While Indigenous Australians have been passing down histories and knowledge for millennia, what does it mean for First Nations creatives to be read or heard today? Join some of the country’s most accomplished Indigenous writers as they deliver a series of bite-size performances and yarns directly to the audience. Don’t miss Gomeroi writer and guest curator Alison Whittaker with Wirlomin Noongar author Claire G. Coleman, Wiradjuri/Gamilaroi poet Lorna Munro, Larrakia Tiwi writer and actress Miranda Tapsell, Wiradjuri writer Tara June Winch, and Gomeroi Professor and historian Heidi Norman in what is bound to be a Festival highlight.
Miranda Tapsell (Australian)
Miranda Tapsell is a proud Larrakia Tiwi woman from Darwin who grew up in Kakadu National Park. Recently, Miranda co-wrote, co-produced and starred in the film Top End Wedding that premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and was released theatrically in 2019 to stellar reviews and box office success. She will next be seen in the feature film, The Dry. Miranda is renowned for her stellar performance in the film The Sapphires as well as the television series Love Child for which she won two Logie Awards. Other television series include Doctor Doctor, Secret City, Get Krack!n, Mabo, Play School and the animation Little J & Big Cuz. Top End Girl is Miranda's entertaining and thought-provoking memoir.
Lorna Munro (Australian)
Lorna Munro, or ‘Yilinhi’, is a Wiradjuri and Gamilaroi woman, multidisciplinary artist and regular radio and podcast host at Sydney’s Radio Skid Row. A long time active member of her Redfern/Waterloo community, her work is informed by her passion and well-studied insight in areas such as culture, history, politics and popular culture. Lorna has travelled the world showcasing her skills and distinctive style of poetry and political commentary. She was also the sole designer and creator of Sydney’s, and possibly “Australia's” first initiative to teach Aboriginal language through poetry in partnership with Red Room Poetry in 2015. Throughout her career she has been on stage, in films and on paper, namely compiling and editing Paper Dreaming: Our Stories Our Way. Lorna continues to work tirelessly mastering many art forms, raising funds, supporting and advocating for her community and her people on the local, national and international stage.
Claire G. Coleman (Australian)
Claire G. Coleman is a Wirlomin Noongar woman whose ancestral country is on the south coast of Western Australia. Her novel Terra Nullius won a black&write! Fellowship and a Norma K. Hemming Award and was shortlisted for the Stella Prize and the Aurealis Science Fiction Award. She writes poetry, short-fiction and essay and has been published widely. The Old Lie is her second novel.
Tara June Winch (Australian)
Tara June Winch is an Wiradjuri writer, born in Australia and based in France. She is the author of the story collection After the Carnage and the novels Swallow the Air, and most recently, The Yield. She was the literature recipient of the international Rolex Mentor and Protégé initiative, which saw her mentored by Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka.
Heidi Norman (Australian)
Professor Heidi Norman is a leading researcher in the field of Australian Aboriginal political history. Her research has included: a history of the NSW Annual Aboriginal Rugby League Knockout; the social and economic impact of mining in relation to Gomeroi lands and people; study of economic change over time and relationship to Aboriginal lives in cities. In 2015 she published a political history of Aboriginal land rights in NSW titled What Do We Want? A Political History of Aboriginal Land Rights in NSW. From 2018 she has commenced a large ARC funded study of the social, economic and cultural benefits of Aboriginal land repossession in NSW. In 2019, she worked with a team on a study of 45 years of news media coverage of Aboriginal political aspirations. She is an award winning researcher and teacher. She was awarded the UTS research excellence medal for collaboration, National Teaching Excellence Award for her work in Indigenous studies, awarded the inaugural Gough Whitlam Research Fellowship and in was announced as a 'Top 5' ABC humanities researcher. She is a member of the NSW Aboriginal Affairs Research Advisory Board, AIATSIS and convener of the 'Indigenous Land and Justice Research hub'. She is of settler and Aboriginal descent. Her matrilineal Ruttley family have lived for thousands of generations on Gomeroi country in north western NSW.
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.