FNAWN Co-Patrons

Jackie Huggins

Jackie Huggins, B.A. Hons (UQ), Dip.Ed. (Flinders), Doctor of the University Honoris Causa, AM, FAHA, is an author, historian and Aboriginal rights activist of the Bidjara Central Queensland and Birri-Gubba Juru North Queensland peoples.

She is a former Co-Chair of Reconciliation Australia, the former Chair of the Queensland Domestic Violence Council, and has been a member of the National Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation, the AIATSIS Council, and Co-Commissioner for Queensland for the Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal Children. In 2001 she was awarded an Australia Medal (AM) for her work with Indigenous people, particularly reconciliation, literacy, women’s issues and social justice.

In 2007 Huggins was named University of Queensland Alumnus of the Year. She has published a wide range of essays and studies dealing with Indigenous history and identity. She is the author of Sistergirl (University of Queensland Press, 1998), and co-author, with Rita Huggins, of the critically acclaimed biography Auntie Rita (Aboriginal Studies Press, 1994).



Kerry Reed-Gilbert

A Wiradjuri woman from Central New South Wales Kerry has performed and conducted writing workshops nationally and internationally. She was the inaugural Chairperson of the First Nations Australia Writers Network (FNAWN) 2012 – 2015.

In 2013 she co-edited a collection of works By Close of Business, with the Us Mob Writing (UMW) group and was FNAWN co-editor for the Ora Nui  Journal a collaboration between First Nations Australia writers and Maori writers. 2015 saw Kerry shortlisted  for the Story Wine Prize: In 2016 she edited a collection of First Nations voices from across Australia titled A Pocketful of Leadership in the ACT 2016. 

Kerry is a former member of the Aboriginal Studies Press Advisory Committee and her poetry and prose have been published in many journals and anthologies nationally and internationally, including in the Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature.  Her works has been translated in French, Korean, Benglai, Dutch and other non-English speaking languages.

FNAWN Board 

Chairperson: Yvette Henry Holt

Yvette Henry Holt is a national multi-award winning poet, academic, serial photographer and habitual hiker  — heralding from the Yiman, Wakaman and Bidjara Nations’ of Queensland. Her poetry has been widely published, translated and anthologised in both in print and online. In 2005 Yvette was awarded the Queensland Premier’s David Unaipon Award for her manuscript, anonymous premonition (UQP), the Victorian Premier’s Literary for Indigenous Writing in 2008, Scanlon Poetry Prize NSW 2008, Kate Challis RAKA Award 2010. 

Yvette’s research, editorial and writing contribution toward the field of Aboriginal literature, more emphatically poetry, spans over seventeen years across all states and territories of Australia – Researcher of Black Words AustLit: 2006 – 2009 (UQ), Fred Hollows ‘See my World Foundation’ Indigenous Youth Literacy (2008), Barkly Arts Shire (2008 – 2009), Northern Territory Writers Centre (2008 – 2010), Director of the National Indigenous Writers & Education Conference (CDU, Wollongong University 2010 – 2011), Lecturer Aboriginal Women Studies (UQ), Researcher and Lecturer Indigenous Australian Studies (ACU).

Yvette now lives and works in the Central Australian Deserts, she is currently completing a manuscript of poetry and prose — and completing her first instalment of desert photography titled carnage crosses and curiosity.


Secretary: Charmaine Papertalk Green

Charmaine Green is from the Wajarri, Badimaya and Southern Yamaji peoples of Western Australia. She has lived and worked in rural Western Australia (Midwest-Pilbara ) most of her life in numerous roles in the Aboriginal sector industry as an artist/poet, community development practitioner and social sciences researcher.

Charmaine writes under the name Charmaine Papertalk Green and publications include her book of poetry, Just Like That (2007), a children’s verse novel Tiptoeing Tod the Tracker (2014) and a poetry collaboration with fellow WA poet John Kinsella “False Claim of Colonial Thieves(2018) through Magabala Books.

Charmaine has poetry included in numerous anthologies and publications including Artlink Magazine (2018), The Fremantle Press Anthology of Western Australian Poetry (2017), Kenyon Review (2017), Ora Nui: A Collection of Maori and Aboriginal Literature (2014), Antipodes: Poetic Responses (2011), Those who remain will always be remembered : An Anthology of Aboriginal writing (2000) ,  Inside Black Australia : an Anthology of Aboriginal Poetry (1988), The Penguin Book of Australia Women Poets(1986) .

Treasurer: Dr Jeanine Leane

Jeanine Leane is a Wiradjuri writer, teacher and academic from southwest New South Wales. After a longer teaching career, she completed a doctorate in Australian literature and Aboriginal representation and a postdoctoral fellowship at the Australian Centre for Indigenous History at the Australian National University.

She is the recipient of an Australian Research Council grant for her project, ‘The David Unaipon Award: Shaping the literary and history of Aboriginal Writing in Australian’ that examines the growth and impact of Aboriginal writing on Australian literary culture since 1988.

Her first Volume of poetry, Dark Secrets After Dreaming: A.D. 1887-1961 (2010, Presspress) won the Scanlon Prize for Indigenous Poetry, 2010 and her first collection of stories, Purple Threads, won the David Unaipon Award for an unpublished Indigenous writer in 2010. Her poetry has been published in Hecate: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Women’s Liberation, The Journal for the Association European Studies of Australia and The Australian Book Review.

Jeanine has published widely in the area of Aboriginal literature. She teaches Creative Writing and Aboriginal Literature at the University of Melbourne.


Board Directors:

Samantha Faulkner

Samantha Faulkner is a Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal woman from the Wuthuthi/Yadhaigana peoples, Cape York Peninsula and Badu and Moa Islands, Torres Strait.  She is the author of Life Blong Ali Drummond: A Life in the Torres Strait, published in 2007 by Aboriginal Studies Press.

She has performed at a number of festivals including Noted (2015-2017) and the AIATSIS Conference (2014 & 2016).  She has poetry and prose published: locally (2013 – By Close of Business, Us Mob Writing Group, Canberra, 2016 – A Pocketful of Leadership in the ACT); nationally (2010 – Etchings Indigenous: Treaty, Ilura Press, 2018 – BlackWords: Growing Up Indigenous in Australia and Too Deadly: Our Voice, Our Way, Our Business); and internationally (2014 – Ora Nui: A Collection of Maori and Aboriginal Literature, 2016 – Narrative WitnessInternational Writing Program, University of Iowa).

She has represented women and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander interests on local, state and national boards.  She is a member of the ACT based Us Mob Writing Group, and current Chairperson, ACT Torres Strait Islanders Corporation.

Chella Goldwin

Chella Goldwin is a Meriam Kosker of Erubamle from the Eastern Islands of Erub Island formerly known as Darnley Island in the Torres Strait. Her totem is the Nam. She performed at the AIATSIS Conference, published poet and short story in Too Deadly: Our Voice, Our Way, Our Business. She has lived in Bamaga, Yirrkala, Timber Creek and worked with traditional owners at Uluru, Kakadu and Booderee.

Chella is a member of Us Mob Writers Group Canberra, a member of the ACT Torres Strait Islanders Corporation and board member of First Nations Australia Writer’s Network. She is a historical and genealogical researcher, and specialises in writing using Meriam Mer and cultural spirituality. Her cultural and spiritual heritage and language is a strong part of her identity and this is reflected in through her writing.