The Wheeler Centre
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Kerry Reed-Gilbert: The Cherry Picker’s Daughter
Aunty Kerry Reed-Gilbert was a Wiradjuri poet, elder, editor, educator and a champion of up-and-coming Indigenous writers. Her contribution to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander literary community – and to Australia's rich literary landscape more broadly – is hard to overstate. Aunty Kerry co-founded the First Nations Australian Writers Network (FNAWN) and edited many indispensable books of Indigenous poetry and prose.
When Aunty Kerry died in July this year, she'd just completed the manuscript for her memoir, The Cherry Picker’s Daughter. In the book, she tells the story of growing up Aboriginal on the fringes of outback towns in New South Wales. It's a story about poverty, racism and persecution and about the bravery and resilience of Aboriginal women, particularly her father's sister, Aunty Joyce Hutchings, who raised her along with her own children.
At this very special event, Jeanine Leane and Timmah Ball come together to celebrate Aunty Kerry's life and legacy.
Jeanine Leane is a Wiradjuri writer, teacher and academic from southwest New South Wales. After a long teaching career, she completed a doctorate in Australian literature and Aboriginal representation and a postdoctoral fellowship at the Australian Centre for Indigenous History at the Australian National University.
Timmah Ball is a nonfiction writer, researcher and creative practitioner of Ballardong Noongar heritage. In 2018 she co-created Wild Tongue Zine for Next Wave Festival with Azja Kulpinska which interrogated labor inequality in the arts industry. In 2016 she won the Westerly magazine Patricia Hackett Prize, and her writing has appeared in a range of anthologies and literary journals.