Monday, April 9, 2012

Thank you Brisbane!

This is a belated but heart-felt thank you to all the Brisbane community who recently came out to celebrate the release of Am I Black Enough for You?  On March 30, I spent the day yarning with Karen Dorante (98.9FM), Andrew Bartlett (4ZZZ), Rhianna Patrick(ABC, pictured above) and Moyd and Lorretta (4BC pictured below). Then it was a quick costume change before a wonderful night at one of my all-time favourite bookshops. Yes, you guessed it, Avid Reader in West End hosts the best book parties and literary conversations I’ve been privy to in recent years, and as tradition would have it, Avid is where we launched my memoir on identity into the world.


Hosted by author and Avid event organiser Ms Krissy Kneen (pictured above) we were all treated to the conversational skills of broadcaster Mr Paul Barclay from Big Ideas Radio National (below). Don’t tell him but I think he’s a bit of a dish!

For me the highlight of the night was the realisation that I only knew about 10% of the audience there. Usually I know almost everyone (family, friends, colleagues), but on that mild Friday night there was a whole new group of Australian readers interested in engaging with the topic of identity. It was one of the most amazing, warm, intelligent events I’ve been part of as a writer, and I am grateful to those who popped in, sat, listened, laughed, cringed and even bought books!

And THEN on Sunday, the place where I would LOVE to work – the State Library of Queensland – specifically the kuril dhagun Indigenous Knowledge Centre, hosted a forum on the topic of colour and what it means to be black. Organised by the deadly Nadine McDonald-Down and chaired by the delightful Rhianna Patrick (she is in demand always) we were all treated to a fabulous performance by Steven Oliver who wowed the audience with his poetic recitations on what identity means (it will be published her shortly), while well-known actor Michael Tuahine posed the question: ‘Can you not judge me for my success?’

With a huge Murri turnout it was an inspiring way to spend a Sunday afternoon, and once asking all the Indigenous people in the audience to raise their hand, it was clear by looking at the range of shades of colour, that it really didn’t play any role at all in defining Indigeneity in Australia today. And therein lies the answer to the big question!

Finally, to all the Twitter-pals, Facebook friends, extended-family-aunties-and-uncles and booklovers alike, thank you for being part of my journey.  And for all that support, I just want to say I am truly grateful!


Tez said...

Hi there you delicious delightful and ever-so-deadly diva ....I'm feeling grateful & fortunate to have just listened to Radio National featuring your good self at Avid Reader !!!
I've been working nightshift all this year and caught the gig will driving home from another nights "toil in the soil" ,and as per... you were exceptionally entertaining,eloquent, inspiring and enlightening. A big rap , I guess but pretty much what I've come to expect from you sweet Neet .
( I went out on a limb there...airing my "pet-name" for you here , if this doesn't get posted I'll know it grates with you! )

Tonight was a timely reminder to me of just how much you have inspired me since I became aware of you ...( a while before myspace too, I should add )
Thank you for being you , Tez.

Phil said...

I heard you on Radio National at about 3 this morning. Couldn't sleep, so I turn on the radio. And you turned me on! What a time to be thoroughly refreshed, but that's what happened. Congratulations on being you.

Janet Hill said...

Just finished reading your latest book, Anita & loved every bit of it! Really savoured the stories of your family, your fiends & your journey ! I found it really interesting, & I learned a lot as well! xx Janet

Dr Anita Heiss said...

DEAR TEZ- It was so wonderful to see you here. I hope you are writing also. Loved your poetry, somehow wasted on MySpace seeing as I can't even understand how it all works now. As ever, I am sending you peace from the east and hope life is treating you kindly. Yours, Neets :)

HELLO PHIL - so glad you enjoyed the Radio National piece. Paul Barclay is a true gentleman and quick. It was a pleasure to do the show with him and a thoughtful audience in Brisbane. Much peace, Anita

DEAR JANET - thanks so much for your feedback, I'm really pleased you enjoyed the book and the family stories. XX Anita