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.

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 and ideas led her to be elected as Prime Minister of the National Indigenous Youth Parliament, the youngest ever person — and the first woman — to hold this position.

Now a practising artist and screenwriter, Aretha takes heavy influence from her time growing up in Melbourne’s Western Suburbs. As well as her own identity as a queer, Blak, young person living in the confinements of an urban colony. ​

In 2021 Aretha wrote her first subversive comedy short titled “HOW TO BE COOL IN MELBOURNE”. Parodying the ideas, inner workings and social politics of Melbourne’s underground art and cultural spaces. Aretha has also been a regular appearance at comedy clubs, performing her signature political and satirical stand-up throughout Melbourne since 2020.