Blak & Bright: Programme Now Live and Open for Bookings


Welcome to the first ever Victorian Indigenous Literary Festival. Our exciting programme features over 60 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander novelists, oral storytellers, poets, songwriters, playwrights and comedians, from across the nation.

Aboriginal people have always been storytellers. As Festival director Jane Harrison notes:

We have many stories to be shared: funny, poignant, uplifting and fierce stories that enrich all of our lives. For four days, let’s read Blak, hear Blak, enjoy Blak and celebrate Blak stories.


In our Opening Address 20 Reasons Why You Should Read Blak, bestselling author Anita Heiss will ‘unpack the Blak’ – presenting 20 reasons why and how you should read Indigenous literature. She’ll be joined by two of our finest Indigneous actors, Pauline Whyman and Greg Fryer, who’ll be reading excerpts from 20 Blak books.

Later, in our inspiring Keynote Big Stories, Big Genres, award-winning writers Tony Briggs and Bruce Pascoe will share the big urgent stories of our time, consider the tales not being told, and explore how we can pen new narratives.

For a more one-on-one experience, the event Borrow a Rare (Living) Book will allow you to (gently) grab an Elder and settle down with a cupper and some damper for a yarn. Featuring living treasures Aunty Di Kerr, Aunty Jacko, Uncle Larry Walsh and Aunty Kerry Reed-Gilbert.

Feeling creative? Our special Workshop series brings together three of the best writers in Australia today – Anita Heiss (Am I Black Enough For You), Kate Howarth (Settling Day) and Ellen van Neerven (Heat and Light) – for writing workshops on fiction, memoir and voice. These workshops are excellent value, so make sure you book a spot before they sell out.

One of many ground-breaking performances to run over the four days is 6 Plays in 60 Minutes, in which ILBIJERRI, the longest running Indigenous theatre company in Australia, will present short readings from six of their current and upcoming plays in just one hour. Featuring talented young actors Isaac Drandic, Sermsah Bin Saad, Carly Sheppard and Kamarra Bell-Wykes.

Lastly, come feast on stories at our closing event, The Bogong, and hear crafted spoken word pieces from master storytellers Bruce PascoeAli Cobby EckermannNatalie HarkinSam Wagon WatsonKat Clarke and Jane Harrison.

To read the full list of participating artists and find out information about all our events, workshops, performances and readings, see

Most events are FREE but bookings are essential, and can be made through the Events page of our website.

Get involved socially: Tweet @blakandbright and follow the Festival through the hashtag #blakbright16

We hope to see you there!

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