Author image courtesy UQP
Archie Weller i(127 works by) (a.k.a. Irving Kirkwood; Kirk Weller)
Also writes as: R. Chee ; Raymond Chee
Born: Established: 1957 Cranbrook, Cranbrook area, Albany - Denmark - Mount Barker area, Far Southwest Western Australia, Western Australia, ;
Gender: Male
Heritage: Aboriginal
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BiographyHistory

Archie Weller grew up on a farm called Woonenup in the south-west of Western Australia and later attended Guildford Grammar School near Perth as a boarder. His grandfather's influence and encouragement were important in Weller's desire to write. He worked in a variety of mostly labouring jobs before writing his first novel, The Day of the Dog. It was written 'within a period of six weeks in a spirit of anger after his release from Broome jail for what he regarded as a wrongful conviction.' Ten years later, the novel was made into the AFI award winning film Blackfellas and the novel republished to coincide with the opening of the film.

Weller has also published poems and short stories in numerous anthologies and has had plays produced by the Kyana Festival, the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts and the Melbourne Workers Theatre. Nidjera : children crying softly together, a play exploring the emotions of a modern day Koori family and their survival (c. 1990), was written for the Melbourne Workers Theatre. He was commissioned to write a play for Black Swan Theatre as well. He was Writer-in-Residence at the Australian National University in 1984. In the 2000 AFI Awards, Confessions of a Head Hunter, written by Weller and Sally Riley (q.v.), won the Best Short Fiction Film award and was nominated for Best Screenplay in a Short Film.

Personal Awards

1983 winner FAW Patricia Weickhardt Award to an Aboriginal Writer
Centenary Medal For service to Australian society and literature

Awards for Works

The Window Seat , 2009 selected work short story

'Since Archie Weller was runner-up for the first Vogel Award in 1980 for his novel The Day of the Dog, he has become an important voice in contemporary Indigenous writing. The Window Seat is a collection of his best short fiction and a tribute to his contribution to Australian literature.

These stories are honest, brutal and moving. In 'The Window Seat', we witness an old woman's journey home through the eyes of an disgruntled white traveller who sits beside her; in 'Stolen Car', a young Aboriginal man learns his first lesson in rough justice, and in 'Dead Dingo', we see another rallying against what his friends, life and fate are offering him. (Publisher's blurb.)

2010 shortlisted Queensland Premier's Literary Awards Arts Queensland Steele Rudd Australian Short Story Award
Confessions of a Headhunter , 2000 single work film/TV 'Frank and Vinnie are modern day headhunters. They don't just want any heads, they want famous heads, heads with a price on them. Confessions of a Headhunter is a thought provoking and political exploration of the way in which iconic representations of Australia's history have typically masked indigenous realities and glorified injustice.' Source: Libraries Australia. (Sighted 05/02/2008).
2001 winner Western Australian Premier's Book Awards Scripts
2001 nominated Film Critics Circle of Australia Best Australian Short Film
2000 winner Australian Film Institute Awards Best Short Fiction Film
2000 nominated Australian Film Institute Awards Best Screenplay in Short Film
Land of the Golden Clouds , 1998 single work novel fantasy

'Three thousand years after a devastating global thermonuclear war, the desolate wastes of Australia support a myriad of primitive tribal nations, bound by superstition and xenophobia. Legend says the world was destroyed by the fiery love of Sister Sun, who betrayed her husband, Father Moon, to have an illicit affair with her own sister. Young Ilgar of the nomadic Ilkari is a Moon-talker, a sort of shaman whose nocturnal visions carry prophetic messages from Father Moon. Returning home after a particularly troubling vision, Ilgar and his friends are attacked by Nightstalkers, the cold, pale People of the Caves who only come out to hunt at night. Ilgar survives with the help of S'shony, a young Nightstalker female who's grown disillusioned with her race and longs for a richer life. Quickly the two fall in love, and Ilgar takes S'shony with him, disguising her as one of the mythical Children of Father Moon. After learning of the attack, Ilgar's tribe sends him off with S'shony and a few others to gather an army from all the tribes to destroy the Nightstalkers once and for all'.

Source: bookseller's website.

1998 winner Human Rights Awards Arts Literature Award
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