Our opening night extravaganza sets the tone for the week to follow, with three extraordinary writers reflecting on the changed, changing and changeable nature of their minds over their careers. Award-winning Yankunytjatjara poet, author and memoirist Ali Cobby Eckermann (Inside My Mother), Bidjara and Birri Gubba Juru and author, academic and advocate Jackie Huggins (Sister Girl and Jack of Hearts: QX11594), and Yuwaalaraay musician and author Nardi Simpson (Song of the Crocodile) are complex and compassionate artists of rare strength and power. Kick off a week of storytelling, argument, knowledge and sharing that promises transformation, inspiration and persuasion.

Supported by the City of Sydney.

This event is Auslan interpreted. Contact our ticketing team either by phone on (02) 9256 4200 or via email at ticketing@swf.org.au to book the best sight line. Visit our Accessibility page for more information. 

Ali Cobby Eckermann (Australian)

Ali Cobby Eckermann

Ali Cobby Eckermann is a Yankunytjatjara poet whose first collection little bit long time was written in the desert and published in New Poets Series in 2009. Ali has been blessed by her writings receiving much recognition around the world. Ali is the first Aboriginal Australian writer to attend the International Writing Program in Iowa in 2014 and in 2017 Ali received a Windham Campbell Award for Poetry from Yale University USA.

Jackie Huggins (Australian)

Jackie Huggins

Jackie Huggins is Bidjara and Birri Gubba Juru from Queensland. Her involvement in Aboriginal affairs spans four decades in community, non-government and government spheres, namely reconciliation, women's issues, social justice and education. Currently she is working on Treaty for Queensland. She is also a trained historian. Her new edition of Sister Girl: Reflections on Tiddaism, Identity and Reconciliation, first published in 1998, was released in January and her biography of her father Jack of Hearts QX11594 is released in April.

Nardi Simpson (Australian)

Nardi Simpson

Nardi Simpson is a Yuwaalaraay storyteller from the NSW north west freshwater plains. A musician, composer and playwright, Nardi is the author of Song of the Crocodile published by Hachette Australia in October 2020. Song of the Crocodile was the 2018 winner of the black&write Fellowship shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards Indigenous Writing category. Nardi is currently undertaking a PhD in composition at ANU researching the traditions of song and story in her beloved Yuwaalaraay homelands.