Keeping The Faith

Participating Chair: Monica Dux • Steph Lentz and Brendan Watkins

2.30 PM – 3.30 PM
Kambri Cultural Centre (ANU)

What happens when your deepest beliefs are shaken?

Steph Lentz once defended her church's conservative teachings about marriage and sex, until she fell in love with a woman and her world turned upside-down. Brendan Watkins grew up unaware of the identity of his birth parents, only to discover that his mother was a nun. And his father was a celebrated outback missionary. 

Two remarkable true stories.


STEPH LENTZ is a former advertising writer and secondary school teacher. She came to public attention in 2021 after she was sacked from her job as a teacher because of her sexuality. Steph is based in Sydney.


BRENDAN WATKINS learned he was adopted at eight years of age. He discovered his birth mother had been a Catholic nun at thirty. A DNA test at sixty revealed his father was a celebrated Catholic priest. In late 2018, after a diverse career in the entertainment and not-for-profit sectors, he resigned from his job to investigate and record his story. Brendan’s debut memoir explores the questions, anxieties and reflections arising from his hidden past. He has two children, a loving partner and he swims, a lot. He lives in Melbourne.


MONICA DUX is the author of two memoirs: Lapsed: losing your religion is harder than it looks, and Things I Didn’t Expect (when I was expecting). She is the co-author of The Great Feminist Denial, and editor of the anthology Mothermorphosis. Monica was a founding board member of the Stella Prize and the Feminist Writers Festival. From 2013 until 2022 she was a columnist for The Saturday Age. She is currently working on a third memoir and doing a PhD in Creative Practice at RMIT.