CANCELLED - In conversation with Julia Baird

In light of the University's recent announcement to cancel all public events from 16 March - 20 June 2020, this Meet the Author event has been postponed. For more information, visit:

If you would like to be notified of the new event date when set, please keep your registration for this event so we are able to contact you.


Julia Baird will be in conversation with Alex Sloan on Julia's new book Phosphorescence, a beautiful, intimate and inspiring investigation into how we can find and nurture within ourselves that essential quality of internal happiness - 'phosphorescence' - which will sustain us even through the darkest times.

Over the last decade, we have become better at knowing what brings us contentment, well-being and joy. We know, for example, that there are a few core truths to science of happiness. We know that being kind and altruistic makes us happy, that turning off devices, talking to people, forging relationships, living with meaning and delving into the concerns of others offer our best chance at achieving happiness. But how do we retain happiness?

And when our world goes dark, when we're overwhelmed by illness or heartbreak, loss or pain, how do we survive, stay alive or even bloom? In the muck and grit of a daily existence full of disappointments and a disturbing lack of control over many of the things that matter most - finite relationships, fragile health, fraying economies, a planet in peril - how do we find, nurture and carry our own inner, living light - a light to ward off the darkness?

Absorbing, achingly beautiful, inspiring and deeply moving, Julia Baird has written exactly the book we need for these times.

Julia Baird is a globally renowned author and award-winning journalist. She hosts The Drum on ABC TV and writes columns for The New York Times and The Sydney Morning Herald. Her work has earned her four Walkley Our Watch awards, a Walkley Award for team election reporting, and two further Walkley nominations. Her first book, Media Tarts, was based on her history PhD on the portrayal of female politicians, while her biography of Queen Victoria was published to critical acclaim and was one of The New York Times' top ten books of 2016.

 "A luminously beautiful book, full of grace." - Magda Szubanski

Alex Sloan AM, the 2017 Canberra Citizen of the Year, is a regular conversationalist for ANU Meet the Author events.

Pre-event book signings will be available from 5:30pm and again after the event. This event is in association with Harry Hartog Bookshop and books will be available to purchase.