Unpublished Indigenous Writer – David Unaipon Award shortlist
Paul Collis for Dancing Home
Dr Paul Collis teaches in Creative Writing at the University of Canberra. He is a Barkindji man from Bourke, on the Darling River in north-west New South Wales. He is a fiction writer and poet who draws upon both Aboriginal and Western narrative traditions in his work.
He was the first Aboriginal student to achieve Honours at the University of Canberra, the first to earn a PhD in Communications there, and the first to win the Herbert Burton Medal, its most prestigious award.
B.A. Quakawoot for The Song of Jessica Perkins
Boyd Quakawoot was born in Brisbane in 1971, to an Aboriginal and Australian South Sea Islander father and Scottish mother. He grew up and lives in Mackay North Queensland and identifies with the Yawibara people of Mackay. The Song of Jessica Perkins is his first written work. He writes poetry and short stories and has also worked on the 2005 documentary ‘Stori Blong Yu Mi’ about Australian South Sea Islanders.
Boyd is a qualified Chef and has worked for ten years in the Community Service Industry in the areas of Drug and Alcohol, Youth Work, and Homeless Indigenous men. He currently works as a Resource Officer with the Central Queensland University in Mackay.
Yvonne Weldon for 67 Days
Yvonne Weldon is a Wiradjuri woman from both the Kalare/ Lachlan and Murrumbidgee Rivers in New South Wales. Yvonne is a proud mother of three children. Yvonne has worked in the Aboriginal community controlled and government sectors (federal, state and local) and has been actively involved in Aboriginal affairs her entire life. Yvonne is the elected Chairperson of the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council located in the heart of Redfern. Yvonne maintains linkages to her homelands and feels complete when she returns home to Cowra.
Yvonne has lived through the sufferings of her people and is very conscious of the need to keep the lived lessons from her people’s oral traditions and documenting it into written form. 67 Days is Yvonne's way of bringing her staunch ancestors' teachings into today's world for her family and yours.