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.

Blak words live
in our self-expression., in our sovereignty., in our self-determination., in our hearts., in our minds., in our spirits., in our poems., in our yarns., in our discourse.
17 — 20 March 2022.
Most sessions FREE!

Masterclass: The Poet’s Imagination

Jazz Money is an award-winning poet. Across a 2 1/2 hour online workshop they will share writing exercises and dish out great advice and insights.  Limited places, book now.      

March 16, 2022
@ Online

Education Day

Explore the rich history of First Nations storytelling through a special education event at State Library Victoria. Blak & Bright is hosting our first-ever education day at State Library Victoria for secondary students in years 9 -10. Featuring award-winning authors Kirli Saunders (Bindi), Jared Thomas (Songs that sound like blood), Thomas Mayor (Freedom Day) and…

March 17, 2022

Teacher Personal Development

Teachers are invited to a special professional development event at State Library Victoria. Blak & Bright  is hosting its first-ever teacher PD event.  Join writers Bruce Pascoe and Thomas Mayor, along with our talented panel of First Nations educators, to discuss and explore ‘how to teach Blak literature’.  Educators from Beaconhills College will also discuss…


Keynote: State of the Nations

John Paul Janke will present an overview of how First Nations’ communities are faring, with startling insights into progress made and where more improvement is needed.

March 17, 2022


This forum, specifically for LGBTQIA+ Blak writers, will have a focus on navigating the literature industry, facilitated by Ellen van Neerven. Lunch is provided by Mabu Mabu, however dietary requests are limited. This event is reserved for LGBTQIA First Nations people only. Limited spaces available so book in quick. 

March 18, 2022

Pitch Blak Afternoon Tea

The First Nations Australia Writers Network hosts our industry event where you’ll have the opportunity to pitch your work in progress to publishing industry experts.. Representatives from Allen & Unwin, Black Inc, Hachette, Hardie Grant, Harper Collins, Magabala Books, Penguin Random House, Text Publishers, UQP, Jacinta di Mase Management and more! Afternoon tea is supplied…

March 18, 2022

Blak & Bright Festival Opening Event

Join us to celebrate the official opening of the 2022 Blak & Bright Literary Festival! Witness, Solace, the commissioned performance by Jackie Sheppard, Bryan Andy, James Henry and Steven Rhall, exploring mental health. Followed by special guest, Melissa Lucashenko, talking to the theme, ‘What’s Changed? What’s Stayed the Same?’, with spotlight on writers Jazz Money, …

March 18, 2022

Yarn Bombers

Three minute ‘bonus’ yarns from emerging community storytellers will pop up at the start of many sessions. See the future of Blak writing here first. Thank you to the Victorian Women’s Trust: Christine Friday and Kathleen Dooley Sub-Fund for giving us the opportunity to hold free masterclasses with award winning writer Jeanine Leane; and also…

March 19March 20, 2022   10.00am—6.15pm

Walkin Country, Walkin Birrarung

Walk in the footsteps of 60,000 years of culture. Oral historian Dean Stewart will challenge and inspire you with hidden stories of our river, now called the Yarra.   Bookings essential. Tours are approximately 2 hours, requires low impact walking and no bathroom available during the tour. Kids 5 years and under are free, but…

March 19, 2022

Blak & White & Read (& Heard) All Over

Unpacking the importance of Blak voices in the media with Daniel Browning, Declan Fry and Thomas Mayor moderated by Merinda Dutton.

March 19, 2022

Picture Books Tell a Thousand Words

Beautiful picture books share the stories of Aboriginal culture, read by Maurial Spearim. Suitable for under 6 years of age. 

March 19, 2022

Sistas Are Doin’ It

Four fabulous Blak women with extraordinary lives; Aunty Ronnie Gorrie, Chelsea Watego, Nardi Simpson and moderated by Sonia Cooper. How do they juggle writing lives and busy lives? They have some stories to tell … 

March 19, 2022

Yung, Blak & Bold

Three young writers, Jazz Money, Teela May Reid and Davey Thompson, have been corresponding in the months leading up to the Festival. They’ll share snippets of their correspondence and the things that matter now.  Moderated by Bebe Backhouse.

March 19, 2022

Rainbow Words

LGBTQIA+ writers share their words and the stories behind them. With Ellen van Neerven, SJ Norman, Jazz Money. Moderator Daniel Browning

March 19, 2022

Borrow a Living Book

Sit down with an Elder who will share a story of their lived experience. Immerse yourself in rich stories from four fabulous and fascinating Elders in an intimate and personal setting. With Uncle Larry Walsh, Aunty Pattie Lees, Aunty Pam Pederson and Uncle Talgium Edwards. The setting, Big Esso (Mabu Mabu), is an Indigenous bar…

This event has multiple sessions:
March 19: 3.00pm
March 19: 4.00pm

Yung Tent Embassy

Across two hours six activists from a range of social justice sites, curated by Crystal McKinnon, including Elder Activist Aunty Ronnie Gorrie, will present their curated, passionate ten-minute talks with time for audience responses.    Please note: There has been a time change for this event. Yung Tent Embassy will now begin at 3:00 PM

March 19, 2022

The Wright Stuff

Alexis Wright reads from her award winning oeuvre and a special treat – an excerpt from a new work. Alexis Wright will be live-streaming in. Moderated by Jane Harrison.

March 19, 2022

Big Blak Poetry Read

Six of the fiercely best poets read three of their best poems. With Jazz Money, Charmaine Papertalk Green, Tony Birch, Kirli Saunders, Ellen van Neerven, plus International poet Tusiata Avia.

March 19, 2022

The Monologues

Hear the best monologues to come from Blak playwrights including Kodie Bedford, Richard Frankland, Jane Harrison, Anita Heiss, Andrea James (with Catherine Ryan), Nakkiah Lui, Maryanne Sam, Dylan Van Den Berg, Ursula Yovich (with Alana Valentine). Read by two of our finest actors.

March 19, 2022


Gammon is the Aboriginal slang word for ‘joking, kidding’. This is Blak comedy at its blakest. MC Kimmy Lovegrove curated this deadly funny line-up including Aunty Denise McGuinness, Ben Moodie, Kasey Johnson, and Tommy Pemberton. Booking Essential.   You will be redirected to Comedy Republic’s website for ticketing.

March 19, 2022

Architecture & Design: A Blak aesthetic?

What is an Aboriginal aesthetic? How can you design buildings and products that reflect Aboriginal world views? Alison Page, Brian Martin, and Sarah Lyn Rees discuss, moderated by Timmah Ball.

March 20, 2022

William Cooper’s Legacy

Schooled at Cummergunga Mission, William Cooper went on to live a lifetime of activism, including protesting in the 1930s against Nazi Germany’s actions. Hear more about this extraordinary man from direct descendant of William Cooper, Leonie Drummond, museum curator, Kimberley Moulton and moderated by ABC journalist Daniel James.

March 20, 2022

YA Blak

What makes intriguing writing for young adult readers? Edie Wright talks to award-winning writers Kirli Saunders, Jared Thomas and Teela May Reid.

March 20, 2022

A Big Life

These first time authors have written captivating memoirs of their extraordinary lives. We hear from Aunty Veronica Gorrie, Aunty Pattie Lees, and Adam Lees. Moderator Aunty Bev Murray.

March 20, 2022

Blackfulla Book Club

With Instagram’s iconic Blackfulla Book Club creators Merinda Dutton and and Teela Reid, we delve into two intricate and engaging books, Another Day in the Colony and Song of the Crocodile, with their talented authors Chelsea Watego and Nardi Simpson. 

March 20, 2022

Words in Progress

The how, when, where, what and why of their writing practices. With Melissa Lucashenko, Charmaine Papertalk Green, Claire G. Coleman and moderated Declan Fry. Due to circumstances Tara June Winch can no longer participate in this event.

March 20, 2022

Big Screen Writing

Discussing the making of the film and tv hits, The White Girl, Black Comedy and more. With Tony Briggs, Nayuka Gorrie and moderated by Daniel Browning.

March 20, 2022

The Bogong

Our Bogong is a celebration and sharing of crafted spoken word pieces. Grab a drink and hang around for a pizza afterwards. With Nardi Simpson, SJ Norman, Declan Fry, Victor Rodger (NZ), Emily Munro-Harrison, Nayook, Claire G. Coleman, Nayuka Gorrie.

March 20, 2022

Adam Lees

Adam C Lees, Pattie Lees’ eldest son, has worked in the mining, energy and resources sector as a community relations and sustainability professional since 2000. He is currently a Senior Corporate Affairs Manager for Woodside Energy based in Perth. Raised in Mount Isa, his wanderlust and passion for photography have taken him off the beaten…

Alexis Wright

Alexis Wright (she/her) is a member of the Waanyi nation of the southern highlands of the Gulf of Carpentaria. The author of the prize-winning novels Carpentaria and The Swan Book, Wright has published three works of non-fiction: Take Power, an oral history of the Central Land Council; Grog War, a study of alcohol abuse in…

Alison Page

Alison Page is a Walbanga and Wadi Wadi woman and is an award-winning Designer and Film Producer whose career spanning 22 years links Indigenous stories and traditional knowledge with contemporary design. She is the co-author of a new book Design: Building on Country which explores Indigenous design, architecture and engineering principles as a blueprint for…

Aunty Bev Murray

VACCA supported Aunty Bev Murray throughout her fledgling writing career which commenced when Bev wrote her first children’s book and then went on to undertake a Diploma in Creative and Indigenous Writing. Bev has written a number of short stories, a script for a short film, songs and poetry and her two biggest dreams are…

Aunty Denise McGuinness

Denise is a very proud Gundtjmara, Wiradjuri, Yorta Yorta, Dju Dju Wurrung woman. She has three beautiful children and two gorgeous grandsons. Denise is very passionate about LGBTQIA+ community awareness and support services. She has worked at the Victorian Aboriginal Health Services for over 20 years in various roles. Currently she works in Community Engagement….

Aunty Pam Pedersen

Aunty Pam Pedersen as an Elder sits on the various Courts in Melbourne and Shepparton a position which she has held since 2005. Whilst living in Shepparton, Aunty Pam worked at Berry Street for many years working with young Aboriginal children and their families who came in contact with the criminal justice system as well…

Aunty Pattie Lees

Pattie Lees was born in Cairns, North Queensland, and was removed from her family at an early age and sent to Palm Island as a Ward of the State. At the age of nineteen she joined the Women’s Royal Australian Navy. She represented Australia as a delegate at several United Nations development forums. She is…

Aunty Veronica Gorrie

Ronnie (she/her) was a recipient of Creative Victoria’s First Peoples funding program for the writing of ‘Nullung’. Ronnie was also the recipient of The Wheeler Centre Hot desk Fellowship 2020. Ronnie is also the recipient of the Inaugural First Nation Writer’s Residency for the Australian Council for the Arts 2021 as well as the recipient…

Beau Windon

Beau Windon is a neurodivergent writer of Wiradjuri descent based in Naarm. He writes quirky stories about quirky people with a focus on YA fiction and creative non-fiction. Under the pen/stage name, Beau SYW, you can experience his words weaved together in raw chaotic poetry. If you see him out in the wild, approach with…

Bebe Backhouse

Hailing from the Kimberley region of north-Western Australia, Bebe Backhouse is a Bardi Jawi creator who’s called Narrm (Melbourne) home for ten years. Beginning his creative practice as a classical pianist and composer, Bebe was awarded a West Australian Youth Award at twenty-one for his work as a music teacher to young Indigenous people. He…

Ben Moodie

Ben Moodie is a proud Gamillaroi man from NSW. Ben has worked in Aboriginal Community based roles over the past 20+ years. Apart from trying to be an epic Dad and husband. Ben makes Artworks and Artifacts, plays and teaches Yidaki, and for a day job, he runs Aboriginal Cultural Awareness/capacity building sessions. Ben has seen, enjoyed and…

Brian Martin

Brian Martin (he/him) is a leading Indigenous artist and academic. Born in Redfern Sydney, he is from Bundjalung, Muruwari and Kamilaroi ancestry. His academic qualifications include a Bachelor of Visual Arts with Honours from the University of Sydney, a Graduate Diploma of Vocational Education and Training from Charles Sturt University and a PhD by research…

Bridget Caldwell-Bright

Bridget Caldwell-Bright is a Jingili and Mudburra editor based in Naarm (Melbourne). She is currently working as an editorial policies advisor at the ABC, as well as freelancing within trade publishing. She was previously co-editor for weekly news digest SUBTEXT(E), co-editor for Archer Magazine’s First Nations Edition and managing editor for Blak Brow.

Bryan Andy

Bryan Andy (he/him) is a Yorta Yorta man from Cummeragunja, NSW. Bryan is a freelance writer, radio broadcaster and theatremaker. He has been published by Lonely Planet, NITV, ABC Online, IndigenousX, the Guardian, Witness Performance and Meanjin. Bryan is the host of ACMI’s First Nations Film Club. He identifies as gay.

Charmaine Papertalk Green

Charmaine is a visual artist, poet and writer and began writing poetry in Mullewa in the late 1970’s. She writes under the name Charmaine Papertalk Green to honour both her parents. Her publications include Just Like That (Fremantle Art Press, 2007); Tiptoeing Tod the Tracker (Oxford University Press, 2014); collaboration with WA poet John Kinsella,…

Chelsea Watego

Chelsea Watego (she/her) (formerly Bond) is a Munanjahli and South Sea Islander woman with over 20 years of experience working within Indigenous health as a health worker and researcher. Chelsea’s work has drawn attention to the role of race in the production of health inequalities. Her current ARC Discovery Grant seeks to build an Indigenist…

Claire G. Coleman

Claire G. Coleman (she/her) is a Noongar woman whose family have belonged to the south coast of Western Australia since long before history started being recorded. She writes fiction, essays, poetry and art writing while either living in Naarm (Melbourne) or on the road. During an extended circuit of the continent she wrote a novel,…

Coral Reeve

Ngata, I’m Coral and I am a Gunditjmara woman living in Djilang (Geelong), I’m currently completing my Master of Arts, Writing and Literature. After 10 years of studying, writing and publishing work I will aim to run an Editing/publishing business as well as tutoring. I’m a mother to a beautiful boy and love to go…

Crystal McKinnon

Dr Crystal McKinnon is an Amangu Yamatji academic, researcher and community organiser. She is a historian and a critical Indigenous studies scholar, who is currently working at RMIT as a Vice Chancellor’s Indigenous Research Fellow in the Social and Global Studies Centre. Her research work has looked at concepts of Indigenous sovereignty, justice and law,…

Daniel Browning

Daniel Browning (he/him) is an Aboriginal 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 Awaye!, the Indigenous culture program on Radio National, the ABC’s specialist arts and journalism network. Awaye! surveys contemporary Indigenous cultural practice across the arts…

Daniel James

Daniel James is an award-winning Yorta Yorta writer, consultant, broadcaster and social justice advocate. He hosts and producers the Mission on 3RRR and is the winner of the 2018 Horne Prize for his essay Ten More Days. Daniel’s work explores notions of empathy, intergenerational trauma, hidden history and the political landscape that continues to shape…

Davey Thompson

Davey Thompson is a Bidjara, Inningai, Wakka Wakka and Gubbi Gubbi man from Barcaldine. Currently living on Wurundjeri Country, he’s a writer, producer, activist, and star of All my Friends are Racist.

Dean Stewart

Dean Stewart has worked for over 20 years within management roles in both Environmental and Cultural organisations. Working for almost 10 years as the Community Revegetation Project Co-ordinator, for Eltham and then Nillumbik Councils. Dean co-ordinated all environmental on-the-ground project works from Diamond Creek up to Kinglake and from Plenty River to Warrandyte. With groups…

Declan Fry

​​Declan Fry (he/him) is a writer, essayist, and poet. Born on Wongatha country in Kalgoorlie, Declan Fry has written for the Guardian, Saturday Paper, Overland, Australian Book Review, Liminal, Sydney Review of Books, Cordite, Kill Your Darlings, Westerly and elsewhere. His Meanjin essay “Justice for Elijah or a Spiritual Dialogue with Ziggy Ramo, Dancing” received…

Edie Wright

Edie Wright is a Bardi woman and Manager of Aboriginal Education in the Kimberley. She is passionate about programming, outcomes, improving attendance, retention and engagement for Indigenous children. Edie is working to make opportunities for Aboriginal educators to take on leadership roles and provide a culturally safe place for Aboriginal parents to communicate with teachers…

Ellen van Neerven

Ellen van Neerven (they/them) is an award-winning author, editor and educator of Mununjali (Yugambeh language group) and Dutch heritage. They write fiction, poetry, and non-fiction on unceded Turrbal and Yuggera land. van Neerven’s first book, Heat and Light (UQP, 2014), a novel-in-stories, was the recipient of the David Unaipon Award, the Dobbie Literary Award and the NSW Premier’s…

Emily Munro-Harrison

Emily (she/her) is a Wiradjuri woman, who lives on unceded Kulin Country in Narrm. As a writer, researcher Emily sees strength, resilience and fight as important in resisting and reframing colonial narratives, and for the continuation of vibrant and beautiful First Nations cultures. Emily’s work engages in the meaning behind what people say, and the…

Glenn Shea

Glenn Shea (he/him) is an Elder and respected Person NAIDOC 2020 Wathaurong Aboriginal Community/Cooperative. Glen produced, wrote and directed, An Indigenous Trilogy, May 2022 La Mama Theatre/The Storyteller. Studying Deakin University, Graduate Diploma in Indigenous Research and inventor of the board game titled “THE STORYTELLER” for blended learning face to face and online delivery. Researching…

Jackie Sheppard

Jackie Sheppard (She/Her/They) is of the Tagalaka Clan Group, Far North Queensland. She lives and works on Kulin Land, in so called Victoria. Jackie is a mixed medium performer, storyteller, and workshop facilitator. Their creations and works are inspired by the multilayered narratives of Sovereign peoples. She attempts to identify and interrogate Ancestral, Inter-generational and…

James Henry

James Henry is Yuwaalaraay, Gamilaraay, Yorta Yorta and Yuin composer. His exhilarating and immersive compositions include Madhanbaa Mayrraa and Seasons in Blak for Yirramboi First Nations Arts Festival. He has also performed guitar for the Archie Roach Into the Bloodstream tour and is a founding member of Skin Choir.

Jane Harrison

Jane Harrison is descended from the Muruwari people. Her first play Stolen, toured internationally and was co-winner of the 2012 RAKA Kate Challis Award. Rainbow’s End won the 2012 Drovers Award for best touring production, and both Stolen and Rainbow’s End have been featured on secondary school curricula. Harrison’s most recent play The Visitors premiered…

Jared Thomas

Dr Jared Thomas (he/him) is a Nukunu person of the Southern Flinders Ranges and the Research Fellow Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Material Culture and Art at the South Australian Museum and University of South Australia. An International award winning children’s and young adult fiction writer his novel ‘Calypso Summer’ is on the International Youth…

Jazz Money

Jazz Money (she/they) is a poet and artist of Wiradjuri heritage, a fresh-water woman currently based on beautiful sovereign Gadigal land. Her practice is centred around the written word while producing works that encompass installation, digital, film and print. Jazz’s writing has been widely performed and published nationally and internationally. Their poetry has been recognised…

Jeanine Leane

Jeanine Leane (she/her) is a Wiradjuri writer, poet and academic from southwest New South Wales. Her poetry and short stories have been published in Hecate: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Women’s Liberation, The Journal for the Association European Studies of Australia, Australian Poetry Journal, Antipodes, Overland and the Australian Book Review. Jeanine has published widely in…

John Paul Janke

Born in Cairns, John (he/him) is Wuthathi from Cape York Peninsula and Meriam from Murray (Mer) Island in the Torres Strait. For almost three decades, he worked in the Public Sector in media roles within national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander agencies – developing, and implementing a diverse range of communication and media strategies as…

Kasey Johnson

Kasey Johnson is a proud Yorta Yorta, Wemba Wemba, Gunditjmara and Wiradjuri woman. She was a Deadly Finalist in 2019 and 2021.

Kimberley Moulton

Kimberley Moulton (she/her) is a Yorta Yorta woman and writer and curator. She is currently Senior Curator, South-Eastern Aboriginal Collections at Museums Victoria and an Artistic Associate for RISING Festival Melbourne. Kimberley works with knowledge, histories and futures at the intersection of First Peoples historical and contemporary art and making and the archive. Kimberley has…

Kimmie Lovegrove

Kimmie Lovegrove is a proud Ngarrindjeri woman who has been doing comedy since 2014. She has was a Deadly Funny finalist in 2017 and 2018. Since then she has been producing comedy shows that highlight Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander comedians in Victoria. She was a special guest on the Melbourne International Comedy Festival roadshow…

Kirli Saunders

Kirli Saunders (she/her) is a proud Gunai Woman and award-winning multidisciplinary creator and consultant. An experienced speaker and facilitator advocating for the environment, gender and racial equality and LGBTIQA+ rights, Kirli was the NSW Aboriginal Woman of the Year (2020). Kirli’s books, The Incredible Freedom Machines (2018, Scholastic), Kindred (2019, Magabala) and Bindi (2020, Magabala)…

Leila Gurruwiwi

Leila Gurruwiwi is from north East Arnhem Land, Yolngu Country and raised on the lands of the Dja Dja Wurrung and the Taungurung Peoples of the Kulin Nation. An actress, emcee, radio host, media commentator, co-producer of the reality TV show Dance Off that was filmed in Arnhem Land, and longterm panel member of The…

Lenora Thaker

Lenora is a Mabuiag-laig and Meriam woman, born and raised on Yidinji and Yirrganydji country in far north Queensland.  Her passion has been documenting her family’s history over many years, working with Elders to help bring their stories to life in DVD and television documentaries and working on her own fiction and non-fiction writing.   She…

Leonie Drummond

Leonie Drummond is a direct descendant of William Cooper. With pride and a wealth of information about the legacy of her Great Grandfather, Leonie represents the family for the William Cooper Institute Indigenous Advisory Council, Monash University; and the William Cooper and the Australian Aborigines’ League reference group. She lives and works in Shepparton as…

Maurial Spearim

Maurial Spearim is a Gamilaraay, Kooma, Muruwari woman who draws strength from her connection to Country and People. A writer, actor and singer interested in exploring theatre, song and dance through the expressions of the body and the utterance of the voice, where artforms are combined to create a story evocative of past, present and…

Melissa Lucashenko

ML is a multi-award winning novelist, essayist and short fiction writer from Brisbane. A Bundjalung woman, her work for three decades has centered the experiences of poor, Blak and underclass women. In her twenties ML was part of a feminist collective which established Sisters Inside, a human rights organisation supporting criminalised women of all backgrounds…

Merinda Dutton

Merinda Dutton is a Gumbaynggirr and Barkindji woman emerging writer, First Nations critic, and the co-founder of Blackfulla Bookclub, an online community for First Nations stories. In 2019 Dutton was recognised for her legal aid work with Aboriginal community and awarded the National Indigenous Legal Professional of the Year.

Monica Karo

Monica Jasmine Karo, proud Gunai, Gunditjmara & Mukjarawaint, is a multifaceted performance artist living, making and Long thriving, on Naarm country. Monica is actor, singer, writer, and notable emerging playwright. Her 10-year portfolio of works and collaborations include productions with Ibijerri Theatre Company, La Mama Theatre, Melbourne Playback Theatre, Blak & Bright Festival. In 2018…

Monique Grbec

Monique Grbec is a writer, critic and text-based multidisciplinary artist living on Bunurong Country. They have written for Westerly, Blak & Bright, IndigenousX, Koorie Heritage Trust, The Saturday Paper, Witness Performance, Yirramboi Festival, and Kill Your Darlings. They are currently working on ‘The Wall Remix’, a First Nations reinterpretation of Pink Floyd’s 1979 rock opera ‘The Wall’. Monique…

Nardi Simpson

Nardi Simpson (she/her) is a Yuwaalaraay storyteller from NSW’s north west freshwater plains. As a member of Indigenous duo Stiff Gins, Nardi has travelled nationally and internationally for the past 22 years. She is also a founding member of ‘Freshwater,’ an all-female vocal ensemble formed to revive the language and singing traditions of New South…


Nayook (she/they) is an intermittently practicing storyteller and human question mark.

Nayuka Gorrie

Nayuka Gorrie is a Gunai/Kurnai, Gunditjmara, Wiradjuri and Yorta Yorta writer. Nayuka’s work explores Black, queer and feminist politics as well as Black, queer, and Blerd (Blak+nerd) culture. Nayuka’s television writing includes Get Krack!n, co-writing and performing in Black Comedy, and the five-part children’s series Thalu.

Ricki Spencer

Ricki Spencer (They/Them) M.Ed. is a qualified teacher and current student at the University of Melbourne completing their Master of Learning Intervention. They are a public advocate for people living with a disability, transgender, and First Nation whom are important identities lived. They are completing their thesis on “Do secondary school teachers disrupt heteronormative practices…

Sarah Lynn Rees

Sarah Lynn Rees (she/her) is a Palawa woman descending from the Trawlwoolway people of north-east Tasmania. She is a Lecturer at Monash University, Associate at Jackson Clements Burrows Architects (JCBA) where she also is also a Lead Indigenous Advisor: Architecture and Design, she is program advisor and curator of the BLAKitecture series for MPavilion, a…

SJ Norman

SJ Norman (they/them) is an artist, writer and curator. Their career has so far spanned seventeen years and has embraced a diversity of disciplines, including solo and ensemble performance, installation, sculpture, text, video and sound. Their work has been commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney, Performance Space New York, Venice International Performance Art Week, and…

Sonia Cooper

Sonia Cooper is Yorta Yorta and was raised by Nan on Cummeragunja, NSW. Sonia grew up in Country, she works and lives on Country. Her particular interests are in water, land, environmental science, law (contracts, intellectual property, negligence), culture and cultural protections, structural geology and geopolitics. She works and studies in these fields across various…

Steven Rhall

Steven Rhall (he/him) is a post-conceptual artist operating from a First Nation, white-passing, cis male positionality, geographically located on neighbouring Woiwurrung and Wathaurung lands. Rhall’s cultural background consists of Taungurung and colonial heritages – a state endemic to living in a colonised society – but goes by Taungurung when asked. His alter-ego Blak Metal is…

Stevie Wappett

I grew up on Bundjalung Country as a diasporic Biripi person. Not being connected to my Country or community, I began to make up worlds to heal via creative writing. My interest lies in Indigenous Futurism and its capacity to counter and transcend colonial narratives that inhibit Indigenous voices and experiences. The ultimate aim is…

Tarneen Onus Williams

Tarneen Onus Williams is a proud Gunditjmara, Bindal, Yorta Yorta person and Torres Strait Islander from Mer and Erub islands. Tarneen living on the unceded land of the Wurundjeri and Boonwurrung peoples. Tarneen is a community organiser for Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance working on Invasion Day, Black Deaths in Custody and Stop the forced…

Teela Reid

Teela Reid (she/her) is a proud Wiradjuri and Wailwan woman born and raised in Gilgandra western NSW. Teela is lawyer, activist and storyteller who is committed to eliminating systemic racism in our society. Currently, she is a Sydney-based solicitor with experience practicing in criminal and civil law. Previously, Teela was tipstaff to the Honourable Justice…

Thomas Mayor

Thomas Mayor is a Torres Strait Islander man who lives on Larrakia Country in Darwin. A father of five children, he is a wharfie and union official for the Maritime Union of Australia. He has tirelessly advocated for the proposals in the Uluru Statement from the Heart, and is the author of four bestselling books….

Timmah Ball

Timmah Ball (she/her) is a nonfiction writer, researcher and creative practitioner of Ballardong Noongar heritage. Her work is often informed by studying urban planning and offers a critique of conventional city-making systems. In 2018 she co-curated Wild Tongue for the Next Wave festival, with Azja Kulpinska, which interrogated labour inequality in the arts industry. In…

Tommy Pemberton

Tommy Pemberton is a proud Worimi – Biripi man. Tommy competed in the Deadly Funny Victorian heat in 2021 and is on a path of pure comedic gold.

Tony Birch

Tony Birch (he/him) is a founding member of the Melbourne School of Discontent. He has published three novels; The White Girl, Ghost River and Blood. He is also the author of Shadowboxing and three short story collections, Father’s Day, The Promise and Common People. In 2017 he was awarded the Patrick White Literary Award for…

Tony Briggs

Tony Briggs is a Yorta Yorta, Wurundjeri actor, writer, director and producer. His twice Helpman Award winning play The Sapphires, the story of his mother and aunt, evolved into the internationally acclaimed award winning film that premiered at the Cannes Film Festival 2012, won two AWGIE awards, and 11 of 12 categories at AACTA 2013….

Tusiata Avia

Tusiata Avia is a Samoan, Palangi (New Zealand European) poet who explores Pasifika and cross-cultural themes; and the borders between traditional and contemporary life, and between place and the self. Avia’s critically acclaimed theatrical performance of Wild Dogs Under My Skirt (2019) won Best Director, Best Production and Best Lighting Design at the Wellington Theatre…

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…

Uncle Talgium Edwards

Uncle Talgium ‘‘Choco’ Howard Edwards is a Boon Wurrung, Mutti Mutti, Taungerung and Palawa Elder. “I’m a stolen, assimilated, correctionalised, government-made grassroots man – spent ’56 to ’79 in institutions and prisons. Choco uses music, dancing and yarning as a way to heal. He is currently crowd funding to get his book, ‘The Life and…

Victor Rodger

Victor Rodger (he/him) is an award-winning writer and producer of Samoan (Iva) and Scottish (Dundee) descent. His plays include the internationally acclaimed BLACK FAGGOT and MY NAME IS GARY COOPER while his television work includes the Kiwi soap opera SHORTLAND STREET, the Maori Television drama THIS IS PIKI, the Pasifika comedy show SIS and the…

Zach Blampied

Zach Blampied is a a proud Yorta Yorta & Wiradjuri man, born and raised in Melbourne. Zach is known for his deep voice, strong stature, and commanding stage presence. Zach began acting with Ilbijerri Theatre Company (2019) and was the recipient of the MTC, First Nations Scholarship the proceeding year. In the very short time…