Dr Jackie Huggins AM FAHA, a member of the Bidjara and Birri Gubba Juru peoples, is currently leading the work for Treaty/Treaties in Queensland. In popular demand as a speaker on Aboriginal issues, she is a well-known historian and author, with articles published widely in Australia and internationally. Her acclaimed biography of her mother, Auntie Rita, was published in 1994 and in 2022 her biography of her father, Jack of Hearts: QX11594 was published.
She was the former Co-Chair National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, former member of the National Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation, Co-Chair Reconciliation Australia, the State Library Board of Queensland and the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. She was Co-Commissioner for Queensland for the Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families, and for several years was a Judge of the annual David Unaipon Award.
Whiti Hereaka is an award-winning novelist and playwright of Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Te Arawa, Ngāti Whakaue, Tuhourangi, Ngāti Tumatawera, Tainui and Pākehā descent, based in Wellington, New Zealand. She holds a Masters in Creative Writing (Scriptwriting) from the International Institute of Modern Letters.
In 2012, Whiti was the recipient of the Bruce Mason Playwriting Award. Her play Rewena, written during her writer in residency at the Michael King Writers Centre in 2012, has been performed nationally and was published in the anthology Here/Now in 2015.
During 2018 and 2019, Whiti worked as a scriptwriter on the second season of Pukeko Pictures' animated TV series: Kiddets.
She is the author of three novels: The Graphologist's Apprentice, and the award-winning YA novels Bugs and Legacy. In 2019, Legacy won the New Zealand Children's and Young Adult Book Award for YA fiction.
She is also co-editor, with Witi Ihimaera, of an anthology of Māori myths — Pūrākau — published in 2019.
Whiti's latest novel, Kurangaituku, retells the story of Hatupatu, from the ogress bird woman's point of view.
Cheryl Leavy is from the Kooma and Nguri Nations in western and central Queensland.
An emerging poet, Cheryl was the 2022 winner of the Oodgeroo Noonuccal Prize for Indigenous Poetry. Her work has also been published in Cordite. Cheryl is currently working on a Children’s book based on her poetry, to be published by UQP.
Cheryl has enjoyed a long career in the arts and cultural sector and has served on many arts boards, including the Brisbane Writers Festival, where she established and Chairs the First Nations Advisory Committee.
Cheryl’s day job sees her working to achieve land justice for First Nations peoples across Queensland.