While apocalypses are usually consigned to science fiction, for First Nations peoples whose cultures have survived genocide and colonisation, they are more than the stuff of fiction. Hear from a panel of leading blak speakers as they discuss what it means to be truly post-apocalyptic after the Doomsday Clock strikes midnight. Gomeroi poet and essayist Alison Whittaker is joined by novelist Tony Birch (The White Girl), Ambēyaŋ linguist and historian Callum Clayton-Dixon (Surviving New England), and Jacinta Koolmatrie, an Adnyamathanha and Ngarrindjeri woman working in Indigenous heritage.
Tony Birch (Australian)
Tony Birch is the author of three novels, four short story collections and a book of poetry. He is also a regular essayist. His most recent novel is The White Girl. In 2017, he was awarded the Patrick White Literary Award for his contribution to Australian literature and culture.
Jacinta Koolmatrie (Australian)
Jacinta Koolmatrie is an Adnyamathanha and Ngarrindjeri person. She grew up in Port Augusta, moving to Adelaide to attend university where she obtained both Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Archaeology. Her research has looked at how society has prioritised Western knowledges over Indigenous knowledges and how this has influenced people’s perceptions of Indigenous cultures. Jacinta currently resides on Kaurna Country where she works at the Migration Museum as a Curator of First Nations History and at the South Australian Museum as a collections assistant. Independently she consults on heritage matters including those related to archaeology and museums.
Callum Clayton-Dixon (Australian)
Callum Clayton-Dixon is an Aboriginal linguist and historian whose people come from the southern end of the New England Tableland, New South Wales, around Walcha, Woolbrook, and the Ingleba Aboriginal Reserve—Ambēyang country. He lived in Armidale, on Anēwan country, and is spearheading efforts to revive the long-dormant local language. Callum is currently undertaking a PhD project to develop a dictionary and grammar for his ancestral tongue, and began teaching language classes in 2018. He is also the author of a book titled Surviving New England: a history of Aboriginal resistance and resilience through the first forty years of the colonial apocalypse.
Alison Whittaker (Australian)
Alison Whittaker is a Gomeroi poet, essayist and legal scholar. She is a Research Fellow at the Jumbunna Institute. In 2017–18, Alison was a Fulbright scholar at Harvard Law School where she was named Dean’s Scholar in Race, Gender and Criminal Law. Her second book Blakwork was shortlisted for the 2019 Prime Minister's Literary Award. Her most recent book, Fire Front, is an anthology of, and about, First Nations published poetry.