Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander listeners are advised that this podcast episode contains the names of people who have died.

“I’m no longer exhausting my labour on appealing to a people whose existence is predicated upon me not existing because it’s tiring work and they don’t believe us anyway, no matter how sophisticated our tools are, no matter how articulate our storytelling is. The power of the black story and the real black story is the story that’s told to black people by black people.” – Chelsea Watego

Sydney Writers’ Festival Guest Curator Nayuka Gorrie speaks with Chelsea Watego, Amy McQuire and Veronica Heritage-Gorrie about writing from the front lines, bearing witness in a way no one else can. From young black women telling Pauline Hanson she’s not Indigenous to speaking back to the archive. As Nayuka says, “In the colony, it is the black woman who speaks truth to power and sees this colony for what it really is.”

This podcast was recorded live at the 2021 Sydney Writers’ Festival and is available on all major podcast platforms. 

Please note, this episode contains references to topics such as the Stolen Generations and Aboriginal deaths in custody. 

Veronica Heritage-Gorrie (Australian)

Veronica Heritage-Gorrie

Veronica Heritage-Gorrie (Ronnie) is a proud Kurnai woman, a writer and the author of Black and Blue published by Scribe Publications. She is passionate about and skilled in non-fiction memoir and is excited to extend her practice into film writing. Ronnie was a recipient of Creative Victoria’s First Peoples funding program for the writing of Nullung. Veronica was also the recipient of The Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowship 2020.

Chelsea Watego (Australian)

Chelsea Watego

Chelsea Watego (formerly Bond) is a Munanjahli and South Sea Islander woman and Associate Lecturer within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit at The University of Queensland. With over 20 years’ experience working within Indigenous health as a health worker and researcher, she is a prolific writer and public intellectual. She is a founding Board member of Inala Wangarra, an Indigenous community development association within her community, and was one half of the Wild Black Women radio/podcast show. Her forthcoming book Another Day in the Colony is to be released in November 2021.

Amy McQuire (Australian)

Amy McQuire

Amy McQuire is a Darumbal and South Sea Islander woman from Rockhampton in central Queensland. She is currently completing a PhD at the University of Queensland on media representations of violence against Aboriginal women. She is also a freelance writer and journalist. Amy has been the editor of the National Indigenous Times and Tracker magazine, was a former NITV National News political correspondent and journalist, senior reporter for New Matilda and producer for 98.9 FM in Brisbane. Recently, Amy was the Indigenous affairs reporter at BuzzFeed News Australia. Over the past four years, Amy has co-hosted the investigative podcast Curtain with human rights lawyer Martin Hodgson. The podcast puts forth the case for innocence for Aboriginal man Kevin Henry, who was wrongfully convicted in 1992.

Nayuka Gorrie (Australian)

Nayuka Gorrie

Nayuka Gorrie is a Gunai/Kurnai, Gunditjmara, Wiradjuri and Yorta Yorta freelance and comedy television writer. Their writing centres on black, feminist and queer politics. They co-wrote and performed in the third and fourth seasons of Black Comedy and provided additional writing on the second season of Get Krack!n. Nayuka’s writing can be found in The Guardian, The Saturday Paper, VICE, Junkee, Archer Magazine, The Lifted Brow and NITV, among others. Nayuka contributed to the anthology Growing Up Queer in Australia and is currently writing a book of essays as a previous recipient of The Wheeler Centre’s Next Chapter initiative.