FNAWN Patron – Jackie Huggins

Jackie Huggins, B.A. Hons (UQ), Dip.Ed. (Flinders), Doctor of the University Honoris, 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.


Chair – Yvette Holt

Yvette Henry Holt is a multi-award-winning poet, essayist, editor, stand-up comedienne, and femin_artist photographer of erotic desert landscapes and queer votive imagery. Heralding from the Yiman, Wakaman and Bidjara Nations’ of Queensland, her poetry has been widely published, translated, anthologised, and reviewed in print and online domestically and internationally. In 2005 Yvette was awarded the David Unaipon Award for her manuscript anonymous premonition (UQP), the debut collection then went on to win the Victorian Premier’s Literary for Indigenous Writing in 2008, Scanlon Poetry Prize NSW 2008, and the Kate Challis RAKA Award 2010. In 2018 Yvette’s poem mother(s) native tongue was Highly Commended for the Oodgeroo Noonuccal Poetry Award – Queensland Poetry. Yvette’s research, editorial and writing contribution toward the field of Aboriginal literature, more emphatically poetry, and Indigenous women’s leadership spans over twenty-years across all states and territories of Australia.

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.

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 AIATSIS Conference (2014 & 2016). She has poetry and prose published: By Close of Business, Us Mob Writing Group, A Pocketful of Leadership, Etchings Indigenous: Treaty, BlackWords: Growing Up Indigenous in Australia, and Too Deadly: Our Voice, Our Way, Our Business, and Ora Nui: A Collection of Maori and Aboriginal Literature.
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.

John Harding

John Harding is one of Australia’s leading playwrights, with twelve productions staged, and /or broadcast in Australia and abroad. John is the founding member, chairperson and inaugural administrator of Ilbijerri ATSI Theatre Cooperative (Melbourne). In 1990 John wrote Not Just Bricks and Mortar for the Victorian Housing Commission which was staged at the Inaugural Melbourne Fringe Festival John wrote a Little Blak book of Poems, a book of poetry in 1994 published by Dynamo House (Melbourne).
John was the Artistic Director of the National Nambundah Arts Festival at Belvoir Theatre in 1996. John wrote Up The Road for Ilbijerri’s first production, and went on to win the Australian Human Rights Award, for its second extended production and national tour in 1997. In recent years John has moved into film and documentaries.
An accomplished director, performer, playwright, screenwriter – John has served on the Indigenous advisory committees for the Australian Arts Law Centre, the National Indigenous Writers Network and The Melbourne Writers Festival.

Ali Cobby Eckermann

Ali Cobby Eckermann’s first collection little bit long time was written in the desert and launched her literary career in 2009. In 2013 Ali toured Ireland as Australian Poetry Ambassador and won the Kenneth Slessor Prize and Book Of The Year (NSW) for Ruby Moonlight, a massacre verse novel. In 2014 Ali was the inaugural recipient of the Tung-kun-ungka Pint-yanthi Fellowship at Adelaide Writers Week, and the first Aboriginal Australian writer to attend the International Writing Program at University of Iowa. In 2017 Ali received a Windham Campbell Award for Poetry from Yale University USA awarded a Literature Fellowship by the Australian Council for the Arts in 2018, self-funding an annual Healing With Poetry mentorship for an upcoming Aboriginal poet in 2019. Ali has recently undertaken a Civitella Ranieri Fellowship in Italy, and is currently working on her first prose novel and a book of essays.

Rachel Bin Salleh

Rachel Bin Salleh is a Nimunburr and Yawuru woman from the Dampier Peninsula in the Kimberley of Western Australia. She grew up in the pearling town of Broome, and took up an editorial internship at Magabala Books in 1993. Rachel has worked with Indigenous writers, storytellers, poets, yarners, songwriters, playwrights, performers and illustrators from across Australia. She is an experienced editor and has worked in various roles including Sales and Administration Manager, Marketing and Production Co-ordinator, part-time bookseller, manager of a remote construction company and has previously been a director of Magabala Books. Rachel is passionate about publishing First Nations creators on a national and international literary stage.