In conversation with Anita Heiss

Anita Heiss will be in conversation with Ann McGrath on Anita's new book, Am I Black Enough For You? 10 Years On, the story of an urban-based high achieving Wiradyuri woman working to break down stereotypes and build bridges between black and white Australia.

Anita, a successful author and passionate advocate for Aboriginal literacy, rights and representation, was born a member of the Wiradyuri nation of central New South Wales but was raised in the suburbs of Sydney and educated at the local Catholic school, has said "I'm Aboriginal. I'm just not the Aboriginal person a lot of people want or expect me to be". In her book, she explores what it means to be Aboriginal and why is Australia so obsessed with notions of identity?

In this heartfelt and revealing memoir, told in her distinctive, wry style, with large doses of humour, Anita Heiss gives a firsthand account of her experiences as a woman with a Wiradyuri mother and Austrian father. Anita explains the development of her activist consciousness, how she strives to be happy and healthy, and the work she undertakes every day to ensure the world she leaves behind will be more equitable and understanding than it is today.

Anita Heiss is one of Australia's best known authors, publishing across genres including non-fiction, historical fiction, commercial fiction and children's fiction. Anita's non-fiction works include Am I Black Enough for You?, Dhuuluu-Yala (To Talk Straight): Publishing Aboriginal Literature, and, as editor, Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia and The Macquarie PEN Anthology of Aboriginal Literature, which she co-edited with Peter Minter. Her novel Barbed Wire and Cherry Blossoms was shortlisted for the Queensland Literary Awards and longlisted for the Dublin International Literary Prize, and was the University of Canberra 2020 Book of the Year. Anita's children's literature includes Kicking Goals with Goodesy and Magic, co-written with Adam Goodes and Michael O'Loughlin.

Internationally, she has performed her work and lectured on Aboriginal literature at universities and conferences, consulates and embassies in the USA, Canada, the UK, Tahiti, Fiji, New Caledonia, Spain, Japan, Austria, Germany, China, India and New Zealand. Anita is a Lifetime Ambassador for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, a Professor of Communications at the University of Queensland and is on the board of the National Justice Project, University of Queensland Press, Aboriginal Art Co and Circa Contemporary Theatre. Anita loves chocolate, running and being a creative disruptor.

Ann McGrath AM is the Director of the Research Centre for Deep History at ANU, where she is the WK Hancock Distinguished Professor of History and an ARC Kathleen Fitzpatrick Laureate Fellow. Her work focuses upon the study of Australian and United States History, with an emphasis on gender and colonialism. Her most recent publication, co-edited with Lynette Russell, is The Routledge Companion to Global Indigenous History.

This event is in association with Harry Hartog Bookshop. Books will be available for purchase on the evening in the Cultural Centre foyer. Pre-event book signings will be available from 5.30pm, and available again after the event.

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podcast will be made available after the event.