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July 23, 2024

First Nations voices to feature at 2022 Byron Writers Festival

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The Byron Writers Festival is set to feature more than 20 Indigenous writers and storytellers this year, leading discussions with a focus on healing and learning.

The stories of Australia’s eminent and emerging First Nations writers will be at the forefront of the festival, which begins on August 26.

‘Byron Writers Festival has again delivered a strong and tightly curated program which platforms leading First Nations thinkers, writers and poets from across the continent – a diverse range of voices that are much at the forefront of our national dialogue,’ Byron Writers Festival Board Member, and Bundjalung man Daniel Browning said.

Clockwise from top left: Evelyn Araluen, Bruce Pascoe, Marcia Langton,
Paul Callaghan, Jackie Huggins, Aaron Fa’Aoso. Image: Byron Writers Festival

The ongoing impacts of colonisation will be among the topics explored at the main festival site, with some of the country’s leading intellectuals including Marcia Langton, Jackie Huggins, Chelsea Watego and Veronica Gorrie taking the stage.

The Thea Astley Address will be delivered by Professor Judy Atkinson on the power of stories to heal.

Black Comedy stars Steven Oliver and Aaron Fa’aoso will also be part of a line-up that will include Bronwyn and Ella Noah Bancroft, Danny Teece-Johnson and emerging authors Megan Albany and Mykaela Saunders.

The program will also showcase experts in First Nations science including Bruce Pascoe, Corey Tutt and Krystal De Napoli and Karlie Noon, whose book Sky Country explores Indigenous astronomy.

Mia Thom, an emerging Bundjalung leader who was co-organiser of the School Strike for Climate movement within the Byron Shire will take part in the panel ‘Leaders for the New Age’ and the Saturday night feature event ‘Radical Hope’.

Paul Callaghan will share how Indigenous thinking can change your life in sessions focused on healing and wellbeing.

‘No writers’ festival in Australia would be complete without a strong representation of First Nations voices,’ Artistic Director Zoe Pollock said.

‘Particularly in this moment, when we are facing the climate crisis head on, more space needs to be created for Indigenous people to share their knowledge and lead discussions around the way forward.’

In the evenings the Brunswick Picture House will become a hub of highlight events including ‘Bundjalung Nghari – Indigenise’ presented in association with theatre company NORPA and curated by Rhoda Roberts featuring Bundjalung stories written by Steven Oliver, Kylie Caldwell, Ella Noah Bancroft, Melissa Lucashenko and Daniel Browning.

The festival has also partnered with Blak & Bright curator Jane Harrison to present ‘The Bogong’, a Blak version of ‘The Moth’, featuring award-winning poet Evelyn Araluen amongst six brilliant First Nations authors in spoken word form.

Every year Byron Writers Festival fundraises for the important work undertaken by the Indigenous Literary Foundation. Festival patrons are encouraged to make a donation in one the orange boxes that will be circulating the festival site with volunteers or at the ILF tent.

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  1. I’ve taken your list of “some of the country’s leading intellectuals” with a grain of salt. However, I shall be attending with an open mind.

  2. Oh good, they will be able to stand on where the sites Parklands developers protected the sites rich Aboriginal cultural heritage of Aboriginal camping and Artifacts by burying them under soil (presumably now under mud with all the other mashed into the mud events rubbish), in a good example of how we are still carrying on the 230 years of white occupation of Aboriginal land


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