Fair Australia Prize: Judges

2018 theme: new collectives, old struggles

About the prize

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?

This prize encourages artists and writers of fiction, poetry and essays to be part of setting a new agenda for our future – to imagine a just, common future, and how we might get there together.

The Fair Australia Prize is made up of 5 x $3000 prizes and 3 x $1000 union member prizes. There are prizes for:

  • fiction (up to 3000 words)
  • essay (up to 3000 words)
  • poetry (up to 88 lines)
  • cartoon or graphic (180 mm wide by 255 mm high)
  • best overall entry by a migrant writer, artist or worker, and
  • three special member entries (for NUW, MEAA and NTEU members only); these $1000 prizes are awarded to member entries in any of the above categories

Entry to the Fair Australia Prize is free.

How the prize will be judged

In each category, submissions will be read blind by a panel of judges. Winners will be selected on the basis of their aesthetic excellence, and their engagement with the theme of a fairer future.

Entrants are encouraged to respond creatively and imaginatively – the competition seeks to foster innovative thinking and expression rather than dogma or didacticism.

The 2018 judges are listed below.


Evelyn Araluen is a teacher and researcher working in Indigenous literatures at the University of Sydney. In 2017 she was the winner of the Nakata Brophy Prize for Young Indigenous Writers. Born, raised, and writing in Dharug country, she is a descendant of the Bundjalung nation.

Toby Fitch is Overland’s poetry editor and the author of Rawshock (Puncher & Wattmann 2012), which won the Grace Leven Prize for Poetry, and Jerilderies (Vagabond Press 2014). His most recent collection is Bloomin’ Notions.

Carina Garland is a feminist writer and assistant secretary of Victorian Trades Hall.

Sian Vate is the deputy editor of Overland and works for United Voice Union. She has previously worked as a radio presenter and as a student campaigner. Her poetry has appeared in Cordite Poetry ReviewotolithsThe Age and Artichoke. Her chapbook end motion / manifest was published by Bulky News Press in 2015.


Melanie Cheng is a writer and GP. Her collection, Australia Day, was winner of the 2016 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for unpublished manuscript and the 2018 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for fiction.

Fiona McGregor has published five books, the most recent of which, Indelible Ink, won Age Book of the Year. She has shown her performance art internationally. fionamcgregor.com

Mardi O’Connor is a Melbourne-based writer and a media organiser for MEAA, advocating for digital journalists, comms professionals and women in media. She previously worked in academic and legal publishing, and for Melbourne progressive press Arena Magazine.


Amy McQuire is a Darumbal and South Sea Islander freelance journalist and writer from Central Queensland. Her work is focused on justice, and she is currently co-hosting an investigative podcast called Curtain, about an Aboriginal man wrongfully convicted of murder. @amymcquire

Giovanni Tiso is an Italian writer and translator based in Aotearoa/New Zealand, and Overland contributing editor. His PhD examined the relationship between memory and technology. He blogs at Bat, Bean, Beam and tweets as @gtiso. He edited Issue 219: Winter 2015, the Aotearoa edition of Overland.

Godfrey Moase is the Assistant General Branch Secretary at the National Union of Workers in Melbourne, Australia. He’s previously written for the Guardian, OverlandJacobin, and New Matilda. On Twitter he’s @gemoase.

Cartoon or graphic

Mary Leunig is an acclaimed artist and illustrator who lives in north eastern Victoria. maryleunig.com

Colin Long is the Victorian Secretary of the National Tertiary Education Union. Formerly he was Director of the Cultural Heritage Centre for Asia and the Pacific at Deakin University.

Sam Wallman is a political cartoonist based in Melbourne. samwallman.com

Union judges

Carina GarlandColin LongGodfrey Moase, Mardi O’Connor and Sam Wallman


Enter the 2018 Fair Australia Prize