Vale Kerry Reed-Gilbert

    17 July 2019

    It is with great sadness that the Australia Council for the Arts acknowledges the passing of Kerry Reed-Gilbert, Wiradjuri Elder, poet, writer, mentor, editor, artist and activist. Kerry was an inspiration to the literary sector through her tireless work to establish First Nations Australia Writers Network (FNAWN), the peak body for Australian First Nations writers, poets and storytellers. As FNAWN’s inaugural Chairperson from 2012 to 2016, Kerry championed Indigenous Australian writers through her leadership and advocacy. Kerry’s work at FNAWN reflected her passionate belief in self-determination and self-management for Australia’s sovereign peoples.

    As a writer, Kerry’s poetry and prose appeared nationally and internationally. Her work has been published in many journals and anthologies, including the Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature, the Australian Book Review and Southerly. In 2006 she received an ‘Outstanding Achievement in Poetry’ award and ‘Poet of Merit’ Award from the International Society of Poets. In 2013 Kerry co-edited a collection of works with the US Mob Writing group, By Close of Business, and was co-editor for the Ora Nui Journal a collaborative collection between First Nations Australia writers and Maori writers. She is the author of the forthcoming memoir The Cherry Picker’s Daughter (Wild Dingo Press).

    The Australia Council gratefully honours Kerry’s outstanding contribution to Australian literature.

    The bush calls me back
    to the time of before.
    Before tar and cement.
    Brick walls and tin roofs.
    To the time of Creation
    where men were men
    and honesty was Lore.

    Wiradjuri country

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