Published by SBS Voices and Sweatshop: Western Sydney Literacy Movement, ‘Straight-up Islander’ is Australia’s first online collection from writers with specific ancestral ties to the many islands and oceanways that make up the South Pacific Ocean. As Australia’s closest neighbours, we have a long and complicated history together: from the brunt of brownface humour to slavery and colonialism. Join the collection’s editor, Winnie Dunn, in this urgent and critical dialogue with Professor Jioji Ravulo, Anne-Marie Te Whiu, Kaiya Aboagye and Christine Afoa, all writers who represent Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Erub Island and Kuku Yalanji lands and oceanways.

Presented with SBS Voices and Sweatshop.

This is a free event. Bookings are not required, however we recommend that you arrive early to avoid disappointment.

Jioji Ravulo (Australian)

Jioji Ravulo

Jioji Ravulo is the Professor and Chair of Social Work and Policy Studies in the Sydney School of Education and Social Work at the University of Sydney. His research and areas of interest include mental health and well-being, alcohol and other drugs, youth development, marginality and decoloniality. Nuanced with a genuine commitment to the dynamic inclusion of cultural diversity and its differences, Jioji is keen to create collaborative spaces for students, community groups and industry partners.

Anne-Marie Te Whiu (Australian)

Anne-Marie Te Whiu

Anne-Marie Te Whiu (Te Rarawa) lives in Dharawal Country in Wollongong, NSW. She is a poet, editor, weaver, festival director and cultural producer. She co-edited Solid Air: Australia and New Zealand Spoken Word, as well as editing Tony Birch’s poetry collection Whisper Songs. Between 2015-2017 she was co-director of the Queensland Poetry Festival. Her poems and essays have appeared in multiple journals and platforms across Australia & Aotearoa. She is a 2022-Wheeler Centre Next Chapter recipient. She currently works at Red Room Poetry as a Senior Producer.

Kaiya Aboagye (Australian)

Kaiya Aboagye

Kaiya is Erub Islander of Zenadth Kes (colonially known Torres Strait Islands), ni-Vanuatu, Kuku Yalanji heritage and Akan descendant from Ghana. Kaiya writes about the intersectional experiences of Bla(c)k, Indigenous and Oceanic people. She lectures Indigenous Social Science at University Western Sydney and is a PhD candidate in the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Sydney. Kaiya's PhD explores Indigenous cosmologies, knowledge systems and Bla(c)k relations between First Nations and African Diasporic peoples in Australia and the Black Pacific.

Christine Afoa (Australian)

Christine Afoa

Christine Afoa is a Samoan-Australian writer born and raised in the Bankstown area. She is undertaking a creative writing degree at the University of Technology. Christine has performed poetry for Sofar Sounds Lounge and Bankstown Poetry Slam and her short stories have been published in SBS Voices, UTS Writers’ Anthology and Sweatshop Women. Christine is a member of Sweatshop Literacy Movement.

Winnie Dunn (Australian)

Winnie Dunn

Winnie Dunn is a writer of Tongan descent from Mount Druitt. She is the General Manager of Sweatshop Literacy Movement and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Western Sydney University. Winnie’s work has been published in Griffith Review, Meanjin, SBS Voices, The Guardian and more. She is the editor of several critically acclaimed anthologies, most notably Sweatshop Women, which is Australia’s first publication produced entirely by women of colour. Winnie is currently completing her debut novel as the recipient of a 2019 CAL Ignite Grant.