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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Writers and Storytellers
(Status : Public)
Coordinated by BlackWords Team
  • News and Events

    BlackWords is an amazing resource that showcases the rich diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Writers and Storytelling. We aim to provide resources and occasional events to highlight ways you can use BlackWords in teaching, research, and information sharing.

  • EVENT - Teaching With BlackWords Symposium for Teachers - BOOKED OUT

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    The  Teaching with BlackWords Symposium was a huge success. Subscribing schools have access to a set of rich teaching resources here.

    Contact us for information on how to subscribe:

  • Teaching with BlackWords Symposium: Best Practice for Teaching with Indigenous Stories

    22 November 2017

    The University of Queensland

    An important professional development event for teachers.

    Have you ever felt concerned, awkward about, or ill-prepared to teach Indigenous authored texts and issues into your classroom?  Would you like advice on how to respectfully use Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander stories and history in your teaching? Do you think your teaching could benefit from a deeper understanding of the concerns and issues that First Nations writers address in their work?

    Join a stellar cast of teachers and educators to discuss these issues and to discover how BlackWords can help with you teachers. 

    Designed for both secondary and tertiary teachers. 

    See a flyer here.

    Co-hosted by the School of Communication and Arts, University of Queensland and Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning, University of Technology Sydney.

    Dr Anita Heiss. Author of Tiddas, the memoir Am I Black Enough for You?, Manhattan Dreaming, Our Race for Reconciliation and many other works of fiction for adults and children. Anita is co-convening the event with Kerry Kilner, Director of AustLit.

    Professor Larissa Behrendt. University Technology Sydney. Author of the novels Home and Legacy, and of Finding Eliza, a study of the story of Eliza Frazer whose rescue by the Butchulla people is a foundational Australian encounter story.

    Dr Sandra R. Phillips. Academic and researcher in QUT Creative Industries with extensive experience in publishing, editing, and teaching Indigenous and Australian writing in university settings.

    Samuel Wagan Watson is an award-winning Brisbane-based poet and librettist whose poetry is regularly taught in schools and universities. 

    In addition, Lindsay Williams, the “English Teacher Guru”, well-known to Queensland teachers, will lead a workshop in using AustLit’s BlackWords resources in the classroom.


    Venue: Joyce Ackroyd Building, Building 37, The University of Queensland






    Welcome to Country


    Introduction – Kerry Kilner, Director, AustLit, Research Fellow, UQ


    BlackWords and Black Writers – Dr Anita Heiss, Author and Adjunct Professor, Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning, UTS


    Aboriginal Poetry in the classroom with Samuel Wagan Watson.


    Morning tea


    In conversation between Professor Larissa Behrendt and Dr Anita Heiss; Guided Q&A on teaching with Stolen Generations perspectives.




    Madonna Duffy, UQP, on the Black Writers Series. 


    Dr Sandra R. Phillips – Indigenous Writing and Educational Practices


    Mr Lindsay Williams – Workshop on using BlackWords; discussion of content provided.





    Cost: $50 no concession / $25 student/concession

    Contact:  Kerry Kilner

    Certificate of Attendance provided.

  • From the Archive...

  • BlackWords Symposium Papers Published in Country, JASAL, 2014!

    Cover image courtesy of publisher.

    The latest issue of JASAL, the Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature, is titled Country. It is with great pleasure that Kerry Kilner and Peter Minter announce that papers arising from the BlackWords Symposium in October 2012 are published as a special section.

    Be delighted and informed by amazing writers such as Anita Heiss, Bruce Pascoe, Natalie Harkin, Linda McBride-Yuke, and others.

    Click here to read all about it!

  • Dr Anita Heiss interviews Black Writers for BlackWords

    image of person or book cover
    Photo credit: Amanda James

    Dr Anita Heiss is a member of the Wiradjuri nation of central New South Wales and is one of Australia’s most prolific and well-known authors of Aboriginal literature. She has a PhD in Communication and Media which resulted in a history of Indigenous publishing titled Dhuuluu-Yala : To Talk Straight. Other published works include the historical novel Who Am I? : The Diary of Mary Talence : Sydney, 1937, the Macquarie PEN Anthology of Aboriginal Literature, which she co-edited with Peter Minter.

    See full AustLit entry

    BlackWords in Conversation – in 2014, BlackWords published a series of interviews with contemporary Black Australian writers. See the AustLit blog to keep up to date with these weekly insights in the lives and work of fantastic creative writers.



    We have compiled an Historical Events Calendar. The calendar contains information about significant political, historical, social and cultural dates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.


    The fifth anniversary symposium was held on Saturday, 20 October, 2012 at the UQ Art Museum on The University of Queensland's St Lucia campus.

    It followed a celebration at the Avid Reader bookshop in West End on Friday, 19 October, which launched UQP's David Unaipon award winner e-book collection. Some recent award winners read from their work.

    Speakers at the Symposium included Melissa Lucashenko, who gave the Keynote Address, Bruce Pascoe, and Wesley Enoch. Other speakers included Ellen Van Neerven-Currie, Irene Howe, Natalie Harkin, J. Linda McBride-Yuke, Simone Tur, Faye Blanche and Dr Jared Thomas.

    Sessions were chaired by Dr Sandra Philips, Dr Jeanine Leane, Dr Anita Heiss and Dr Peter Minter. Dr Heiss also conducted an In Conversation session with Australian Children’s Laureate Boori Pryor.

    Emcee artist Kayemtee closed the Symposium with a performance.