Blak & Bright First Nations Literary Festival acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional custodians of the sacred lands on which we work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nations and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, past present and future.

We recognise all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as the first storytellers; and that knowledge transfer through storytelling is imbedded in the very DNA of this Country.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, voices or names of deceased persons in photographs, film, audio recordings or printed material.

August 2022

Writing Country

5 November 2022, 11.45am-12.40pm

Jubilee Hall, Wurundjeri Country, Macedon.

Two remarkable and versatile First Nations writers whose output is suffused with the concept of ‘Country’. But what does that mean, and how do they do it? With Evelyn Araluen and Aaron Fa’Aoso, facilitated by Declan Fry. 

Evelyn Araluen

A descendent of the Bundjalung Nation, a poet, researcher and co-editor of Overland Literary Journal. Her widely published criticism, fiction and poetry has been awarded the Nakata Brophy Prize for Young Indigenous Writers, the Judith Wright Poetry Prize, a Wheeler Centre Next Chapter Fellowship, and a Neilma Sidney Literary Travel Fund grant. Born and raised on Dharug Country, she is a descendant of the Bundjalung Nation.

Evelyn’s debut collection Dropbear was shortlisted for the 2021 Judith Wright Calanthe Award for a Poetry Collection and the 2022 Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry, and won the 2022 Stella Prize. It was Highly Commended for the 2021 Anne Elder Award.

Aaron Fa’Aoso

A Torres Strait Islander film producer, director, screenwriter and actor, he is known for his roles in RAN: Remote Area Nurse, East West 101, The Straits, Black Comedy, and as the presenter of Strait to the Plate and Going Places with Ernie Dingo.

Aaron is the executive director of his own film and television production company, Lone Star, which created the documentary series Blue Water Empire, about the history of the Torres Strait Islands. Aaron is a board member of Screen Queensland and belongs to several government and not-for-profit advisory committees.

Aaron holds a Masters Degree of Film Business from the Australian Film, Television and Radio School and his memoir, So Far, So Good is the first memoir to be commercially published by a Torres Strait Islander.

Declan Fry

Writer, poet and essayist, Declan was born on Wongatha country in Kalgoorlie. He has been awarded a Peter Blazey Fellowship, the Lord Mayor’s Creative Writing Award for memoir, shortlisted for the Judith Wright Poetry Prize, and nominated for the Pascall Prize for Arts Criticism.

Declan lives with his partner, their pup, Walnut, and a cat, Turnip. His latest work appears in Another Australia (Affirm Press).