Official Guest

Inga SimpsonThe Henry Lawson Festival Committee would like to welcome Inga Simpson as the 2019 Henry Lawson Festival of Arts Official Guest. The committee are excited to once again have one of Grenfell’s own to recognise as the Official Guest for 2019.

Inga Simpson was born in Young and attended the Henry Lawson High School, graduating in 1987, as dux of the school. After completing an Arts degree at the ANU, with honours in English literature, she worked as a researcher and professional writer, including for federal Parliament and the Commonwealth Ombudsman.

In 2008, Inga completed a PhD in creative writing. Her first short story won a Scarlet Stiletto award, and in 2012, she won the Eric Rolls nature essay prize for her piece about ironbarks. Inga’s first novel, Mr Wigg, was published in 2013, and shortlisted for the Indie Debut Book Award. This was soon followed by Nest in 2014, which was shortlisted for the Courier Mail People’s Choice Award, the ALS Gold Medal, and longlisted for the Stella Prize and the 2015 Miles Franklin Literary Award.

Her third novel, Where the Trees Were (2016) was shortlisted for an Indie Book Award and longlisted for the 2017 Miles Franklin Literary Award, the Australian Book Industry Awards and the Green Carnation Prize.

Inga’s most recent book, Understory: a life with trees (2017), about her decade spent living inside a south east Queensland forest, was shortlisted for the Adelaide Writers Week Award for nonfiction.

Her work has been published in Review of Australian Fiction, Griffith Review, Clues, Writing Queensland, and the Dictionary of Literary Biography.

In 2017, Inga completed a second PhD, this time in English literature, which explored the history of Australian nature writing.

After living in Canberra, Brisbane, and the Sunshine Coast hinterland, Inga has now settled on the far south coast of NSW.


Past Official Guests

2018 Alison Bell - Theatre and Television
2017 Tara Moss - Author, Journalist, TV Documentary Presenter
2016 Vanessa Grimm - News Presenter
2015 Roy Billing - Actor & Writer
2014 Mark Grentell - Director/Writer/Producer
2013 Chris Coleman - Broadcaster
2012 Dick Smith - Entrepreneur
2011 Gregory Bryan - Historian
2010 Juliettre Palmer-Frederick - Author
2009 Max Cullen - Actor
2008 Sandy Fussell - Author
2007 Hon Ian Armstrong OBE - National Party
2006 David Foster OAM - Wood Chopper
2005 Don McAlpine - Cinematographer
2004 Her Exec. Prof Marie Bashir AC - NSW Governor
2003 Alan Jones AO - Broadcaster
2002 Jan O'Neill (Lehane) - Tennis Star
2001 Colin Buchanan - Country Singer
2000 Peter Bensley - Actor
1999 Judy Nunn - Actor
1998 Paula Duncan AM - Actor
1997 Garry McDonald AO - Actor
1996 DrHilarie Lindsay OAM - Author
1995 Carol Willis - Camp Quality
1994 Geoff Lawson OAM - Cricketer
1993 Alan Moir - Cartoonist
1992 Leon Becker AM - Broadcaster
1991 Mike Hayes - Journalist
1990 Briget Goodwin - Film Maker
1989 Eric Rolls AM - Author
1988 Slim Dusty - Country Music Singer
1987 Di Morrissey - Author
1986 Thomas Keneally AO - Author
1985 Peter Lawson - Artist
1984 James Dibble AM - ABC News Reader
1983 Jennifer Murphy - Actor
1982 Peter Summer - Actor
1981 Malcolm Thompson - Actor
1980 Leonard Teale - Actor
1979 Steve Liebmann - Television Presenter
1978 Lorraine Bayly - Actor
1977 Clive Evatt QC - Labor Party
1976 Ted Roberts - Author
1975 John St Vincent Welch - Past Festival President
1974 Patrick White - Author
1973 Dr Hilarie Lindsay OAM - Author
1972 Hon George Freudenstein MLA - NSW Country Party
1971 Harold Goodwin - Founder of the Henry Lawson Festival
1970 Chuck Faulkner - Actor
1969 Leonard Teale - Actor
1968 Bill Peach - Television Personality
1967 Bertha Jago (Lawson) - Daughter of Henry Lawson
1966 Michael Sawtell - Author
1965 Neil Hutchison - ABC Television
1964 John Thompson - ABC Broadcaster
1963 Ald Harold Jensen - Lord Mayor of Sydney
1962 Eric Baume - Journalist
1961 Sir Eric Woodward KCVO - NSW Governor
1960 Olav Nordland - Norwegian Consul
1959 Hon Ray S Maher MLA - Labor NSW
1958 Prof Colin Roderick CBE - Author