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Australia's Literary Fulbright Award Winners
A Community of Distinguished Writers
(Status : Public)
Coordinated by Travis Franks
  • Fulbrighters in AustLit

    Not surprisingly, a number of Australians who have completed Fulbright fellowships in the US have gone on to establish successful publishing careers. As such, those former Fulbrighters and their works have been indexed within AustLit's extensive archive. Have a look at the information below to learn more about previous recipients and explore their most well-known and important works.

  • Oodgeroo Noonuccal

    Oodgeroo Noonuccal, previously known as Kath Walker, completed a Fulbright fellowship between 1978 and 1979. She was poet-in-residence at Bloomsburg State College in Pennsylvania, and spoke at universities across the country, including Texas Southern University, University of California, Berkeley and the Institute of American Indian Arts in New Mexico. Walker exemplified the Fulbright mission of cultural exchange, touring portions of the United States to promote the documentary film Shadow Sister : A Film Biography of Kath Walker, M.B.E., give poetry readings and educate American audiences--from grade school children to university administrators--on Aboriginal Australia's histories, cultures and ongoing political struggles in settler Australia. 

    With 1964's collection We Are Going, Oodgeroo (then still known as Kath Walker) became an immediate success, in part because she was recognised at the first Aborigine to publish a book of verse and the first Aboriginal woman to publish a book of any kind. 

    In addition to her poetry, Oodgeroo was an ardent political activist. She played an instrumental role in the reform movement that brought about the 1967 Constitutional Referendum that expanded Aboriginal political participation in Australian government. She was also a figurehead in the so-called 'black armband' protests of two bicentennial events: the 1970 celebration of Captain Cook's landing near present-day Sydney and the much larger 1988 Bicentenary celebrations that commemorated the arrival of the First Fleet. It was during 1988 that, as a gesture toward decolonisation, Walker returned to her language name, Oodgeroo Noonuccal, and returned the Member of the Order of the British Empire medal she had been awarded in 1970.

    Materials saved from Oodgeroo's Fulbright fellowship are housed at University of Queensland's Fryer Library, as part of the Papers of Oodgeroo Noonuccal manuscript collection.

    EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following AGENT record(s): Oodgeroo Noonuccal - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following AGENT record(s): Kath Walker -
  • Excerpts from Oodgeroo's Final Report on her Fulbright Project

    'My Fulbright scholarship allowed me to sample the vastly different communities that make up the United States. The richness of their diversity permitted me to explore, in depth, my general impressions and to come away with a knowledge of many Americas and Americans'.


    'As an Aboriginal, I valued the chance to meet members of minorities whose history is so familiar and to learn of their present direction and their hopes for the future'.


    'As a teacher and communicator, I have never found audiences more stimulating and hopefully stimulated. The questioning, whether from infants classes or senior academics, may not have always been informed but was always willing to be so'.


    'I hope that in return, audiences learnt as much about the oldest Australians and a 'voice for her people' fulfilled her commission.'

    Citation information: Oodgeroo Noonuccal (Kath Walker), Australian Grantee Report Form (Fulbright-Hays Act), UQFL 84, Box 4, Fryer Library, The University of Queensland. [Emphasis added to quotations]

  • Discover Oodgeroo Noonuccal's MY PEOPLE: A KATH WALKER COLLECTION

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    'Oodgeroo's writing is often a provocative and passionate plea for justice. My People is a collection of poetry and prose and a reminder of Oodgeroo's contribution to indigenous culture and the journey to reconciliation.' (Source: Reading Australia website)

    (...more)
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  • Discover Oodgeroo Noonuccal's STRADBROKE DREAMTIME

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    Stradbroke Dreamtime 'presents two aspects of Oodgeroo's life. Part one, 'Stories from Stradbroke', describes episodes from Oodgeroo's childhood in Australian society and an impression of her family's Aboriginal heritage. Part two, 'Stories from the Old and New Dreamtime', is made up of traditional Aboriginal lore which Oodgeroo heard as a child.' Publisher's blurb (...more)
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  • Discover SHADOW SISTER: A FILM BIOGRAPHY OF KATH WALKER, M.B.E.

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    This documentary shows the well-known Aboriginal poet Kath Walker living on Stradbroke Island, Queensland, the place that was once the home of her native tribe. She welcomes visitors, particularly Aboriginal children, hoping to imbue them with pride in their own culture.

    (...more)
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  • Jill Ker Conway

    Dr Jill Ker Conway broke ground as a feminist historian and educator after receiving a Fulbright in 1960 to study at Harvard. In addition to serving as the first female president of Smith College in Massachusetts, Conway authored several notable works, including the popular memoir The Road from Coorain.    

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    'One women's journey from a childhood in Australia's outback to adulthood as a successful American career woman. The Road From Coorain is about Everywoman, for it is about childhood loneliness, anguished parent-child relationships, dawning sensibility, discovering a vocation, and finding one's own sense of self.' (Source: Bunch of Grape Bookstore website)

    (...more)
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  • Frank Moorhouse

    Dr Frank Moorhouse, well-known in Australia for his literary fiction, journalism and television writing, was a Fulbright Senior Fellow from 1994-1995. During his Fulbright year, Moorhouse conducted research for what has come to be known as his 'League of Nations trilogy', which includes the Miles Franklin award winner, Dark Palace : The Companion Novel to Grand Days.

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  • Discover Frank Moorhouse's DARK PALACE

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    'Winner of the Miles Franklin Literary Award.

    'Five years have passed since Edith Campbell Berry's triumphant arrival at the League of Nations in Geneva, determined to right the wrongs of the world. The idealism of those early Grand Days has been eroded by a sense foreboding as the world moves ever closer to another war. Edith's life too, has changed: her marriage and her work are no longer the anchors in her life – she is restless, unsure, feeling the weight of history upon her and her world.

    (...more)
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  • Brian Matthews

    An esteemed literary scholar, Brian Matthews completed a Fulbright fellowship in 1986, serving as the scholar in residence at University of Oregon. The following year, he published Louisa, a biography of Louisa Lawson, and Matthews is now regarded as the leading scholar of Louisa and Henry Lawson, having also published The Receding Wave : Henry Lawson's prose in 1972. 

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  • Discover Brian Matthews's LOUISA

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    University of Queensland Press refers to their republished version of Louisa as a 'groundbreaking, award-winning biography of Louisa Lawson, mother of Henry Lawson, major reformer, innovator and journalist, and founding editor of The Dawn. It includes an informative, personal foreword by Louisa' s first publisher, Hilary McPhee. Louisa won a number of prizes in the first year of its publication: The Victorian Premier's Award for Non-Fiction (The Nettie Palmer Prize), The NSW State Award for Literature, The Gold Medal of the Australian Literature Society and The John Hetherington Bicentennial Biography Prize (shared).

    (...more)
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  • Recent Fulbright Alums

    EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following AGENT record(s): Sarah Holland-Batt - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following AGENT record(s): Lachlan Philpott - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following AGENT record(s): Ann Vickery - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following AGENT record(s): Chloe Hooper - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following AGENT record(s): Timothy J. Mehigan - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following AGENT record(s): Angelina Hurley - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following AGENT record(s): Lucy Neave - EDITORS: this Header component is linked to in the Explore section of the following AGENT record(s): Suneeta Peres da Costa -
  • An excerpt from Sarah Holland-Batt's essay 'What's in a Name?'

    'Drawing attention to writing by women is a worthwhile endeavour, but calling writers “female poets” or “female novelists” or “female writers” as a kneejerk descriptor, in my view, is less helpful. . . . I am concerned when I see the author’s gender become the primary lens via which their writing is received and comprehended,in spite of its subject matter, as in the recent case of the “young female poets.” These poets are rightfully being celebrated because they have written impressive books that contribute to the vibrant corpus of contemporary Australian literature. While it is important to bring such writing by women to the fore, let’s give it the autonomy it deserves and just call it what it is: writing'.

    Read the full essay at What’s in a Name?: Gender and the Generation of 'Young Female Poets'
  • Discover Chloe Hooper's THE ENGAGEMENT

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    'Liese Campbell has an engagement for the weekend: to stay with Alexander Colquhoun, the well-mannered heir of a pastoral dynasty, at his property in western Victoria. Liese, an English architect in flight from the financial crisis, now works at her uncle's real-estate business in Melbourne. Alexander has been looking for a place in the city. The luxury apartments Liese shows him have become sets for a relationship that satisfies their fantasies - and helps pay her debts. It's a game. Both players understand the rules.

    (...more)
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  • An excerpt from Angelina Hurley's essay 'My Inheritance of Humour'

    'Racism, survival and sorrow are just a few of the obstacles we as Aboriginal peoples have had to endure. Humour has enabled me to never wonder why I am black, but to live with pride and without regret. Humour is our healing. It’s been our salvation.' 

    Read the Full essay: My Inheritance of Humour
  • Discover Tim Mehigan's COMPANION TO THE WORKS OF J.M. COETZEE

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    'J.M. Coetzee is perhaps the most critically acclaimed bestselling author of imaginative fiction writing in English today. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2003 and is the first writer to have been awarded two Booker Prizes. The present volume makes critical views of this important writer accessible to the general reader as well as the scholar, discussing Coetzee's main works in chronological order and introducing the dominant themes in the academic discussion of his oeuvre. It also highlights the author's exceptionally nuanced approach to writing as both an exacting craft and a challenging moral-ethical undertaking.

    (...more)
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  • An excerpt from Suneeta Peres da Costa's essay 'A Home in Ananda and the World'

    'Literature and its agent, imagination, have always seemed gifts to me, . . . offering an intimate and compassionate understanding of others and self beyond the narrow limits of national boundaries and frontiers; with the power to transfigure, or at least communicate, the unremitting trauma of exile too'.

    read the full essay at A Home in Ananda and the World
  • Discover Lucy Neave's WHO WE WERE

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    'Melbourne, 1938. Annabel's dream is to be a scientist. Falling in love is not part of her plan. But when she meets Bill Whitten she knows instantly that they are destined for each other.

    'She has to wait for him to come back from the war. Their life together, as lovers and microbiologists, can now begin.

    'The newlyweds emigrate to New York. They are at once captivated by fellow immigrants Frank, an ex-Communist from Hungary, and his playwright wife, Suzy. It's the 1950s and the Cold War is in full swing.

    (...more)
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  • Discover Lachlan Philpott's MICHAEL SWORDFISH

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    'What would happen if someone you knew disappeared? How would you react? How would your school react? An assembly called, a footy game postponed, a class interrupted. But who is Michael Swordfish? And who knows where he’s gone?

    'For two years award-winning playwright Lachlan Philpott collaborated with students from Newington College, Sydney, to bring their voices and worlds to life. Michael Swordfish is the exciting product of this collaboration: a play that traverses the tumultuous landscape of the teenage experience with a sober truth and darkly comic voice.

    (...more)
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  • Discover Ann Vickery's DEVIOUS INTIMACY

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    'Devious Intimacy combines a sly, playful wit with a melancholic tenderness to navigate the complex terrain of difficult feelings. Vickery's poems move effortlessly between the private world of love and sexuality to wider forms of connection, teasing out how past histories and literature underscore contemporary human bonds and how we imagine ourselves in light of neighbours, nationhood, and the environment.' (Publication summary)

    (...more)
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  • More Fulbright Recipients in AustLit

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