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.

Six writers share 12 images that define their stories – images of family, Country, working lives, the places and people that influence them. These are visual stories that will move, delight and inspire, from a line-up of diverse storymakers, artists and writers working across children’s literature, fiction, poetry and journalism. With Daniel Browning, Gregg Dreise, Helen Milroy, Julie Janson, Kirli Saunders, Mariah Sweetman.

In partnership with Fed Square & Magabala Books.

… Hey, you – booking tickets to this gets you two events for one price! This event is part of our Keynote: State of the Nations, where Leah Purcell will reflect on the key moments in her life and career, and the lessons she’s learned along the way. Not to be missed.


Julie Janson

Julie began writing plays in remote Yolngu community in NT. She is a Darug woman of Burruberongal clan. A playwright, poet and novelist. Her latest novel Madukka the River Serpent long listed for the Miles Franklin Award.

Daniel Browning

Daniel Browning (he/him) is a Bundjalung and Kullilli journalist, radio broadcaster, documentary maker, sound artist and writer. Currently, he is Editor Indigenous Radio with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and produces and presents The Art Show for ABC RN, the ABC’s specialist arts and journalism network. He also presented Awaye! for many years, an RN…

Mariah Sweetman

Mariah is a proud descendant of Ugarapul people. She is a creative enneagram nine who loves to write and paint. She is passionate about local history and engaging young people in local stories. Mariah is a teacher by trade and lives with her family and a golden retriever. In her free time, she enjoys running…

Gregg Dreise

Gregg Dreise is a gifted artist, storyteller and musician; and he features the didgeridoo and guitar in his high energy performances. He uses music and laughter to take audiences on a story telling journey – that just might sneak in a lesson or two. Gregg is a touring Author/Musician/Entertainer who continually performs in schools, libraries,…

Helen Milroy

Dr Helen Milroy is a descendant of the Palyku people of the Pilbara region of Western Australia, but was born and educated in Perth. Australia’s first Indigenous doctor, Helen studied medicine at the University of Western Australia and is currently Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at UWA, Honorary Research Fellow at Telethon Kids Institute…

Kirli Saunders

Kirli Saunders (OAM) is a proud Gunai Woman who rarely stays in her lane. She’s an award winning multidisciplinary artist, writer, singer-songwriter and consultant. Kirli creates, to connect, to make change. She was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for her contribution to the arts (2022). Kirli has partnered with global organisations including Google, Fender, Sydney…