Four of Western Sydney’s most exciting female writers of colour – Shirley Le, Maryam Azam, Evelyn Araluen and Winnie Dunn – discuss a new wave of Australian literature in which race, class, culture, faith and gender intersect. The four are among writers from Bankstown, Blacktown and Mount Druitt who are members of Sweatshop: Western Sydney Literacy Movement.

Evelyn Araluen (Australian)

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Evelyn Araluen is a poet, teacher and researcher working with Indigenous literatures at the University of Sydney. She has written poetry and criticism for a range of publications, including Overland and Southerly She was the 2017 winner of the Nakata Brophy Award for Young Indigenous Writers and is the coordinator of Black Rhymes Aboriginal Poetry Night. Born and raised on the Dharug lands of Western Sydney, she is a descendant of the Bundjalung nation.

Shirley Le (Australian)

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Shirley Le is a Vietnamese-Australian writer with a media degree from Macquarie University. Shirley is a member of the Sweatshop Writers Collective and has produced youth shows for SBS Vietnamese Radio and has curated events for TEDxYouth. She won first prize in the ZineWest 2014 Writing Competition and her work has been published by SBS Online and The Big Black Thing. She has also performed her writing at Studio Stories, the Wollongong Writers’ Festival and the Campbelltown Arts Centre for the 2017 Sydney Festival exhibition of Another Day in Paradise.

Maryam Azam (Australian)

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Maryam Azam completed a Bachelor of Arts (Deans Scholars) from Western Sydney University and graduated with Honours in Creative Writing. She also holds a diploma in the Islamic Sciences. Maryam is a teacher in Kellyville and writes across the genres with a current focus on poetry. She is the recipient of a WestWords Emerging Writers’ Fellowship and is working on a collection of poems exploring the intersection between spirituality and the everyday, and the experience of being a Muslim woman in Western Sydney.

Winnie Dunn (Australian)

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Winnie Dunn is a Tongan-Australian from Mount Druitt. She is a Manager and Editor at Sweatshop: Western Sydney Literacy Movement and a Bachelor of Arts graduate from Western Sydney University. Winnie's work has been published in The Lifted Brow, Cordite Poetry Review, Sydney Review of Books, The Griffith Review and The Big Black Thing. She has presented at Sydney Festival, Sydney Writers' Festival, Wollongong Writers' Festival and Stella Girls Write Up.