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Jemma Birrell for 40 under 40
Photograph: Supplied

Jemma Birrell

Time Out Sydney's Forty Under 40


Jemma Birrell is the artistic director of Sydney Writers Festival. This year, she’s programmed the festival’s highest profile line-up yet. Birrell is passionate about pairing writers with other writers, and seeing their chemistry on stage. When she’s not working on the festival – which is almost never at the moment – Birrell is taking pleasure in living by the beach.

In the future Jemma hopes Sydney: “Closes its streets and gives them back to bikes and people and street markets more often. After living in France, I saw the way street markets create community. It has a positive effect on every single area where it happens.” 

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