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.

UPDATE: The time of this event has now changed to 10am – 11am on Sunday 17 March 2024.

Paying homage to the original Tent Embassy the Blak & Bright Yung Tent Embassy, in its 1972 era tent, is a place of refuge for young First Nations people to speak their minds, guided by an Elder in Residence, in this case Uncle Larry Walsh, activist and storyteller.

Young passionate activists from diverse social justice backgrounds present thoughtfully curated ten-minute talks on positive change. With Aretha Brown, Hayley McQuire, Monica Jasmine Karo, Clint Hansen and moderated by Shareena Clanton.

This event will be held on the grass at the State Library Victoria Forecourt which is a publicly accessible space. Limited seating including chairs and beanbags will be available. The Tent and grassed area is not wheelchair accessible, however the adjacent Forecourt area is wheelchair accessible via the ramp at La Trobe Street, near the corner of Swanston Street.
Auslan is available on request with two weeks notice. Please contact info@blakandbright.com.au


In partnership with State Library Victoria.



Commencing on January 26, 1972 Michael Anderson, Billy Craigie, Bertie Williams and Tony Coorey left Redfern and drove to Ngunnawal Country (Canberra), where they planted a beach umbrella opposite Parliament House (now known as Old Parliament House).Their stance was in opposition to the McMahon government’s stance on Indigenous Australian land rights.

Since 1992, it has been situated on the lawn across from Old Parliament House in Canberra, Australia’s capital.

Despite its symbolic importance, the Australian Government does not recognize it as an official embassy.

Today the Aboriginal Tent Embassy stands as a permanent protest occupation site, representing the political rights of Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islander people. Serving as a focal point for grassroots movements, the Embassy advocates for Indigenous land rights, addresses Aboriginal deaths in custody, supports self-determination, and upholds Indigenous sovereignty.



Aretha Brown

Aretha Brown made headlines following her speeches at both the 2017 and 2018 Invasion Day Protests in Melbourne. The then Year 11 student, addressed an estimated 50,000 protesters in Melbourne on Invasion Day, calling for the date of the national holiday to be changed and fighting to make Indigenous Australian history education mainstream. Her delivery…

Hayley McQuire

Hayley McQuire is a Darumbal and South Sea Islander woman born and raised in Rockhampton, Central Queensland. Her work is centred on community, relationality and convening new collectives to rethink education. She is the co-founder and CEO of The National Indigenous Youth Education Coalition, Co-Chair of Learning Creates Australia and board director for a number…

Monica Jasmine Karo

Monica Jasmine Karo, also known as MpathSoul is a Gunai and Gunditjmara multi-disciplinary artist. Monica has spent the last 10 years performing her craft as a singer-songwriter, actor, and spoken-word poet in Naarm and across Australia. This year in 2023 Monica has performed her original music on many stages such as the Share The Spirit…

Uncle Larry Walsh

Uncle Larry Walsh is an Aboriginal cultural leader and storyteller. Inspired by his local Aboriginal community, plus his own Kulin ancestral blood connections to country, Uncle is one of the only senior Elders in Melbourne who focuses specifically on storytelling. A pure storyteller, his focus on the oral tradition, is an important expression and make…

Shareena Clanton

Shareena Clanton is a film, theatre and television actress with a strong advocacy for human rights and indigenous affairs. Clanton is best known for her roles on Ben Elton Live from Planet Earth (2011), Nowhere Boys (2013), Rosehaven (2016), The Cry (2018), and as the character of Doreen Anderson on the award winning Australian drama Wentworth (2013) . Clanton played her…

Clint Hansen

Clint Hansen is an Yiman/Iman countryman, invested in sharing knowledge regarding his ongoing learnings of country and water, and an Indigenous research fellow at RMIT University undertaking his PhD in Environmental Engineering. He completed his Honours in Sustainable Systems Engineering in 2020, focused on securing safe water supplies for communities within the Goldfields region. In…