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Blak, Loud and Proud: First Nations Classics 2024


Join some of this continent’s boldest Blak voices and keep the fire burning as we celebrate the latest instalment of the First Nations Classics series.

About the Event

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers have been sharing stories on this continent for millennia. From best-selling and award-winning poetry, memoir and fiction to powerful works that defy categorisation, Blak writing depicts, challenges and honours culture, community and Country. Much-loved books by First Nations writers stand strong on shelves in homes, libraries, bookshops and classrooms – but there are always more books and writers to be discovered and rediscovered.

In 2023, University of Queensland Press (UQP) introduced its First Nations Classics series to amplify Blak voices in the Australian literary canon. This NAIDOC Week, celebrate the second instalment in the series with some of Australia’s finest writers.

Hear from acclaimed writers Larissa Behrendt, Fiona Foley, Claire G. Coleman and Dylan Coleman, with host Tony Birch and a special performance by Tamala Shelton, as they celebrate the sharing of First Nations storytelling through the generations. The evening will close with a special performance by Yorta Yorta artist and poet Neil Morris (DRMNGNOW).

This event honours the 2024 NAIDOC Week theme, ‘Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud and Proud’ and the enduring strength and vitality of First Nations cultures.


Presented in partnership with Blak & Bright


Full $29
Concession $20
Tickets for First Nations audiences are free
Full ticket + Book Pack* $173
Concession ticket + Book Pack* $164

*includes a copy of each of the eight First Nations Classics books available for collection at the event, 10% discount off RRP.

Members can save 10% on tickets to this event. Find out more here.


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Accessible toilets available

Assistive Listening

Auslan interpreting available by request

Companion tickets available

Registered Assistance Animals welcome

Wheelchair accessible

For information regarding accessibility at The Wheeler Centre, click here. 

Please notify us of all access requirements when booking online so we can assist you with your visit. If you require further information, please contact 

About the Books

Published by UQP, the First Nations Classics: Series Two welcomes eight more titles to this line-up of iconic Indigenous voices that have shaped this country’s literary landscape.

Finding Eliza: Power and Colonial Storytelling
Larissa Behrendt, introduced by Fiona Foley

Dreaming in the Urban Areas
Lisa Bellear, introduced by Kirli Saunders

Bitin’ Back
Vivienne Cleven, introduced by Melissa Lucashenko

Mazin Grace
Dylan Coleman, introduced by Claire G Coleman

Is That You, Ruthie?
Ruth Hegarty, introduced by Jackie Huggins

Me, Antman & Fleabag
Gayle Kennedy, introduced by Jared Thomas

Smoke Encrypted Whispers
Samuel Wagan Watson, introduced by Tony Birch

Plains of Promise
Alexis Wright, introduced by Mykaela Saunders


The bookseller for this event is Amplify Bookstore.


Larissa Behrendt

Larissa Behrendt AO is the Laureate Fellow at Jumbunna Research, UTS. She is an award winning author and filmmaker and the host of Speaking Out on ABC Radio.

Fiona Foley

Dr Fiona Foley is from the Wondunna clan of the Badtjala nation. Foley exhibits regularly in Australia and internationally. In 2014 she was the recipient of an Australia Council Visual Arts Award. She is a regular keynote speaker at conferences and symposia all over the world. Most recently she conv... Read more

Claire G. Coleman

Claire G. Coleman is a Noongar woman whose family have belonged to the south coast of Western Australia since long before history started being recorded. Claire writes fiction, essays, poetry and art writing while either living in Naarm (Melbourne) or on the road. During an extended circuit of the c... Read more

Dylan Coleman

Dylan Coleman is a Kokatha Aboriginal-Greek woman from the far west coast of South Australia. She is the award-winning author of Mazin Grace and has a PhD in creative writing from the University of Adelaide, where she teaches Indigenous health at Yaitya Purruna Indigenous Health Unit. Mazin Grace... Read more

Tony Birch

Tony Birch is the author of four novels, five short fiction collections, and two poetry books. His most recent book is the novel, Women and Children (UQP). ... Read more

Tamala Shelton

Tamala Shelton is a proud Bundjalung and Lama Lama actor, audiobook narrator, writer and spoken word artist based in Naarm (Melbourne). She has been working professionally in the creative arts industries for over 10 years and has recently begun her journey as a spoken word performer.

Neil Morris
Neil Morris

Neil Morris is a Yorta Yorta yiyirr. A poet, musician, community based activist, broadcaster. Known notably for his music project DRMNGNOW and indefatigable advocacy work around First Nations, rights, culture and country. Morris has made a significant mark within the decolonial movement in so called... Read more


The Wheeler Centre

176 Little Lonsdale Street Melbourne Victoria 3000

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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Centre stands. We acknowledge and pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their Elders, past and present, as the custodians of the world’s oldest continuous living culture.