Sports Writers Festival: The Flanagan Oration

Sports Writers Festival

Martin Flanagan – Sport and Politics: the Adam Goodes case reconsidered, one year on

My sister Denise joined me for dinner and a wander around Docklands last night, and on our way, close to the venue, we spotted Martin Flanagan, enjoying the late evening warmth and views of the bay.  With my customary style of greeting new people like friends I just haven’t made yet, we chatted about the Doggies, Saints and life as we made our way to the Festival.

This is my second year attending the budding Sports Writers Festival.  Last year’s venue was too big for the small numbers but the organisers, including Francis Leach, journalist and SEN commentator, are smart people.  This opening event last night, was “The Oration on Politics and Sport” at the Performance Theatre, Library at the Dock.  In a smaller, more intimate and personal setting, we sat back and listened to one of our “elders” speaking.  Not that Martin Flanagan, a writer and journalist at Fairfax Media, is that old, he is just that wise and thoughtful.  His oration covered many aspects of what engages us all, in both a personal and political and social conversation.  The role of sport in culture, the ever-present link between sports and politics, Martin’s take on the Adam Goodes saga (which should be renamed our saga not Adam Goodes’ saga), his thoughts and interactions with social media linked to his writing, and his thoughts and writing about Chris Lewis (who he knows and is in dialogue with) and his observations about Adam Goodes (who he knows only from afar.)

The following is a link of the full oration, published in The Age, sent to me by Almanacker David Wilson, also in attendance.


If last night’s wonderful oration, questions and discussions are anything to go by, plus the fabulous discount if you write in “almanac” in the discount box, it is a not-to-be missed series of engagements between writers and readers, between amateur and professional thinkers and writers, for all of us to engage in.

Booked the rest of the tickets on-line this morning.


Yvette Wroby


There is a special Almanac ticket offer.

About Yvette Wroby

Yvette Wroby writes, cartoons, paints through life and gets most pleasure when it's about football, and more specifically the Saints. Believes in following dreams and having a go.


  1. Hi Yvette – lovely to see you and Denise there last night.
    And valuable, too, to have my mind expanded – with very great thanks to Martin Flanagan.

  2. Hi Yvette,

    Thanks for sharing the story of the festival. I’m happy to read because I wanted to attend but was not able to.

    Sports should be enjoyable with joy, but politics jeopardise, I think. Adam Goodes’ circumstances and politics hurt me. I feel sorry for him. Even he was a good player, it’s sad that he chose to be away from limelight.

    And sports should be for individuals who love rather than cooperate. The Grand Final ticket issues are good examples. Loyal fans should be able to access the game.

    Flanagan is a great journalist. I really wanted to learn and gain skills in writing from him.

    Have a good weekend.


  3. jan courtin says

    Thanks for alerting me to The Age article, Yvette. Not in the Sydney papers yet.
    Very interesting, especially his thoughts on “our saga” relating to Adam.

    All the best

  4. Keiran Croker says

    As always a very thoughtful piece from Martin. I get the sense he wants to engage as an equal and never preaches or talks down to the readers, or listeners in this case. It’s sad that Goodesy has withdrawn from public life somewhat. I’m confident though that he will emerge when the time is right. I’m also confident he is doing great stuff behind the scenes.

Leave a Comment