WORDS such as fantastic, amazing and DEADLY filled the space as the doors opened after each session. Wide smiles and a vibe of delight and creativity was everywhere. It was exactly what all of us on the committee had hoped for.
The presenters told stories of hardship, inspiration, and dreams. Sailing the wild seas, of creating new characters out of past life moments, the history of the harsh practices used in the Parramatta women’s prison still repeating itself in our present day treatment of asylum seekers.
The room was full to capacity for Conversations on Sovereignty and Treaty. The panel led with such respect by Kutcha Edwards and before we knew it the panel had expanded to include other indigenous audience members, each with their own perspective and story leaving the audience thinking anew about this issue of national importance.
Kevin Kropinyeri had us all laughing both on and off the stage and Denise Scott wrapped it up as the audience roared.
Topping it all off two days later we found out we had the 2019 Miles Franklin Award winner in our presence, Melissa Lucashenko.
It’s an honor to be part of the strong and committed group. The bar is high but we will be ready to have another go for next year. Thank to everyone!
Samiro Douglas is a member of the Island Story Gatherers Committee, which organizes the festival.