Writer and editor, Ellen van Neerven-Currie is a descendant of the Mununjali (Yugambeh) people from Beaudesert; her father was Dutch. She grew up in Brisbane, where she attended Albany Creek High School; in 2010, Neerven-Currie graduated with a degree in Fine Arts in Creative Writing Production. In 2011, she was granted a mentorship with black & write! Indigenous Writing and Editing Project as an editing mentor, after which she was appointed as a black & write! Indigenous editor.
It was in her twenties that Neerven-Currie began to take writing seriously, although her love of writing began when she was six, encouraged by her grade one teacher. Subsequently, in 2013, she won the David Unaipon Award for an Unpublished Indigenous Writer in the Queensland Literary Awards for her short story collection Heat and Light.
(Source: slq black&write! Indigenous Writing and Editing Project website; Wheeler Centre website)
'In this award-winning work of fiction, Ellen van Neerven takes her readers on a journey that is mythical, mystical and still achingly real.'
'Over three parts, she takes traditional storytelling and gives it a unique, contemporary twist. In ‘Heat’, we meet several generations of the Kresinger family and the legacy left by the mysterious Pearl. In ‘Water’, a futuristic world is imagined and the fate of a people threatened. In ‘Light’, familial ties are challenged and characters are caught between a desire for freedom and a sense of belonging.'
'Heat and Light presents an intriguing collection while heralding the arrival of an exciting new talent in Australian writing.' (Publication summary)
'Part crime thriller, part literary romance, this novel confidently tackles themes of racism, police corruption and forbidden love in a small country town. It is very evocative of place, highly readable and quirky at times. Here is a strong new Aboriginal voice.' (Source: What the judges said, The Queensland Literary Awards 2013 website)