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 longer 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. Her first Volume of poetry, Dark Secrets After Dreaming: A.D. 1887-1961 (2010, Presspress) won the Scanlon Prize for Indigenous Poetry, 2010 and her first collection of stories, Purple Threads, won the David Unaipon Award for an unpublished Indigenous writer in 2010. Jeanine has published widely in the area of Aboriginal literature.
Timmah Ball is an emerging writer, urban researcher and cultural producer of Ballardong Noongar descent. She has written for Meanjin, Westerly, Right Now and Etchings Indigenous. She is currently using zine-making to critique mainstream publishing conventions, and will produce Wild Tongue zine as part of Next Wave Festival in 2018.