not, saying an 'engaged population' is adequate protection against wayward laws - Human Rights Commissioner Gillian Triggs disagrees), mapping Indigenous land and languages, political behind-the-scenes, and the ability of language to unite a nation and maintain identity, I spoke to Festival Director Lisa Dempster about the role that the literature festival plays in a city.

Lisa (a former Emerging Writers' Festival Director) had a lot to say about the importance of an ideas and creativity-based festival, and the conversations that start - and remain - because of it.

Literature and language are key tools in how we develop identity, ideas and 'creative capacity' - our individual or combined ability to generate new solutions, opportunities, and thus, our future.

Michael Tucak talks to Lisa Dempster, Festival Director of Melbourne Writers Festival, about the creative and social benefits that literature, and a 10 day festival dedicated to writing and ideas, has for Melbourne - and the importance of a strong creative ecology to a developing city.