UNSWriting: Rewriting the Nation: Minority women authors make history.

When:3 Oct 2018, 6:30pm - 8pm
Venue:Io Myers Studio, UNSW Kensington Campus
Who:Roanna Gonsalves, Paula Abood, Maryam Azam in a conversation facilitated by journalist Kate Evans


Presented by UNSWriting

Australian minority women writers have been inventively engaged in rewriting and revisioining the history and culture of the white nation to include perspectives that have been ignored or obscured. Meet authors Roanna Gonsalves, Paula Abood and Maryam Azam in a conversation facilitated by historian and ABC journalist Kate Evans (The Bookshelf) as they discuss the challenges they face and the courage they show in changing what counts as Australian history.

Roanna Gonsalves' current work in progress focuses on Governor Macquarie and his relationship with his Indian servant George Jarvis. This novel-in-progress reveals the rich diversity of Australia's history and the multicultural nature of the Australian colonies. Roanna is joined by Pakistani-Australian writer Maryam Azam and Arab-Australian writer Paula Abood, who negotiate the stories of subjects largely rendered invisible in canonical literature and other public forums. Paula Abood’s recent stories have explored the impact of the gulf war on Arab-muslim populations in Sydney. Her current work-in-progress is a fictionalised exploration of her grandmother’s life during the famine in Lebanon. Maryam Azam’s debut collection of poetry The Hijab Files focusses on the experience of Muslim millennials in Australia, exploring what the scarf means to young women. This collection investigates topics of dating and spirituality, drawing variously on humour and ritual.

TICKETS: $10 Full Price and $5 Concession.

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The School of the Arts and Media acknowledges the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund for supporting this project. 

Copyright Agency

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roanna 2

Roanna Gonsalves is the author of The Permanent Resident (UWAP), winner of the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards Multicultural Prize 2018, and longlisted for the Dobbie Literary Award 2018. It is on several lists of must-read books, and on the syllabi of university courses. Her work has been compared to the work of Alice Munro and Jhumpa Lahiri. Roanna is a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Australia Asia Endeavour Award, is co-founder co-editor of Southern Crossings, and has a PhD from UNSW. The Permanent Resident (UWAP) is published in South Asia as Sunita De Souza Goes To Sydney (Speaking Tiger). She is currently the UNSW Copyright Agency Writer-in-Residence.


paula aboodPaula Abood has worked with diverse refugee and immigrant communities for 30 years in creative, education and capacity building projects, as well as writing, directing and producing her own work in mostly artistic collaborations and ensembles. Her most recent creative productions include the theatre production, The Cartographer’s Curse (2016) which explored the centenary of the Sykes-Picot Agreement, Auburn Cartographies of Diversity (2016), Archive of the Displaced (2012), Sacred Women’s Voices (2013 / 2011), Hurriya and her Sisters (2009), Poetry on Rooftops (2006), and Of Middle Eastern Appearance (2001). Paula completed her doctorate on race, gender and representation in 2007. In the same year, she was awarded a Western Sydney Artists' Fellowship for the blogging project Race and the City, and in 2013 received the Australia Council's Ros Bower Award for lifetime achievement in community cultural practice working. 

Maryam Azam

Maryam Azam is an Australian-born Muslim millennial who lives and works in Western Sydney. She graduated with Honours in Creative Writing from Western Sydney University and holds a diploma in the Islamic Sciences. She is a recipient of the WestWords Emerging Writers’ Fellowship.



KateKate Evans is the co-host of The Bookshelf, a weekly radio program and podcast on ABC RN. She has worked on various ABC arts and culture programs over many, and has a PhD in history.







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