Anita Heiss, (My Australian Story: Our race for recognition and Barbed Wire and Cherry Blossoms), is one of Australia’s most prolific and well-known authors of Aboriginal literature. Author of the popular Whale Rider and Maori Boy, Witi Ihimaera is one of New Zealand’s most accomplished writers. In conversation with Joy Lawn, Anita and Witi discuss writing Indigenous stories.

Focus: English/Society and Culture/Drama

Supported by NSW Education Standards Authority.

Witi Ihimaera (International)

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Witi Ihimaera is a novelist, short story writer, filmmaker, anthologist, playwright and one of New Zealand’s most prolific and accomplished writers. He is a three-time winner of the Wattie/Montana Book of the Year award beginning with Tangi, followed by The Matriarch and Bulibasha, King of the Gypsies in 1995. He was a Katherine Mansfield Fellow in France and is a Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters. Witi’s most popular novel is Whale Rider and he was associate producer for its film adaptation. His most recent play is All Our Sons, which won six Wellington Theatre Awards. His memoir Maori Boy won the non-fiction category of the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards 2016.

Anita Heiss (Australian)

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Anita Heiss is the author of non-fiction, historical fiction, commercial women's fiction, poetry, social commentary and travel articles. She is a Lifetime Ambassador of the Indigenous Literacy Foundation and a proud member of the Wiradjuri nation of central NSW. She currently divides her time between writing, public speaking, MCing, managing the Epic Good Foundation and being a 'creative disruptor'.

Anita's latest book is Our Race To Reconciliation. She currently lives in Brisbane and in 2017 will run her first full marathon.

Joy Lawn (Australian)

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Joy Lawn is a freelance writer and reviewer for The Weekend Australian and Magpies magazine. Her work has also appeared in Books+Publishing, The Sydney Morning Herald and Australian Review of Books. Joy judges several literary awards, including the NSW Premier's Awards. She blogs about literary fiction, young adult and children’s literature at Boomerang Books blog and teaches at University of Southern Queensland.