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First Word

7 May 2021

Queensland Terrace

Brisbane Writers Festival

Recognising the importance of putting First Nations voices first, every Brisbane Writers Festival begins with a First Word and concludes with a Last Word delivered by an Indigenous artist, and this year’s festival is no exception.

An award-winning writer of fiction, poetry and non-fiction, Ellen van Neerven is of Mununjali (Yugambeh language group) and Dutch heritage who often writes about Indigeneity and gender. Ellen has won or been shortlisted for numerous awards, including receiving the inaugural Quentin Bryce Award.

A free event, First Word will feature a traditional smoking ceremony and Ellen’s opening words.

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