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We Are Here: Stories of Home, Place and Belonging

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Homelessness can take many guises – sleeping rough, yes, but also couch-surfing, squatting, or staying in a refuge, boarding house or caravan park. The same can be said of the people who experience homelessness. Not defined simply by their predicament, they’re a diverse group. They may be siblings, parents, grandparents; people who study or work; people who’ve moved or migrated, yet to find their feet. People with full lives, and much to offer. 

A new profit-for-purpose book from Affirm Press, We Are Here: Stories of Home, Place and Belonging, is a testament to the unique insights of people who’ve known homelessness in Australia. Edited by novelist, homelessness researcher and former Big Issue deputy editor Meg Mundell, it offers a bounty of extraordinary true stories from a wide range of writers – prominent names, emerging voices and first-timers – who have themselves experienced homelessness. Behrouz Boochani, Krissy Kneen and Claire G. Coleman appear alongside undiscovered talents, exploring the idea of place – and how our sense of it changes when homeless.

Hosted by Mundell, and presented in partnership with Writers Victoria, we’ll hear from contributors about their stories, their places and their writing. Hear readings from the book – and learn about the process of putting it together – at this celebration of survival, place and belonging.

‘It’d be near-impossible to read this rich and humane mosaic of stories and not have how you conceive of homelessness completely reframed. A beautiful testament to survival, resilience and hope.’ – Benjamin Law

Presented in partnership with Writers Victoria.

Hares and Hyenas will be our bookseller for this event.

This event will be Auslan interpreted.

This event will be live-streamed on this page.

Featuring

Meg Mundell

Meg Mundell’s second novel, The Trespassers (UQP), is out in August 2019. Her first novel, Black Glass (Scribe), was shortlisted for the Barbara Jefferis Award, the Norma K. Hemming Award and two Aurealis Awards. Meg’s also the editor of We Are Here: Stories of Home, Place & Belonging (A... 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

Roderick Waller

Roderick Waller was born in Yorkshire in 1948 to a working-class family of ship builders. In 1971 he immigrated to Australia. He has worked as a jackaroo, a UN economist and a consultant in developing Asia–Pacific countries. Two passions are nature and creative writing. Rod has read his writing p... Read more

Ayub Abdi-Barre

Ayub Abdi-Barre came to Australia as a six-year-old refugee from Somalia. Placed in foster care, he later became homeless. Now living in a share house in Carlton North, he’s happy to call Melbourne home. Passionate about social justice, he works as a political advisor on topics such as the Austra... Read more

Jody Letts

Jody Letts is a former defence force worker who found herself living out of a van in the Melbourne CBD while suffering from work-related injuries, illnesses and mental health issues. Jody is committed to sharing her lived experiences through the Peer Education and Support Program (PESP), run by the ... Read more

Location

The Wheeler Centre

176 Little Lonsdale Street Melbourne Victoria 3000

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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land on which we live and work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past and present.