3032035580_2de525d13b_z
Type
Announcement
Category
Prizes

Fair Australia Prize 2018: the shortlists

What does unionism mean to people today? What should be its objectives? How can we come together to make real change, now and into the future? 

The Fair Australia Prize, supported by the National Union of Workers, the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance, and the National Tertiary Education Union (VIC), asks writers and artists to engage with these questions and imagine a new political agenda for Australia through fiction, essays, poetry, cartoons and art. In 2018, the Fair Australia Prize is made up of 5 x $3000 prizes and 3 x $1000 union member prizes. Winners will be announced at Overland in a fortnight’s time, and published in our final 2018 edition, to be launched on 7 December at the Toff in Town.

We’d like to thank all the talented writers, artists, workers and trade unionists who created a submission for this year’s competition.

Thanks, also, to our hard-working judges: Evelyn Araluen, Toby Fitch, Carina Garland, Sian Vate, Melanie Cheng, Fiona McGregor, Mardi O’Connor, Amy McQuire, Giovanni Tiso, Godfrey Moase, Mary Leunig, Colin Long and Sam Wallman.

Finally, we are pleased to announce the shortlists for the 2018 Fair Australia Prize. Congratulations all!

 

Fiction ($3000)

‘Standing up, lying down’ – Emma Ashmere

Emma AshmereA PhD student navigates her place in the world as her health changes.

Emma Ashmere’s stories have appeared in The Age, Griffith Review, Sleepers Almanac, Review of Australian Fiction, NGVmagazine and #8wordstory. She has a PhD from La Trobe University. Her novel The Floating Garden (Spinifex Press) was shortlisted for the 2016 MUBA. She’s a recipient of the QWC/Olvar Wood mentorship.

‘Saw as we came in on both points of the bay …’ – Craig Cormick

Craig CormickThis story is a part of a series of short stories I have written based around re-imaginings of Captain Cook, and this story uses excerpts from the journals of Cook, Joseph Banks and Sydney Parkinson, but playfully insets contemporary themes into them.

Craig Cormick is an award-winning author of fiction, nonfiction and children’s fiction. He has published over 25 books and dozens of short stories and enjoys playing with history just about as much as history seems to enjoy playing with him.

‘Your cart is empty’ – Laura Elvery

Laura ElveryEleanor and her three kids think they’ve found their saviour.

Laura Elvery is the author of the short story collection, Trick of the Light (UQP), which was recently shortlisted in the Queensland Literary Awards. Laura lives in Brisbane.

‘A dog’s life’ – Sophie Six

Sophie SixIn an Australia where rationalisation has triumphed over human life, a young man refuses to choose between us and them.

Sophie Six was awarded the NT Literary Award (short story section), shortlisted for the Terry Pratchett First Novel award, was part of HardCopy 2016 and loves writing speculative fiction.

‘Carpark’ – Tanya Vavilova

Tanya VavilovaTwo teenagers smoking on a balcony observe an act of violence on the street below. Carpark explores what it means to be an ethical bystander in a modern and increasingly anonymous world. 

Tanya Vavilova is an emerging writer preoccupied with liminal spaces and outsider perspectives – by life on the margins. She was recently shortlisted for the Neilma Sidney, Alan Marshall and Katharine Susannah Prichard Non-Fiction awards, and commended for the Newcastle, Lane Cove and Stuart Hadow prizes. Her debut collection of essays is forthcoming from Brio in 2020.

‘Slip stitch’ – Alex McInnis

20181105_204613Two home care workers and an elderly woman challenge the splintering of care from work.

Alex McInnis is a postgraduate creative writing student and union campaigner.

 

 

Poetry ($3000)

‘Sunday mornings post-sermon’ – Eunice Andrada

Eunice AnandaOn the commodification of Filipina bodies through transnational labour and the church as a makeshift space for the unionising of Filipinas who undertake the thankless, at times lethal, work of sustaining the rest of the world – raising other women’s children, taking care of the elderly and disabled in foreign countries – in order to financially support their own families in the Philippines.

Eunice Andrada is a Filipina immigrant poet and teaching artist based in Sydney, Australia. Featured in The Guardian, CNN International and other media, she has performed her poetry on diverse international stages, from the Sydney Opera House to the United Nations Climate Negotiations in Paris. Flood Damages (Giramondo Books 2018) is her debut poetry collection.

‘The cobalt blues’ – Jake Goetz

Jake Goetz‘The cobalt blues’ began on the way to work one morning while living in Brisbane … Perhaps one might describe it as a discursive musing on the nature of work, political reluctance/persuasion, the porousness of a poem to place and how one (un)locates themselves amongst a city’s fluctuations.

Jake Goetz currently lives in Sydney’s inner west. His first book, meditations with passing water, is forthcoming as a part of the Rabbit Poets Series in November, 2018. He edits the small journal, Marrickville Pause.

‘An Index of Big Things (Australia)’ – Melody Paloma

Melody PalomaAn Index of Big Things (Australia)’ interrogates Australian roadside kitsch, questioning what these ‘big things’ represent and why.

Melody Paloma is a poet currently living in Narrm (Melbourne). Among others, her work has appeared in Cordite Poetry ReviewRabbitPlumwood Mountainun Magazine, and Contemporary Australian Feminist Poetry (Hunter, 2016). Her debut collection, In Some Ways Dingo, was published as part of the Rabbit Poets Series in 2017.

‘Cajero’ – J Taylor Bell

Taylor BellThis poem is for and about anyone who has had the absolutely strange experience of working a hospitality job in Australia: the feeling of anxiety that follows being one in a bottomless pool of over-qualified candidates, the compounded pressure of being a migrant labourer on a time-sensitive visa system, a wire-tight budget, and the socioeconomic compromises that we’re obliged to make to accommodate those things.

J Taylor Bell is a Master’s Student in Poetry at Queen’s University and the Seamus Heaney Center International Scholar of 2018 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Taylor has authored two chapbooks: ‘The Lost List of Good Intentions’ and ‘Picnic Table Sleeping’. Works have appeared in Salient, Sixfold, and the Sagebrush Review.

‘Terra Australis Incognita’ – Dean Gessie

Dean Gessie‘Terra Australis Incognita’ unpacks toxic colonial culture and imagines an alternative version of history, one infused with the wisdom and humanity of Aboriginal peoples.

Dean Gessie is a Canadian writer who has won multiple international prizes. Most recently, Dean won the Bacopa Literary Review Short Story Competition based in Florida. Dean has also published three novellas with Anaphora Literary Press in Texas: Guantanamo Redux, A Brief History of Summer Employment and TrumpeterVille.

‘my office heart’ – Elena Gomez

Elena gomez‘my office heart’ is about desire and revolution and how we desire a revolution.

Elena Gomez is a poet and book editor living in Melbourne. She is the author of Body of Work and a number of chapbooks.

‘Fruit barn’ – Bernard Cohen

Bernard Cohen 250x250‘Fruit barn’ is about the experience of young people, especially of young women, working in retail – providing a safe workplace (no-one should have to say) means not setting anyone up to harassed.

Bernard Cohen is a Sydney writer. His seventh book is the short story collection When I Saw the Animal (UQP). His poems have appeared in Cordite, Jacket, SMH, Australian and Trout. Bernard founded The Writing Workshop in 2006; since then, he has taught creative writing to about 75,000 young people.

‘The Deliveroo delegate’s day off’ – D Perez-McVie

D Perez-McVie‘my children are pulling a rickshaw with a big tick on / the side; / theyre fit, & very smart, know the city.’
– from ‘is today bad’, Michael Farrell

D Perez-McVie has been published in Rabbit, and edits poetry for Demos Journal. They live in Naarm, Victoria.

 

 

Cartoon/Graphic/Artwork ($3000)

‘Safety in numbers’ – Oslo Davis

Oslo DavisThe concept of ‘safety in numbers’ is almost so obvious that we often forget how effective it can be, so I wanted to create a simple visual reminder for the viewer by literally depicting the universal power of forming collectives.

Oslo Davis is an illustrator, cartoonist and artist who has drawn for a number of organisations worldwide, including the New York Times, the Age, the Monthly, Meanjin, SBS and the Guardian. Oslo’s latest book is Overheard – The Art of Eavesdropping.
@oslodavis

‘Universal basic income’ – Matt Bissett-Johnson

Matt Bisset JohnsonA group of people stand in front of a sign marked, ‘You are here’, a convoluted maze ahead of them leading to a huge robot holding a bag marked ‘Universal basic income’, the robot both menacing yet liberating.

Matt Bissett-Johnson is a cartoonist, currently working for Arena, The AEU News, The Melbourne Observer and Australian Rationalist. His cartoons have appeared in The Age, CrikeyGoing Down Swinging, Junkee and New Matilda among others. In 2015 he won the Stanley Award for Cartoonist Animator from the Australian Cartoonists Association. @mbj.checkitout

‘The Struggle’ – Matt Chun

matt chunOn the shore of some nameless polity, four labourers consolidate to challenge the inequity of their condition; yet the vocabulary of their newfound unity is effortlessly co-opted by their oppressor, who ultimately contrives a return to the status quo.

Matt Chun is a studio artist, portraitist and independent writer, dividing his time between unceded Gadigal and Yuin country. Matt has previously written on Australian symbology and national identity for Overland, Meanjin Quarterly and Runway Experimental Art. He is currently working on his second picture book for Little Hare Books. @matt.chun

‘Do what you love’ – Emma Jensen

Emma JENSEN‘Do what you love’ considers the impact of the gig economy on creative industries.

Emma Jensen is a comics artist and editor. Her work has most recently appeared in Visible Ink, The Suburban Review and Going Down Swinging online. @emmaleejensen

‘Migrant farm work 1 of 2 and 2 of 2’ – Tia Kass

Tia KassTia Kass is an illustrator, street artist and wannabe activist based in Melbourne. He is passionate about exposing the injustices of class society, all the while awaiting for that one glimmer of hope. His daily fix of a coffee and a sweet. Style and originality is dominant throughout his artwork where he combines contrasting elements to tell stories that may make you laugh, cry or want to overthrow the bourgeoisie. Just kidding …  @tia_kass

 

Essay

‘Brothels, class and gentrification’ – Sadie Slyfox

Sadie SlyfoxA personal and political eulogy for a workplace that examines which bodies, spaces, and histories are deemed worthy of remembering, and whose interests memorialisation serves. 

Sadie Slyfox is a sex worker, a student, someone’s daughter, and a pseudonym. She is a settler who lives and works on stolen Wurundjeri land. Her writing has appeared in Overland, and she tweets at @sadie_slyfox.

‘Conspiracy against the colony’ – Ann Deslandes

AnnDeslandesBeginning with the ‘New Australia’ colony established in Paraguay in 1891, this essay observes how the future of labour unionism in Australia depends on breaking the line of descent with white supremacy.

Ann Deslandes is a freelance writer and researcher. Most recently, her words have appeared in Ms. magazine, PRI.org’s Across Women’s Lives, and Overland. She is a proud member of the MEAA and former activist with the Australian Services Union and National Tertiary Education Union.

‘Care and cooperativism in early childhood’ – Miriam Jones

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis essay explores the potential for worker-owned early childhood cooperatives, suggesting that organisations built on principles of reciprocity, solidarity and cooperation might uphold the dignity of both workers and children, and support the enactment of social justice in early childhood education and care.

Miriam Jones is an early childhood teacher and musician living on Wangal land in Sydney.

‘Sirens’ – Melissa Howard

Melissa Howard‘Sirens’ narrates the experiences of a separated mother in the family law system and advocates for change to ensure that Australia is a fairer, and safer, place for women.

Melissa Howard is a freelance writer and a PhD candidate at Deakin University, where she teaches in the creative writing department. You can find her short fiction, essays and articles in Meanjin, Overland, Going Down Swinging, Best Australian Essays, the Sleepers Almanac, Domain, Matters Journal and elsewhere.

‘Future song: a manifesto for today’ – Michael Davis

Photo Mike DavisThis essay is a plea for a future for our children and grandchildren – for a fair and sustainable Australia based on government for the common good rather than individual interest.

Michael Davis was born in Sydney (1950), raised in the western suburbs, and currently resides Mullumbimby. He is a graduate of Syd Uni (BSc, Dip Ed), and a proud life member of the NSW Teachers Federation. His wife Christine and he have three children and three grandchildren. Since retirement, he has completed a Masters in Asian Studies and his PhD will be completed this year.

‘Fringe dwellers’ – Hailey Soles

 

Best migrant worker entry (any category) ($3000)

‘Welcome to Australia’ – Paul J Laverty

Paul LavertyA young Balinese nanny waits in line at Perth airport to go through customs, however, on this, her fourth visit, her excitement and optimism have long since morphed into fear and revulsion at what lies in wait beyond the sliding doors.

The short story examines a small aspect of the complex relationship that exists between Australia and Indonesia, in particular the Balinese, and how a minority of travellers abuse the good nature and economic situation of the island’s people.

Paul J Laverty is a Castlemaine-based journalist and writer. He wrote the first biography on Grammy award-winning band Arcade Fire, and another on Beck. He has published numerous short stories, and his screenplay Over the Sea to Skye has been optioned by the producers of The Dressmaker.

‘Partly Random Notes on Alternate Australiana’ – Fikret Pajalic

Fikret PajalicThe story behind my entry is the experiences of a refugee in Australia loosely based on real life events.

Fikret Pajalic came to Melbourne as a refugee and learnt English in his mid-twenties. His fiction has appeared in Australia in Meanjin, Overland, Southerly, Westerly, Etchings, Sleepers, The Big Issue and in USA journals Hotel Amerika, Florida Review, Minnesota Review, Nashville Review, Wisconsin Review, Antipodes, Fjords Review, Sheepshead Review, Bop Dead City and elsewhere.

‘Cajero’ – J Taylor Bell

Taylor BellThis poem is for and about anyone who has had the absolutely strange experience of working a hospitality job in Australia: the feeling of anxiety that follows being one in a bottomless pool of over-qualified candidates, the compounded pressure of being a migrant labourer on a time-sensitive visa system, a wire-tight budget, and the socioeconomic compromises that we’re obliged to make to accommodate those things.

J Taylor Bell is a master’s student in poetry at Queen’s University and the Seamus Heaney Center International Scholar of 2018 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Taylor has authored two chapbooks: The Lost List of Good Intentions and Picnic Table Sleeping. Works have appeared in Salient, Sixfold, and the Sagebrush Review.

‘Women’s cycling and the Other’ – CB Mako

CB MakoAs representation matters, CB Mako wanted to find out where was diversity among women who cycle in Australia?

CB Mako is a nonfiction writer and an art student at Footscray Community Arts Centre. Winner of the Grace Marion Wilson Emerging Writers Competition (non-fiction), Cubbie has been published in The Suburban Review, The Lifted Brow, The Victorian Writer, Mascara Literary Review, Peril, DJED Press, and a few others.

‘The unwanted worker’ – Nurleli Idris

Nurleli IdrisThis is a picture of my husband working at a vegetable farm until dark through bad weather while I am waiting for him at home, with baby in the womb, alone at home, and we were not even getting paid almost a month at that time; the writing is how I feel at the moment I look at the picture.

Nurleli Idris was born in Malaysia twenty-six years ago. She comes from an Indonesian family and background and has been a mum for six months of the little creature Nurlayla. Currently working with Inghams. She loves to dream and dreaming is not hurt.

‘Freedom for migrant farm workers’ – Ridwan Aziz

Ridwan AziaI drew this to show Australian people what is happening on their farms. We are all migrant workers mostly from Malaysia, who get exploited by fake visa agents and contractors who take our wages and passports. We live in fear of being deported if we speak out against exploitation, bullying and sexual harassment. We feel trapped by the visa system. The panel at the end shows our hope and dreams of freedom represented by our fight for amnesty with the NUW. As a union, farm workers will get respect and freedom.

Ridwan Aziz grew up in a small village located north of the peninsular Malaysia. He studied architecture, planning and surveying at University of Technology MARA (Uitm) in Malaysia and represented his university in the international design conference at Chiba Tokyo University in Japan. As a student activist, he was involved in several political rallies in order to bring the voice of justice to the people of Malaysia. These actions were barred by the authorities and made it unsafe for him to stay. In Malaysia, people do not yet truly have the right to freedom of speech. Ridwan decided to migrate to Australia because this country is free to fight for human rights and that is compatible with his soul. He wants to start a new life here.

‘On the level’ and ‘Suitable land’ – Ne Le Beau

NE Pic‘On the level’ is a response to exploitation and dislocation across time and country.

‘Suitable land’ looks to better understand survival, past and present, and a new vision for a different world.

Ne Le Beau is a writer and photographer currently living in Far West NSW on Barkandji and Malyangapa land. Her work has been exhibited and published in Asia, the UK and Europe.

 

 

Best NUW member entry (any category) ($1000)

‘On talking, listening and owning our mistakes’ – Kate Ashton

Kate AshtonAn essay that merges the banking royal commission, the uncomfortable reality of being part of the problem and a naive but genuine hope that good things can come from just talking and listening and being honest.

Kate Ashton is a freelance journalist (and call centre worker) from Melbourne. Her work has been published at Crikey and ABC and she tweets at @ktshtn.

‘Caution: Scaffolders Writing Above’ – Dane Fisher

Dane FisherThe poem was inspired by my experiences of scaffolding (unharnessed) on high-rise construction sites without union coverage.

Dane Fisher is a scaffolder, surfer and radical. He lives on the NSW South Coast with his fiancee and border collie. In future, he hopes to be a firefighter and proud member of the militant Firefighters Union. Along the way he wants to tell stories, ride giant waves and smash capitalism.

‘Union (the glorious manifestation of the desires of the many)’
– Ella Craig

Ella CraigThis poem is inspired by my personal history with the union movement over the last twenty-four years, and my idealisations about its future.

Ella Craig is a recent law/fine arts graduate, working and living in Brisbane. Notable achievements include a 100% attendance rate at Brisbane’s Labor Day March. She is a lover of puns, her extremely elderly cat, and the mobilisation of the working class.

‘Half leg’ – Yusniza Yusoff

 

Best NTEU member entry (any category) ($1000)

‘Midway upon the journey’ – Brett Heino

Brett Heino‘Midway upon the journey’ almost wrote itself after a lifetime of living in Wollongong, witnessing the struggles of proud but battered working-class people who, for the first time in many years, are feeling out their collective strength.

Brett Heino was born and raised in Wollongong, the proud son of a metal-worker and a secretary. He graduated with a degree in law and arts from the University of Wollongong, where he also completed his PhD. He is now a law lecturer at the University of Technology Sydney.

‘United’ – Lika Posamari

Lika PosamariWalk with me beyond the walls of work weaving the past and present towards a better future for us all.

Lika Posamari is a woman of northern European settler ancestry who loves to write in English and Spanish. Her work has appeared on and offline including with Eureka Street, Westerly magazine, The Red Corner, Kitaab and Rabbit. She has a chapbook of poetry forthcoming with in case of emergency press.

‘Upholding a vision of the future’ – Andrew Kirkpatrick

Andrew KirkpatrickIn the face of our unprecedented global climate emergency and the apparent nihilism that is both driving and brought on by this, the union movement needs to understand itself as an active participant in the creation of an ecological civilisation, and in doing so commit to upholding and enacting an optimistic and inspiring vision of the future.

Andrew Kirkpatrick is a PhD candidate in philosophy at Deakin University and a sessional tutor in philosophy at Swinburne University of Technology. His research interests include process philosophy, phenomenology and environmental philosophy.

 

Best MEAA member entry (any category) ($1000)

‘Working girl’ – Bronwyn Lovell

Bronwyn LovellBronwyn Lovell’s poetry has appeared in Best Australian Poems, Meanjin, Antipodes, Corditeand other journals. She has won the Val Vallis Award and the Adrien Abbott Poetry Prize; been shortlisted for the Fair Australia, Newcastle, Bridport and Montreal prizes; and twice nominated for a Rhysling Award for science fiction poetry. bronwynlovell.com | @lovellybronwyn

‘Care and cooperativism in early childhood’ – Miriam Jones

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis essay explores the potential for worker-owned early childhood cooperatives, suggesting that organisations built on principles of reciprocity, solidarity and cooperation might uphold the dignity of both workers and children, and support the enactment of social justice in early childhood education and care.

Miriam Jones is an early childhood teacher and musician living on Wangal land in Sydney.

‘Conspiracy against the colony’ – Ann Deslandes

AnnDeslandesBeginning with the ‘New Australia’ colony established in Paraguay in 1891, this essay observes how the future of labour unionism in Australia depends on breaking the line of descent with white supremacy.

Ann Deslandes is a freelance writer and researcher. Most recently, her words have appeared in Ms. magazine, PRI.org’s Across Women’s Lives, and Overland. She is a proud member of the MEAA and former activist with the Australian Services Union and National Tertiary Education Union.

‘Saw as we came in on both points of the bay …’ – Craig Cormick

Craig CormickThis story is a part of a series of short stories I have written based around re-imaginings of Captain Cook, and this story uses excerpts from the journals of Cook, Joseph Banks and Sydney Parkinson, but playfully insets contemporary themes into them.

Craig Cormick is an award-winning author of fiction, nonfiction and children’s fiction. He has published over 25 books and dozens of short stories and enjoys playing with history just about as much as history seems to enjoy playing with him.

‘Migrant farm work 1 of 2 and 2 of 2’ – Tia Kass

Tia KassTia Kass is an illustrator, street artist and wannabe activist based in Melbourne. He is passionate about exposing the injustices of class society, all the while awaiting for that one glimmer of hope. His daily fix of a coffee and a sweet. Style and originality is dominant throughout his artwork where he combines contrasting elements to tell stories that may make you laugh, cry or want to overthrow the bourgeoisie. Just kidding …  @tia_kass

 

NUW_EveryWorkerCounts_logo

MEAA logo
nteu-logo

 

 

Lead image: Richard Fisher / flickr

Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places.

Subscribe | Renew | Donate November 9–16 to support progressive literary culture for another year – and for the chance to win magnificent prizes!

Comments are closed.