We are full of worlds that can’t be contained by a pill. Admissions: Voices Within Mental Health is a ground-breaking anthology documenting mental health in Australia via poetry and prose. Join the ABC’s Space 22 participant Mohammad Awad, Wakefield creator Kristen Dunphy, cooking champion and mental health advocate Nat’s What I Reckon, and award-winning author Kirli Saunders, alongside editor David Stavanger, for a polyvocal show of force and difference as they explore writing about mental health from lived experience.
Presented with Red Room Poetry.
Mohammad Awad (Australian)
Mohammad Awad (AKA 3awadi) is a Queer/Arab/Muslim and writer/director/poet/playwright and musician who's running out of ways to express himself. He has written and directed short films such as The Flower, The Messenger and Beauty Marks. Raised in Western Sydney, Mohammad has also been honoured as Australia's National Youth Poetry Champion. Published in an anthology series Arab, Australian, Other as well as The University of Sydney Anthology Diversity, he is also one of the proud editors of the mental health anthology collection – Admissions. He has featured in every iconic West Ball, as well as in the Sydney Mardi Gras, Sydney Living Museums – After Dark, The ICC, Sydney Festival, Weave Youths' Mad Pride Concert, Word in Hand, Red Room Poetry, The Vanguard and Giant Dwarf Theatre. As well as being featured on ABC's hit TV Show Space 22, ABC's The Drum and SBS television, ABC Radio, SBS Radio, Eastside Radio, 2SER and FBI Radio.
Kristen Dunphy (Australian)
Kristen Dunphy has over 30 years' experience writing and story producing drama for Australian television. In 2012, she was awarded the Foxtel Fellowship for Excellence and is the recipient of three AWGIE Awards. Kristen co-created and co-wrote The Principal (aired on SBS TV/Netflix) and created, co-wrote and produced the critically acclaimed Wakefield (aired on ABC TV/Showtime USA).
Kirli Saunders (Australian)
Kirli Saunders (OAM) is a proud Gunai Woman, award-winning author, multidisciplinary artist and consultant who creates to connect and make change. An experienced speaker and facilitator advocating for the environment and equality, Kirli was the NSW Aboriginal Woman of the Year (2020). In 2022, she was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for her contribution to the arts, particularly literature. Kirli has partnered with many global organisations to celebrate stories and cultivate change. Her books include Bindi and Our Dreaming among others.
Nat’s What I Reckon (Australian)
Comedian, musician and mental health advocate Nat had a fan base already in the hundreds of thousands when he rocketed to global prominence with his isolation cooking content. Nat's openness about his mental health struggles has resonated with champions the world over, amassing a dedicated audience of over 3.5 million thanks to his sweary, no-nonsense approach and underlying message of kindness and inclusivity. His first two bestselling books were both shortlisted at the Australian Book Industry Awards and won Booktopia's Favourite Australian Book Award in 2020 and 2021, with Nat donating all proceeds to Beyond Blue.
David Stavanger (Australian)
David Stavanger is poet, performer, cultural producer, editor and former psychologist living on unceded Dharawal land. His first full-length poetry collection, The Special (UQP, 2014), was awarded several prizes and his most recent, Case Notes (UWAP, 2020), won the 2021 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Poetry. David is the co-editor of Solid Air: Collected Australian & New Zealand Spoken Word (UQP, 2019) and Admissions: Voices Within Mental Health (Upswell, 2022.) He produces MAD Poetry (writers with lived mental health experience) for Red Room Poetry.