GR60: First Things First

Dr. Sana Nakata, Dr. Shireen Morris, Paul Daley & Melissa Lucashenko moderated by Dr. Sandra Phillips

Saturday 25 August 2018
4.00PM – 5.00PM
Visions Theatre
National Museum of Australia

‘We invite you to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future'. This is the final sentence of the Uluru Statement.

The Griffith Review has produced a special edition called First Things First and the panel will reflect on some of those contributors. They are: the moderator of the session and co-editor of First Things First, Dr. Sandra Phillips, author and creative industries academic; political scientist Dr. Sana Nakata; successful author of adult and young adult fiction and non-fiction, Melissa Lucashenko; Walkley Award winning political journalist, playwright and novelist, Paul Daley; and Melbourne Law School academic researching Indigenous constitutional recognition, Dr. Shireen Morris. Join us for an important discussion about the future of indigenous recognition.

Dr. Sana Nakata is Lecturer in Political Science and ARC Discovery Indigenous Research Fellow (2016-2019). Trained as a lawyer and political theorist, her research is centred upon developing an approach for thinking politically about childhood in ways that improve the capacity of adult decision-makers to act in their interests. Her current project looks at representations of children in Australian political controversies, with particular focus upon Indigenous Australian children and child asylum seeker. She co-convenes the Indigenous-Settler Relations Collaboration.

Dr. Shireen Morris is a lawyer, postdoctoral fellow at the University of Melbourne Law School, and a senior adviser on constitutional reform to Cape York Institute. She is the co-editor of The Forgotten People: Liberal and Conservative Approaches to Recognising Indigenous Peoples with Damien Freeman and the editor of A Rightful Place: A Roadmap to Recognition. Shireen is a regular commentator on TV, radio and print media.

Paul Daley is an author, journalist, essayist and short story writer. Several of his books have been shortlisted in major Australian literary awards and his journalism has been recognised with numerous prizes including two Walkley Awards, one for Indigenous journalism. His essays appear regularly in Meanjin and Griffith Review (including in GR’s recent Indigenous issue, First Things First) and in compilations including The Best Australian Science Writing (2016) and The Honest History Book (2017). He writes Postcolonial, a column for The Guardian about Australian history, national identity and Indigenous culture. He has just completed his second novel, Jesustown.

Melissa Lucashenko  is an award-winning writer of novels including  Steam Pigs, Mullumbimby  and  Hard Yards, and an essayist whose work regularly appears in Griffith REVIEW. She lives between Brisbane and the Bundjalung nation, and has been a board member of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board of the Australia Council. In this interview she speaks about her piece 'Sinking below sight', a report from outer-Brisbane's impoverished 'Black Belt' and the stories of three women living with the day-to-day challenges of poverty, domestic violence and life on welfare. 

Dr. Sandra Phillips is a full-time academic lecturing in editing and publishing studies and is also Chair of the First Nations Australia Writers’ Network. She is Chair of the Advisory Board of the Centre for Indigenous Story. Sandra’s First Nations Australia status is Wakka Wakka and Gooreng Gooreng. Sandra has also held leadership and representation roles in writing and arts and culture more broadly, was former manager of Aboriginal Studies Press (Canberra) after working in-house as an editor with Magabala Books in Broome and University of Queensland Press.