The FNAWN Team consists of a Patron and Board Members led by the Executive Director.

Jackie Huggins   – Patron

jackie-bw-250x250-with-borderjackie-bw-250x250-with-borderjackie-bw-250w-with-borderJackie 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).

The Board

Kerry Reed-Gilbert – Chairperson

kerry-bw-250x250-with-borderThe Chair of the First Nations Australians Writers Network (FNAWN), a Wiradjuri woman Kerry has performed and conducted writing workshops nationally and internationally. She 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. She has published numerous books and publications with Talking About Country:  Poetry Collection (Kuracca); The Strength of Us as Women: Black Women Speak (Ed): Ginninderra Press; Our Place: Stories about good practice in youth work with young Aboriginal people South Sydney Youth Services: Co Editor with Shane Brown; Message Stick: Contemporary Aboriginal writing (Ed):  Jukurrpa Books: Ngunnunggula (Ed) A collection of works written by Aboriginal writers and Black Woman, Black Life: (Wakefield Press) By Close of Business Poetry and Prose by the ACT First Nations Writing Group: Co-Editor: (Us Mob Writing).   Ori Nui Journal: A collaboration of works by Australian First Nations Writers and Maori writers: Anton Blank Ltd.

In 2005 she toured Aotearoa, New Zealand as part of the Honouring Words 3rd International Indigenous Authors Celebration Tour. In 2003 she was awarded an International Residence from  ATSIAB to attend Art Omi, New York, USA, in 1997 she toured South Africa performing in ‘ECHOES’ a national tour of the spoken word. In 2006 she received an ‘Outstanding Achievement in Poetry’ award and ‘Poet of Merit’ Award from the International Society of Poets. Her works has been translated in French, Korean, Benglai, Dutch and other non-English speaking languages.

John Harding

john-bw-250-with-260-borderJohn is one of Australia’s leading playwrights, with eleven productions staged, and broadcast locally and abroad. A founding member of Melbourne’s Ilbijerri ATSI Theatre Cooperative. John wrote Ilbijerri’s first production Up The Road, and won the Australian Human Rights Award in 1997. He directed his last three major productions: Enuff (Malthouse, 2002), No Parking (Theatreworks, 2001), Second Helping (North Melbourne’s Arts House, 2005).

John co-wrote and co-starred in Blak and Tran II (2004), with Hung Le and Natives Striking Blak (2007) for Ilbijerri Theatre. He worked for the ABC TV show Blackout and on the SBS TV ICAM Program. While at SBS, he created the first Indigenous comedy show, The Masters, directed by Michael Riley. He is a published poet, and in 2007 he completed his first film about the Pitjatjanjara Land Rights Act anniversary Festival, Nganampa Manta. In 2008, with the documentary Fitzroy Stars; More than a Game, for ABC TV, which aired the same year.


Alexis West

ALEXIS WEST BW-250x-with-borderAlexis is a Queensland Birra Gubba, Waka Waka, Kanak, and Caucasian woman: Writer, Director, Performer, Creator, Choreographer, Artist, and Facilitator. Working with No Strings Attached Theatre of Disability creating provocative and innovative pieces such as KNOWING HOME with Disabled Indigenous Performers. BLACK WHEELS, shortlisted for 2012 Edward Albee Inscription Scholarship. INTERVENTION (a theatre work in progress) shortlisted for Yellamundie Playwriting Festival 2013 also featured during 2010 Adelaide Fringe Festival. MINNO AND MEDIKA featured in 2009 Come Out Youth Festival.

Alexis won first prize for poetry competition ‘Open Your Mind’ published in ‘Mind Frames’ 2011. Her short film JUMP AND BOUNCE debuted imagineNative film festival Toronto 2011. Currently writing documentary THE KINGS SEAL and feature film BLACK HACK with script guidance by world renowned Stephen Cleary and Christopher Vogler. Late, great performers, writers, activist have mentored Alexis. Commissioned with Artist Marijana Tadic for major sculpture at Greenfields Wetlands to be completed in 2013.

Jim Everett – puralia meenamatta, Tasmania, Flinders Island

jim-bw-250w-with-borderBorn in 1942 he left primary school at 14 years to start work. His diverse lifestyle includes 13 years at sea and 50 years formal involvement in the Aboriginal Struggle. His written works include plays, political papers and short stories, and writings published in 10 major anthologies. Jim’s other work includes television documentary and theatre production. He lives on Cape Barren Island, often working away from home doing various cultural arts programs. He is currently developing ongoing projects under his Chosen Program funded by the Aboriginal Arts Board in 2013.


Ken Canning

Ken Canning 1Ken has been writing poetry, short stories and short plays for over 40 years. His poetry has been published in book form and in many magazines around the country. His latest book “Yimbama” is was launched earlier this year at Glebe books. For many years Ken worked in tertiary education and have been on countless committees in regards to First Nation Peoples, and is very passionate in about his Aboriginally identity and find this a great attribute when working on particular issues. In his 62 years had a wide range of experiences in a wide range of areas this will mean he can contribute to FWAWN in a successful manner. Ken has fondly watched FWAWN develop over the years and is a great admiration of this organisation.

Cathy Craigie – Executive Director

cathy-bw-250w-wtih-borderCathy is a Gamilaroi and Anaiwon woman form Northern NSW. She has worked in Aboriginal Affairs for over thirty years. She was one of the original founders of Koori Radio/Gadigal Information Service and has works in senior positions with the Australia Council and the NSW Department of Aboriginal Affairs.

Cathy has held a variety of key positions in other Aboriginal arts, health and housing organisations at national and international levels. She is also an aspiring writer and has written several plays and stories. Cathy was Festival Curator, Guwanyi (to tell) the National Aboriginal Writers’ Festival held at the NSW Writers Centre.