Melbourne Writers Festival 2018

With 340 participants performing in various venues in and around the heart of the Melbourne CBD over the course of 10 days in late August to early September, the Melbourne Writers Festival was a wonderful and invigorating event and it was an absolute privilege to attend.


Micheline Jenner represented the CWR Team with her book “The Secret Life of Whales” in three quite varied presentations.

The theme of “a matter of life and death” was poignant for whales, even in the 21st Century whales face daily threats of life and death–even the peril of whaling still…

Taking “The Secret Life of Whales” to the Melbourne Writers Festival 2018 was a dream come true for Micheline.


“The Muse in Museum”, this was the first event on Micheline’s schedule. Alongside the festival-goers, Micheline was also very excited to see the exhibits in this world class facility.

“The Muse in the Museum” event involved Philip Hoare and Micheline speaking about the beautiful exhibits of the Melbourne Museum in “Journey to the Ocean Floor”.


Near the main entrance, a immature pygmy blue whale skeleton awaited description.

Philip discussed whales in literature and mythology beside the museum’s sperm whale skull, giant squid and fossil exhibits and Micheline described and elaborated on the skeletal features of an 18.7m pygmy blue whale and described its life form, skin pigmentation, life history and living characteristics as well research techniques used by current whale researchers, including those employed by the CWR Team.

What a beautiful animal, and what a great event!


Next up and in fact right after “The Muse in Museum” presentation  was a Local Library event at Brighton Library. Indeed as the volunteer driver negotiated the busy Melbourne traffic, several museli bars were inhaled/consumed by Micheline!

Brighton Library played host as Jini Maxwell from TheLiftedBrow was in conversation with Micheline covering all manner of watery topics including life at sea for this husband-wife team of marine biologists, while learning secrets from humpback whales and raising two girls on the high seas.


In the crypt of Animal Church, a touching art installation of loved and lost animals fills the walls.

Animal Church was a perfect place for the late afternoon event “Call Me Ishmael” with Philip Hoare and Micheline. This unique locale was  well-suited for lively conversations about wonderful blue whales and unique sperm whales. The audience did come and fill those chairs and yes, they were awesome!


Images of animals grace the walls of Animal Church.

Animal Church on Flinders Street is an unique art installation dedicated to lost and loved animal lives.


Book sales went very well, with lots of signings too!

Thank you to MWF for a great opportunity to spread the whale word.


Thank you to all the people whom purchased “The Secret Life of Whales” – your support is wonderful!

Centre for Whale Research

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