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Birch, Lucashenko inaugural Hage Award mentors

Sweatshop Literacy Movement has announced multi-award-winning authors Tony Birch and Melissa Lucashenko will mentor the recipients of the inaugural Hage Award for First Nations Writers.

As previously reported by Books+Publishing, cultural critic and author Ghassan Hage donated his fees from Sweatshop’s republication of his work The Racial Politics of Australian Multiculturalism to establish a fellowship for First Nations writers.

The inaugural Hage Award for First Nations Writers will provide income, mentoring and residencies for two emerging writers from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds to each develop their debut manuscripts. In addition to receiving $5000 each, the successful applicants will be offered a 12-month mentorship with Birch and Lucashenko.

‘We are excited to be involved in this wonderful initiative,’ said Birch and Lucashenko. ‘We want to express our thanks to Ghassan Hage for his generosity and support. We also want to thank the crew at Sweatshop for their hard work, love and solidarity. To all the emerging writers in our community, we wish you the best with your creative pursuits and offer our support.’

Said Hage: ‘It should go without saying today that to dwell in a colonised space means that all of us non-Indigenous people are complicit in the reproduction of a structurally toxic relation that we are benefiting from. To exist ethically in such a space, one has to try to engage whenever and wherever one can, and from each according to their capacities, in reparative practices of de-toxification … As a beneficiary of that major stolen good that is Australia, every giving to Indigenous people is always a minor giving back.’

The Hage Award for First Nations Writers is proudly supported by Diversity Arts Australia and administered by an official steering committee, which includes Larissa Behrendt, Birch, Jumana Bayeh, Randa Abdel-Fattah, Caroline Alcorso, Lena Nahlous and Winnie Dunn.

Applications for the Hage Award for First Nations Writers are open until 12 August 2024. More information is available from the Sweatshop website.

Pictured (L–R): Ghassan Hage, Melissa Lucashenko and Tony Birch.


Category: Awards Local news