“If we can just hold the line, wrest back some control over the stories told about us, and replace them with our own, then we can exert power too,” Melissa Lucashenko writes. “We can reshape the ideas of what it is to be Aboriginal.” Melissa joins three outstanding writers from the Wheeler Centre’s The Next Chapter scheme – Evelyn Araluen, Adam Thompson and Adrian Stanley – to discuss the politics, pressures and prerogatives of Blak storytelling in Australia today.

Presented with the Wheeler Centre.

Evelyn Araluen (Australian)

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Evelyn Araluen is a poet, educator and researcher working with Indigenous literatures at the University of Sydney. Her work has won the Nakata Brophy Prize for Young Indigenous Writers, the Judith Wright Poetry Prize, and a Wheeler Centre Next Chapter Fellowship. Born, raised, and writing in Dharug country, she is a Bundjalung descendant.

Adam Thompson (Australian)

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Adam Thompson is an emerging Aboriginal (pakana) writer from Launceston, who writes contemporary, Aboriginal themed short-fiction. Adam has received writing awards through the Tamar Valley Writers Festival and the Tasmanian Writers and Readers Festival. In 2018, Adam was awarded a First Nations Fellowship at Varuna Writers House, and was one of ten recipients of The Next Chapter initiative through the Wheeler Centre. Adam has had fiction published by Kill Your Darlings. He works full-time at the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre.

Adrian Stanley (Australian)

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Adrian Stanley is the proud father to five girls and has six grandchildren. His language group is the Kallalli people from Queensland and the Boandik people from the South east of South Australia. He collects timber, carve, paint, an art form called pyrography, and is doing up two utes and two motorbikes. Adrian dabbles in medicinal herbs - both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal forms.

Melissa Lucashenko (Australian)

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Melissa Lucashenko is an acclaimed Aboriginal novelist from Queensland. She is a Walkley Award winner for her non-fiction, and has won numerous prizes for her novels about ordinary Australians and the extraordinary lives they lead. Melissa is a founding member of the prisoner rights group, Sisters Inside. Her latest book is Too Much Lip.