Type
Announcement
Category
Fair Australia Prize
Prizes

Fair Australia Prize 2019: the winners

How does money, time, and power alter our daily lives, limiting some while others rise to the ‘top’? In our work, our lives, and our communities, how should things be? How might we change our collective future?

The Fair Australia Prize  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 2019, the Fair Australia Prize is made up of 10 smaller prize (5 x $3000 prizes, 3 x $1000 union member prizes and 2 x $1000 youth prizes).

A special shoutout to all those who had their excellent work shortlisted this year, and thanks to all the talented writers, artists, workers and trade unionists who created a submission for this year’s competition. 

Big thanks to our hard-working judges, too: Wallace Huang, Danielle Croci, Marisa Wikramanayake, Chloe Wilson, Toby Fitch, Omar Sakr, Mark Seymour, Fiona Wright, Lizzie O’Shea, Khalid Warsame, Paddy O’Reilly, David Pope, Sam Wallman, Jack Faine, Carina Garland, Godfrey Moase, Jacinda Woodhead and Rachael McGuirk.

Overland, the United Workers Union, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, the Migrant Workers Centre, the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance and the National Tertiary Education Union (VIC) are very pleased to announce the winning entries for this year’s prize, which will be published in Overland’s final edition of the year, to be launched at our end-of-year debate this Friday 6 December at the ETU Ballroom, Trades Hall, Melbourne.

 

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Fiction ($3000)

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‘Verdict on a winter afternoon’ – Arjun Rajkhowa

‘Verdict on a winter afternoon’ is a fictionalised account of the aftermath of the conviction of a doctor in rural India, whose work focused on supporting communities displaced by mining and ravaged by insurgency and counter-insurgency operations, for the crime of ‘sedition’.

Dr Arjun Rajkhowa works in tertiary education in Melbourne. His research interests include public health; media, culture and society; human rights; and policy. He has volunteered in the community sector in Melbourne for several years. He can be contacted on Twitter at @ArjunRajkhowa.

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Poetry ($3000)

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‘working holiday’ – Guillermo Batiz

To dissolve the ego one must coagulate the self.

Guillermo R Bátiz is Mexican composer, artist and translator living in Sydney, Australia. He has played multiple international avant-garde festivals such as MUTEK, Plataforma and Interface, alongside musicians like Murcof, Sigur Rós, Telefon Tel Aviv, Manrico Montero and Justice. His project, ‘Plant Symphony’, composed using the bio-emissions of plants has been exhibited widely. Guillermo writes recurrently as part of his creative process. After many years trying to break into his field in Australia, he now works as a chef.

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Cartoon/Graphic/Artwork ($3000)

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‘All the way with O’Shea’ – Adam Adelpour

‘All the way with O’Shea’ commemorates the 1969 Clarrie O’Shea strike that defied and defeated the ‘penal powers’ – anti-union laws used to prevent strikes.

Adam Adelpour is a cartoonist, artist, activist and member of Solidarity. He has a Masters of Fine Arts from Sydney College of the Arts and lives and works in Sydney.

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Essay

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‘Reasonable adjustments’ – Fiona Murphy

‘Reasonable adjustments’ examines the vague phrase ‘reasonable adjustments’ in the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, and how it has become a tool used to discriminate against disabled people seeking employment.

Fiona Murphy is a Deaf poet and essayist. Her work has been appeared in Griffith Review, the Big Issue and Kill Your Darlings, among others. She’s currently working on a collection of essays about Deafness.

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

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‘While the Iron is Hot’ – Cora Tate (fiction)

A group of immigrant labourers find strength in themselves and their fellow workers to confront their crooked bosses with the support of a union.

Trained as a scientist, graduated as a mathematician, but a full-time professional entertainer most of her adult life, Cora Tate’s repeated attempts to escape the entertainment industry brought work as a librarian, physics teacher, syndicated newspaper columnist and city planner. Cora writes and struggles to learn dzongkha in Bhutan and Queensland.

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Best youth entry – 18 and under (any category) ($1000)

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‘The high road’ – Joseph Tiso (essay)

A short recounting of the 1913 New Zealand harbour strikes juxtaposed with my personal experiences of striking more than a century afterward.

Joseph Tiso is an 18-year-old student working in Wellington who is very interested in history and different forms of media entertainment, particularly animation. He hopes to combine the two after becoming qualified to do so. His favourite colour is red (preferably combined with black).

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Best youth entry – 19–30 (any category) ($1000)

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‘Courier smalltalk’ – Harry Reid (poetry)

This is a poem about working just a little bit harder than an out-of-office autoreply.

Harry Reid is a poet from Melbourne. They are a co-director of sick leave, and their work can be found in Overland, The Lifted Brow, Cordite Poetry Review and elsewhere.

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

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‘Bee united’ – Elky Martin

Bee-ing united works.

Elky Martin is an animator, cartoonist and mixed-media artist based in Melbourne. Find online at elkymartin.com and Instagram @elkymartin.

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

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‘Sanity sleuth’ – Rebecca Douglas

‘Sanity Sleuth’ depicts one woman’s struggle to unravel the mystery of her mother’s mental health, against a background of poverty and petulance.

Rebecca Douglas is an award-winning Adelaide-based writer whose work has been published by The Sydney Morning Herald, Overland, Verandah journal, Tincture, Visible Ink, The Big Issue, ABC The Drum and various other lovely places.

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

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‘Apocalypse now – striking to save the world’ – Amy Thomas

This essay, reflecting on lessons of the climate movement in Australia, takes a big-picture, optimistic approach to the work we need to do for justice in face of the immediate climate crisis.

Amy Thomas is teacher, writer and academic. Amy’s co-authored study of media responses to Aboriginal initiatives for self-determination, ‘Does the media fail Aboriginal political aspirations? 45 years of news media reporting of key political moments’, is out in 2020 with Aboriginal Studies Press. Amy has been the recipient of an NT Literary Award, a UTS Vice-Chancellor’s teaching award, and the 2018 UTS Shopfront Community Fellowship.

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Help us celebrate these excellent writers and artists this Friday 6 December, at Trades Hall, from 6pm

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Lead image: Artwork from Overland 237 by Matt Chun.
 
 

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

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