'Paul Collis writer and activist, began his undergraduate communications degree in Newcastle in 1995 but went back to work after his second year.
Eight years later, while working in Alice Springs, he decided he would finish his degree before his credit expired. By the time he went back to Newcastle and reapplied his degree had been closed. He then applied to the University of Canberra where he completed his Bachelor of Communications in Multimedia in 2005 before being awarded a Creative Communications Honours degree. For the course he wrote a 14,000-word novella on the identity of an Aboriginal boy in his community and says it was the most liberating experience of his life.
Paul was the first Aboriginal student to achieve honours at the University of Canberra and the first to win the Herbert Burton Medal, the University's most prestigious award.'
For much of his working life, Collis had being a cultural teacher and mentor, including as an Aboriginal arts officer, medical education worker, teacher in juvenile detention centres and adult prisons; and was a manager of a homeless Aboriginal boys' hostel. Collis had also been widely involved in Aboriginal youth services, the arts and sports, and as an Activist for Indigenous justice. (Source: ABC website: www.abc.net.au; Koori Mail, issue 550, 2013)
‘When he was in gaol, he’d begun to prepare himself for the fight of his life, a showdown with the policeman, McWilliams … he’d face life with death, and see who blinked first.’
'Blackie and Rips are fresh out of prison when they set off on a road trip back to Wiradjuri country with their mate Carlos. Blackie is out for revenge against the cop who put him in prison on false grounds. He is also craving to reconnect with his grandmother’s country.
'Driven by his hunger for drugs and payback, Blackie reaches dark places of both mystery and beauty as he searches for peace. He is willing to pay for that peace with his own life.
'Part road-movie, part ‘Koori-noir’, Dancing Home announces an original and darkly funny new voice.'