Read, Discovered, Laughed with, Been challenged by, Been inspired by, Been moved by, Been surprised by
a Blak book
Blak literature covers all genres, from songs to essays, from oral stories to epic novels, from plays to poetry. Blak stories are for everyone. So if you want to be informed, inspired and entertained...
This is your festival.
5—8 September 2019.
Most sessions FREE!


Change the date? A Hypothetical **BOOKED OUT**

Blaktivists vs Blakademics argue the toss. Should Australia Day happen on 26 January – or not – and why? It’s a serious topic but we’ve thrown in a dollop of Blak humour. With Nayuka Gorrie, Yvette Holt, Liza-Mare Syron and Jason Tamiru. Moderator Gregory Phillips. Presented in partnership with Melbourne Writers Festival and the Wheeler…

September 5, 2019

Keynote: Smoke Whispers Sorrow

The master of precise and poetic storytelling shares a recent and very personal story: ‘As a means of connecting to Country while dealing with personal grief, I decided that the only way to engage with both was first to walk, second to think, and third to write about the experience before losing sense of what…

September 5, 2019

Walkin’ Country, Walkin’ Birrarung **BOOKED OUT**

Walk the footsteps of culture, Country and connection. Find the hidden histories of space and place along the banks of the river now called the Yarra. Immerse yourself in past and present, black and white, colonial and traditional stories. Oral historian, educator and conservationist Dean Stewart will challenge and surprise you with knowledge of our…

September 6, 2019

Official Opening: Read a Blak Book lately?

We welcome you to the Blak & Bright 2019 Official Opening, including a Welcome to Country, ceremonial song with James Henry, and speeches. This will be followed by our opening event, in which hosts Daniel Browning and Evelyn Araluen discuss and review some of the latest, and some of the greatest, Blak books. Hear excerpts…

September 6, 2019

Nocturnal with Birdz, DRMNGNOW, The Merindas, Soju Gang, DJ KYAANZ

Blak & Bright and Melbourne Writers Festival team up together with Melbourne Museum to present an extra special Nocturnal.  As sacred museum spaces come to life, you’re invited to get loose and celebrate music, language and dancing your face off. Featuring Birdz, DRMNGNOW, The Merindas, Soju Gang, DJ KYAANZ. Presented in partnership with Melbourne Writers…

September 6, 2019

Yarn Bombing

Three-minute ‘bonus’ yarns from community storytellers will pop up at the start of many sessions. Happening throughout Saturday. Writers include Bridget Caldwell, Monique Grbec, Maurial Spearim, Den the Fish, Mark Nannup, Ryan Prehn, Bryan Andy.  

September 7, 2019

Walkin’ Country, Walkin’ Birrarung **BOOKED OUT**

Walk the footsteps of culture, Country and connection. Find the hidden histories of space and place along the banks of the river now called the Yarra. Immerse yourself in past and present, black and white, colonial and traditional stories. Oral historian, educator and conservationist Dean Stewart will challenge and surprise you with knowledge of our…

September 7, 2019

Aboriginal Philosophies and Healing

In a world dominated by Western philosophies hear three extraordinary Blak thinkers in conversation. Victoria Grieve-Williams will speak to the concept of Makarrata, a peacemaking process after a conflict, which begins with truth-telling. Dr Gregory Phillips established the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation and has a PhD in Psychology. Uncle Jim Everett, puralia…

September 7, 2019

Picture tells a thousand words

Gregg has authored and illustrated many delightful and fun children’s books, including Silly Birds and Mad Magpies, and Dub has illustrated the whimsical Once There was a Boy, among a heap of books, and has even collaborated with Banksy. Together they will provide a real insight into the craft of visual storytelling. With Gregg Driese,…

September 7, 2019

Sistas are doing it

These amazing Blak women are blazing a path in their creative practices, with hard work, new approaches and grit. Let them tell it how it is.  With Liza-Mare Syron, Melanie Mununggurr-Williams, Marie Munkara. Moderated by Julia Hurst.   Presented in partnership with The Stella Prize. Supported by RMIT Indigenous Education and Engagement.

September 7, 2019

The craft of writing

Our panellists work in a variety of genres and have vastly different styles. So how do they create? This session will delve into the how, when, where and most importantly why writers write. With Drew Hayden Taylor (NZ), Raelee Lancaster, Laniyuk. Moderator: Bridget Caldwell. Presented in partnership with Writers Victoria. Supported by RMIT Indigenous Education…

September 7, 2019

Heard a Blak Book read to children?

The divine Maurial Spearim, actor and playwright, will read a selection of adorable, funny, poignant and thoughtful Blak children’s books at Ngarara Willim. Two sessions suitable for different ages. From 12.15 to 1pm, stories for children aged 3 to 5. From 1.15 to 2pm, stories for children aged 6 to 8. Presented in partnership with…

September 7, 2019

Language Returned

Of the approximate 250 traditional languages spoken in 1788 only 13 are still actively being acquired by children. Hear from a local cultural warrior who is relearning, reclaiming and re-educating in her own language. With Vicki Couzens. Supported by RMIT Indigenous Education and Engagement.

September 7, 2019

Yung, Blak & Bold

The meek might inherit the world, but the bold are going to ensure there is an equitable world to inherit. Hear them talk about the things that matter now. With Tarneen Onus, Georgia Mae and Carissa Lee. Moderator Nayuka Gorrie.   Presented in partnership with the Emerging Writers’ Festival. Supported by RMIT Indigenous Education and…

September 7, 2019

Picture Tells A Thousand Words kids workshop

We’ve sharpened a set of Sharpie pens for this fabulous workshop with 2019 Children’s Book Award winning illustrator Dub Leffler and the irrepressible Gregg Driese. This one’s for the youngins –  Dub and Greff are heading to Kathleen Syme to share their skills with your little ones! All materials are provided. Suitable for ages 7…

September 7, 2019

Big Blak Poetry Read

Seven of the best poets read three of their best poems in a mellifluous hour of power. With Ali Cobby Eckermann, Uncle Jim Everett, Raelee Lancaster, Yvette Holt, Selina Tusitala Marsh (NZ), Melanie Mununggurr-Williams and Ellen van Neerven.   Presented in partnership with Australian Poetry. Supported by RMIT Indigenous Education and Engagement.

September 7, 2019

Yung Tent Embassy

Give the yung a platform — literally — to speak their Blaktivism. Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance will present their curated, passionate ten-minute talks with time for respective audience responses. With activist Dr. Gary Foley as the wise guide, and WAR members including Sissy Austin, Arika Waulu, Neil Morris, Nayuka Gorrie, Brent Watkins, and Tarneen…

September 7, 2019

Larger Than Life

What is it like to have your life captured within the covers of a book? Or on stage, for all to see? These two autobiographical storytellers share some of the experiences of their (extraordinary) lives. With Richard Frankland, Stan Yarramunua. Moderator: Lenka Vanderboom. Supported by RMIT Indigenous Education and Engagement.

September 7, 2019

Ya Blak

Festival Director Jane Harrison in conversation with Jannali Jones, winner of the Black & Write! Fellowship. With her debut novel My Father’s Shadow, Jones has crafted a thrilling story which keeps you on the edge right to the end. This session will officially launch the novel. With Jannali Jones, Jane Harrison. Presented in partnership with…

September 7, 2019

Elders Storytelling around the campfire **BOOKED OUT**

Tall tales and true from the wisest storytellers in the country. Perhaps they’ll even scare you out of your skin with a ghost story or two. This is an intimate and special session and places are limited. With Uncle Talgium (Chocka) Edwards, Uncle Herb Patten, Uncle Larry Walsh and Aunty Barb Nicholson.

September 7, 2019

Treaty, Yeah **BOOKED OUT**

Victoria is embarking on a Treaty process – the first State to do so. How do writers from other states respond – in a creative way – to the idea of a Treaty? We’ve asked some of our most lyrical and expressive poets and writers to pen their responses. With Ali Cobby Eckermann, Uncle Jim…

September 7, 2019

Charcoal Lane: Quandong and Magpie

Enjoy a Rosella flower cocktail on arrival while schmoozing with the Blak & Bright literati (plainly speaking, a big mob) at acclaimed restaurant Charcoal Lane. You’ll enjoy gourmet Indigenous canapés, music and drinks while the guest speaker, Stan Yarramunua (biography A Man Called Yarra), shares the story of his extraordinary life. We’ve named the event…

September 7, 2019

Pitch Blak Breakfast

The First Nations Australia Writers Network hosts our industry event where Blak writers have the opportunity to pitch works-in-progress to publishing industry experts. Coffee and breakfast is supplied – BYO ideas.  Representatives from Hachette, Text (Jane Pearson), Penguin Random House (Lou Ryan), University of Queensland Press (Aviva Tuffield) and Magabala (Rachel bin Salleh) publishers plus…

September 8, 2019

Blak Mama: Five plays in a day

Five First Nations playwrights. Five full-length play readings. All in one day. Plays include Coconut Woman by Maryanne Sam, Flashblaks by Jacob Boehme, Cottagers and Indians by Drew Hayden Taylor,  MiWi 3027 by Glenn Shea, and Swim by Ellen van Neerven.    Presented in partnership with La Mama and the University of Melbourne (VCA). SCHEDULE…

September 8, 2019

Masterclass: Writing Memoir

For aspiring and aspired Indigenous writers, this workshop will explore the different elements and forms of writing memoir and why we are driven by this urge to express ourselves in this way. Participants are urged to bring along a short piece of their work for discussion. With Marie Munkara. Presented in partnership with Koorie Heritage…

September 8, 2019

Masterclass: Speculative Fiction Checklist

Hot property Claire G Coleman has emerged from the garret after penning her second novel, The Old Lie, and will share all the secrets of her success. Claire says, “Speculative fiction has always been used for to make political points, from War of the Worlds onwards.  It might be the strongest tool we have to…

September 8, 2019

The Bogong

Come feast on stories at our final event. Traditionally, when the Bogong moth swarmed in the cool regions of Mount Bogong during summer, local tribes would gather to conduct ceremonies and feast on this protein-rich food source. Our Bogong is a celebration and sharing of crafted spoken word pieces from master storytellers. With Claire G…

September 8, 2019

Nayuka Gorrie

Nayuka is a Gunai, Gunditmara, Wiradjuri and Yorta Yorta writer. Nayuka’s writing spans social commentary on black, queer and feminist politics to television writing. They are a 2018 Next Chapter recipient and they are finishing their book of essays as part of this. They’re writing appears in Queerstories, Going Postal and the forthcoming Growing Up…

Yvette Holt

Brisbane-born poet, academic, stand-up comedienne and photographer of femin_artistry desert landscapes – Yvette Holt heralds from the Yiman, Bidjara and Wakaman Nations of Queensland. A multi-award winning poet, Chairperson of the First Nations Australia Writers Network FNAWN. Yvette’s poetry has been widely anthologised and translated online and in print.

Liza-Mare Syron

Dr Liza-Mare Syron (Biripai) is an actor, director, producer, teacher and academic. She is a founding member and Co-Artistic Director of Moogahlin Performing Arts. Previous positions include, Head of Theatre (Eora College), Senior Cultural Arts Officer (Arts NSW), and Research Fellow (Macquarie University).

Jason Tamaru

Jason Tamiru is a proud Yorta Yorta man passionate about his people and culture. He has worked with many of Melbourne’s most iconic performing arts companies, museums and festivals. As a producer he supports his people’s creativity by building frameworks that complement cultural expressions. Jason is influenced by anything and everything that stimulates his spirit…

Gregory Phillips

Professor Gregory Phillips is from the Waanyi and Jaru peoples, is a medical anthropologist, and leads change in cultural safety and self-determination. He is CEO of ABSTARR Consulting.

Evelyn Araluen

Evelyn Araluen is a poet, educator and researcher working with Indigenous literatures at the University of Sydney. Her work has won the Nakata Brophy Prize for Young Indigenous Writers, the Judith Wright Poetry Prize, and a Wheeler Centre Next Chapter Fellowship. Born, raised, and writing in Dharug country, she is a Bundjalung descendant.

Ali Cobby Eckermann

A Yanjunytjatjara poet, in 2013 Ali Cobby Eckermann won the Kenneth Slessor Prize and Book Of The Year (NSW) for Ruby Moonlight. In 2014 Ali attended the International Writing Program in Iowa City. In 2017 Ali received a Windham Campbell Award for Poetry from Yale University and was awarded a Literature Fellowship by the Australian…

Jim Everett

Jim Everett – puralia meenamatta. A plangermairreenner man, Turbuna-Meenamatta, Tasmania. Jim worked for 15 years as a fisherman, merchant seaman, at the Australian Regular Army, in Aboriginal organisations and the public service. Wrote We Are Survivors (1984) and produced, directed, and acted in it. Written works include plays, papers and short stories. Produced One People…

Lidia Thorpe

Lidia is a proud Gunnai-Gunditjmara woman, mother of 3 and grandmother of 2. Some of her roles include: Managing director of Clan Corporation, a sustainable housing and renewable energy business catering to remote Aboriginal communities. Former chair of the Victorian NAIDOC Committee. Former Aboriginal employment adviser for the Municipal Association of Victoria, former President of…


Northern Territory-raised rapper BIRDZ continues to solidify his spot as one of the most exciting acts in the Australian music scene. In 2017, following an emotive Triple J Like A Version performance, the rapper released his debut album Train Of Thought to critical acclaim taking out the Best Independent Hip Hop album at the 2018 AIR…


DRMNGNOW is an independent artist based in Naarm/Birraranga (Melbourne), who is also known as Neil Morris. His sound and approach, grounded in strong culture and values, fuses a striking interdisciplinary approach to his art as an MC, instrumentalist and poet with a searing decolonial and culturally engrossing message.

The Merindas

Melbourne based duo The Merindas are a synthesis of warrior queen, on-trend style of rhythmic, expressive music dedicated to their cultural heritage and unprecedented on the Australian music scene. Accompanied on stage by the mastery of Jake Steele’s mixing skills, together they create an atmospheric fusion of Indigenous, electro-tribal pop.

Soju Gang

No stranger to the Melbourne party scene, Soju Gang is hard to miss, and her DJ flavour hard to resist. She spins a set as powerful and eclectic as her personal style. With deep roots in ’80s and ’90s hip-hop, R&B and everything party, Soju Gang has a hard-hitting presence in the local scene, and…


DJ KYAANZ is Kalyani Mumtaz. Ending her stint as the front person of Willow Beats, the electronic pop duo that sold out shows across the country, Mumtaz brings her love of dancing to the decks. DJ KYAANZ seeks to create a fun and inclusive dance floor through a selection of pop, R&B, and First Nations…

Daniel Browning

Daniel Browning is a journalist, radio broadcaster, documentary maker, sound artist and writer. Currently, he produces and presents Awaye!, the Indigenous art and culture program on ABC Radio National. Daniel is a descendant of the Bundjalung and Kullilli peoples of far northern New South Wales and south-western Queensland.

Marie Munkara

Born on the banks of the Mainoru River in Arnhemland Marie has written two novels, two children’s books and a memoir which is currently being made into a film. Marie is currently working on two TV mini-series and is doing a PhD.

Stan Yarramunua

Stan Yarramunua started painting over 20 years ago. He began by selling paintings, didgeridoos and clap sticks at markets and galleries. This led him to building relationships and representing Victorian Aboriginal Artists. Over many years, Yarramunua worked in the desert and had the opportunity to build stronger relationships with Aboriginal Desert Artists, so he began…

James Henry

The multi-talented James Henry can be found involved in many fields of the music industry from singer/songwriter to engineer to musical director. His diverse skill set has seen him perform as a guitarist with the Black Arm Band tour of the UK, choir member and guitarist as part of the Archie Roach Into the Bloodstream…

Shauntai Batzke

Wiradjuri Soprano, Shauntai Batzke is touching the hearts of Australia and overseas with her luscious Soprano and strong stage presence. A principal artist with Short Black Opera, an alumna of the Melba Opera Trust and daughter of late Australian Boxing Champion Wally Carr. Nominated for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress in an Opera at…

Jane Harrison

Jane Harrison is descended from the Muruwari people and is an award-winning playwright and author. Her first play Stolen has played across Australia and internationally, touring again in 2018. Rainbow’s End had a new production at the Darlinghurst Theatre in 2019. It is currently on the NSW English curriculum and won the 2012 Drover Award….

Claire G. Coleman

Claire G. Coleman is a Wirlomin Noongar woman whose Country is in South Coast Western Australia. Her novel Terra Nullius, won a Black&Write! Fellowship and a Norma K Hemming Award and has been shortlisted for the Stella Prize and an Aurealis Award. The Old Lie is her second novel.

Drew Hayden Taylor

Drew Hayden Taylor is an award-winning playwright, author, filmmaker and journalist. Born and living on Curve Lake First Nations (Anishnawbe), he considers himself a contemporary storyteller exploring the boundaries of Indigenous literature.

Jacob Boehme

Jacob Boehme is a Melbourne born and based artist of Aboriginal heritage, from the Narangga (Yorke Peninsula) and Kaurna (Adelaide Plains) nations of South Australia. Jacob was the founding Creative Director of YIRRAMBOI First Nations Arts Festival 2017. With a 20 year history working in Cultural Maintenace, Research & Revival of traditional dance with Elders…

Ellen van Neerven

Ellen van Neerven is a Mununjali Yugambeh writer of fiction, poetry, plays and non-fiction. Ellen’s books include Heat and Light (UQP, 2014) and Comfort Food (UQP, 2016).

Glenn Shea

Glenn Shea is an award-winning writer and the first Aboriginal person to graduate NIDA with a degree in Dramatic Art. Researcher/curator the History of Blak Theatre 1967 – 2000 with a one-year exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum (Sydney). Inventor/facilitator the Indigenous cultural education resource “THE STORYTELLER” board game, which provides knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal people,…

Maryanne Sam

Maryanne is a creative and as such has tried and continues to try her hand at a variety of arts disciplines; writer, playwright, actor, artist, production manager, arts administrator, project coordinator and dreamer. A founding member of ILBIJERRI Theatre, Maryanne is currently studying her Master of Writing for Performance at VCA.

Tony Birch

Tony Birch has published four short story collections, three novels and a volume of poetry. His most recent book is The White Girl (2019). Birch grew up in inner Melbourne in a strong Aboriginal and Irish family. He also has connections to Barbados though his great-great-grandfather, James ‘Prince’ Moodie. Currently, Tony Birch is the Doctor Bruce McGuinness…

Shelley Ware

Shelley Ware is a proud Yankunytjatjara and Wirangu woman from Adelaide, South Australia, who currently lives in Melbourne. For the past decade or so, Shelley has worked in the media as a radio and television presenter on both local and national AFL and AFLW football news shows. During that time, particularly as a panel member of NITV’s…

Monica Jasmine Karo

Monica Jasmine Karo, a proud Gunai and Gunditjmara woman, is a Melbourne based poet, actor, singer-songwriter and emerging playwright. Having studied a Bachelor of Fine Arts Theatre at the Victorian College of the Arts she is continuously expanding on her artistry. Monica is a passionate young artist, currently working on her original play Mothers Country…

Gregg Dreise

Gregg Dreise is a gifted author, illustrator, artist, storyteller and musician from the Kamilaroi and Euahlayi countries of south-west Queensland and north-west New South Wales. He has worked on books including My Culture and Me, Cunning Crow, Silly Birds, Kookoo Kookaburra, Mad Magpie, Tiddalik the Frog and more.

Uncle Larry Walsh

Uncle Larry Walsh is a local Aboriginal cultural leader and storyteller. He particularly loves working with the younger generation as he sees them as the torch-bearers of the future. Inspired by his local Aboriginal community, plus his own Kulin ancestral blood connections to his country, Uncle is one of the only senior Elders in Melbourne…

Richard J. Frankland

Richard J. Frankland MA is one of Australia’s most experienced Aboriginal singer/songwriters, authors and filmmakers. Richard is a proud Gunditjmara man who has worked as a Soldier, Fisherman, and Field Officer during the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. His work with the Royal Commission led to his appearance as a presenter in the…

Uncle Herb Patten

Herb Patten (Ganai-Kurnai, Yorta Yorta and Wiradjuri) is a painter and gum leaf player. He is widely known throughout Australia as a professional gum leaf player and has released two CDs – How to Play the Gumleaf and Born an Aussie Son. Patten has a Diploma in Visual Art and his painting, Five Shields, which consists of five separate objects,…

Lenka Vanderboom

Lenka Vanderboom grew up in the Kimberley on her Yawuru  homelands. She is engaged as a Teaching Artist and Coordinator of Melbourne Theatre Company’s First Peoples Young Artist’s Program and is an ensemble member of Melbourne Playback Theatre Company. Lenka is a Director of Magabala Books Indigenous publishing house. Based in Melbourne, Lenka has worked at the Royal Botanic…

Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance

Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance (W.A.R.) was established in 2014 as a collective of young Aboriginal people committed to the cause of decolonization and the philosophy of Aboriginal nationalism – resistance and revival.

Gary Foley

Gary Foley was born in Grafton (1950), northern NSW of Gumbainggir descent. Expelled from school aged 15, Foley came to Sydney as an apprentice draughtsperson. Since then he has been at the centre of major political activities including the Springbok tour demonstrations (1971), Tent Embassy in Canberra (1972), Commonwealth Games protest (1982), protests during the…

Selina Tusitali Marsh

From Samoa to South Africa, vandals to Vogue, quiz masters to Queens, grassroots to Gucci, primary schoolers, Pasifika leaders, to First U.S Black Presidents, New Zealand Poet Laureate Selina Tusitala Marsh takes poetry into un-poeted spaces to enrich people and their places. The impact of her work was recognised in the 2019 New Years Honours…

Tarneen Onus Williams

Tarneen Onus Williams is a Yigar Gunditjmara, Bindal, Yorta Yorta person. Tarneen is a community organiser for Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance working on Invasion Day, Black Deaths in Custody Justice for Elijah and Stop the forced closures of Aboriginal Communities in WA. Tarneen works and is passionate about prison abolition and the power of…

Carissa Lee

Carissa Lee is a Wemba-Wemba and Noongar actor and writer based in Melbourne. She’s completing her PhD in Indigenous theatre through the University of Melbourne, while writing for Witness Performance and working as specialist editor for APO. Carissa has performed with MTC, Malthouse Theatre, and State Theatre Company of SA.

Vicki Couzens

Vicki Couzens is Keerray Woorroong Gunditjmara; Senior Knowledge Holder for Possum Skin Cloak Story and Gunditjmara Mother Tongue. Vicki’s contributions in the reclamation, regeneration and revitalisation of cultural knowledge and practices extend across the ‘arts and creative cultural expression’. Vicki acknowledges her Ancestors and Elders who guide her in her work.

Maurial Spearim

Gamilaraay, Kooma, Muruwari woman Maurial Spearim is a VCA Graduate (BA Dramatic Arts), a writer, actor, soprano vocalist and multi-disciplinary artist, who draws strength from her connection to Country and People. Her powerful performance style is thought-provoking and captivating and through her artforms she inspires audiences to connect, engage and create change.

Bridget Caldwell

Bridget Caldwell is a Jingili Mudburra writer and editor currently based in Narrm/Birraranga. She works as co-editor for Archer Magazine as well as literary journal The Lifted Brow. She was previously managing editor for Blak Brow, a Black Women’s Collective edition of The Lifted Brow.


Laniyuk was born of a French mother and a Larrakia, Kungarrakan and Gurindji father. Her poetry and short memoir often reflects the intersectionality of her cross-cultural and queer identity. She was fortunate enough to contribute to the book Colouring the Rainbow: Blak Queer and Trans Perspective and won the Indigenous residency for Canberra’s Noted Writers…

Raelee Lancaster

Raelee Lancaster is a Brisbane-based writer and a descendant of the Wiradjuri and Biripi peoples. She is Co-Director of National Young Writers Festival and the 2018 recipient of the Nakata Brophy Prize for Young Indigenous Writers. 

Dub Leffler

Descended from the Bigambul people of South-West QLD, Dub Leffler is one of Australia’s most sought after illustrators of children’s literature. He has written two books for children and is currently illustrating his 25th title. Dub’s work has afforded him travel to places as diverse as remote Australia, Europe, Indonesia and America and his illustrations…

Victoria Grieve-Williams

Victoria Grieve-Williams is Warraimay from the mid-north coast of NSW and is an historian with a particular interest in making history functional to the aspirations of Aboriginal people. To this end, she has major ARC-funded projects on the history of the Aboriginal family and phenomenon of the children born of war in Australia during the…

Jannali Jones

Jannali Jones is an Aboriginal Australian author of the Gunai nation. She completed a Master of Arts in Creative Writing at UTS. She was recently shortlisted for the Text Prize for YA and her debut novel My Father’s Shadow won the Black&Writing! Indigenous writing fellowship.

Melanie Mununggurr-Williams

Melanie Mununggurr-Williams is the 2018 Australian Poetry Slam Champion. Melanie is a Djapu writer from Yirrkala, in East Arnhem Land. She is one of about 4600 speakers of Yolnu-Matha. Her first poetry book is being published by Penguin in 2020. Melanie recently toured to six cities across Canada plus New York.

Kylie Belling

Kylie is a Yorta Yorta /Wiradjuri/South Sea Islander woman born and raised in Melbourne. A graduate of the VCA School of Drama, Kylie is a qualified Secondary School teacher, holds a Master of Public Health, and is a Williamson Community Leadership Program 2017 alumni.  She has been actively involved in the Victorian Aboriginal Community for most…

Maddee Clark

Maddee Clark is a Yugambeh writer, editor, and curator. They have been published by Overland, Artlink, Next Wave, and NITV and are one of Un Magazine‘s co-editors from 2018 to 2019. Maddee is also a Ph.D candidate at the University of Melbourne, writing on Indigenous Futurism and race, and has taught and consulted across the…

Lauren Gower

Lauren Gower belongs to the trawlwoolway people of tebrakunna country, and currently lives and works on unceded Kulin country in Melbourne. She is an academic, writer and artist whose research and creative practice focus on poetic, performative and participatory engagements with country.

Rebecca Phillips

Rebecca Phillips is a proud Djaara (People of the land) and Pangerang (Tall Trees People) woman of Central and North East Victoria. Known as Bec, she is very passionate about her Culture and Country. She believes the preservation and revival of our Culture and language is important to uphold what our ancestors paved the way…

Davey Thompson

Davey Thompson descends from the Bidjara, Inningai, Wakka Wakka and Gubbi Gubbi tribes of Queensland, and has been living and working in Melbourne since 2015. He has worked for most of his career behind the scenes in theatre and live events, and has recently worked on a handful of film and television projects. Currently working…

Aunty Barbara Nicholson

Aunty Barbara Nicholson is an Elder of the Wadi Wadi people of the Illawarra region. She is project leader of the Black Wallaby Writers and Chief Editor of Dreaming Inside: Voices from Junee Correctional Centre. She is a poet, activist, recipient of numerous awards in Aboriginal Education, a published academic, university lecturer and has taught course…

Bryan Andy

Bryan Andy is a Yorta Yorta man from Cummeragunja – an Aboriginal village on the Murray River. Bryan is a freelance writer, radio broadcaster and arts event producer. He is the current Convenor of OutBlack – an LGBTIQ social support and advocacy group for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in Victoria.

Ryan Prehn

Ryan Prehn is a Worimi poet and writer, currently living on Wurundjeri country. Ryan was runner-up in Overland’s 2016 Nakata Brophy poetry prize, worked with Red Room Poetry & Australian Poetry on the New Shoots project for the 2017 Melbourne Writers Festival, and was recently published in Plumwood Mountain Journal.

Mark Nannup

Mark is young Yamatji/Noongar man from Meekatharra and Port Hedland in Western Australia he relocated to Melbourne seven years ago to take up an appointment with Crown Resorts and to peruse studies.  Mark has a keen interest in the media, performing arts and theatre and has worked with local Sydney-based Aboriginal radio station (Gadigal) prior…

Monique Grbec

Monique Grbec is a child of the Stolen Generations, descended from the Wiradjuri people of NSW, she is interested in identity, the generational effects of institutionalisation, and the white Australia policy. Her life work is fundamentally text based and addressed through the lens of Indigenous Standpoint Theory. Her current work, ‘Stepping Stones’ is multimedia installation.

Den the Fish

Den is a poet and broadcaster with radio 3KND Kool n Deadly ‘1503AM’. He works with schools and community as a Cultural educator at the Botanic Gardens Melbourne. He hopes that one day all Australians can sit around a big fire and have a laugh, a cry, and move on together as one.

Nelson Baker

After graduating from WAAPA, Nelson Baker immediately landed a lead role in the ABC’s television comedy-drama series, The Warriors.

Julia Hurst

Julia grew up on Wathaurong Country in Ocean Grove. Her heritage crosses Darug and Dharrawal Country. Her family’s experience is of separation and continuing to reconnect with history. She has worked across arts and academic platforms and has recently completed her PhD at ANU. She is an oral historian with the National Library’s 7 Years…

Georgia Mae

My name is Georgia Mae Capocchi-Hunter and I am a proud Wurundjeri, Ngurai Illum Wurrung and Italian Woman. I’ve grown up in Naarm my whole life and have always been connected to my community and culture. I am a dancer with my family dance group, the Djirri Djirri’s, and together we have danced at many…