Is there really such a thing as Australian football culture?
Surely yes, but how do we prove it? If the world ended right now, what records might be uncovered by future alien archaeologists to demonstrate beyond all doubt that there was once a viable football civilisation in Australia?
Some of that proof would exist in the written records and this weekend all roads lead to Jamberoo for the inaugural Australian Football Writers’ Festival.
The brainchild of Bonita Mersiades and Jamie Warren, the weekend brings together many of Australia’s foremost football philosophers and commentators including players, FFA apparatchiks, television, print and online media, historians, activists, biographers, bloggers and novelists.
It will be both a celebration and an exploration of Australian football politics and culture as expressed in the written and spoken word, with a packed program over two days. And if that doesn’t get you in, the whole thing takes place at the Johnny Warren Museum at the Jamberoo Pub. That’s right, there will be beer. And prawn sandwiches perhaps...
The festival organisers have attracted an amazing array of presenters (both Australian and overseas) including FFA Chair Chris Nikou, activist and former Socceroo Craig Foster, investigative German journo Jens Weinreich, Matilda Heather Garriock, Fox Sports presenters Simon Hill and Stephanie Brantz and too many other household names to mention here, although FTBL’s Kevin Airs and (ahem) Adrian Deans will be highly prominent.
The Football Writers’ Festival represents an unprecedented opportunity for fans to mix with and debate their passion with the key thinkers and writers in Australian football. So if there truly is an Australian football culture, come to Jamberoo this weekend and help us set the record straight for those future alien archaeologists who might be completely stumped otherwise.
Adrian’s latest book The Fighting Man is in the shops right now or available through Booktopia. Adrian also wrote Mr Cleansheets and will have a couple of exciting announcements shortly.