Join three of Australia’s most exciting, fearless voices for a conversation with Sarah Ayoub about bringing the stories of second-generation immigrants to the mainstream. Omar Musa offers his perspective as a Malaysian-born rapper and poet whose debut novel explores the lives of multicultural youth. Fellow panellist Melanie Cheng was born in Adelaide and grew up in Hong Kong, and has written a fresh take on our multiculturalism in her debut collection of stories Australia Day. And Arab-Australian novelist Michael Mohammed Ahmad provides insight into the cultural identity of young people in Sydney’s west.

Related links: History, Geography, Society and Culture, English, Intercultural Understanding

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Omar Musa (Australian)

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Omar Musa is a Malaysian-Australian author, rapper and poet. He has won the Australian Poetry Slam and the Indian Ocean Poetry Slam. His novel Here Come the Dogs was longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award and Miles Franklin Award. Musa was named one of the Sydney Morning Herald’s Young Novelists of the Year in 2015.

Melanie Cheng (Australian)

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Melanie Cheng is a writer and general practitioner. Of Chinese-Australian heritage, she was born in Adelaide, grew up in Hong Kong and now lives in Melbourne with her family. Her writing has appeared in The Age, Meanjin and Overland among others. In 2016, she won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript. Australia Day (2017) is her first book.

Michael Mohammed Ahmad (Australian)

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Michael Mohammed Ahmad is the director of Sweatshop: Western Sydney Literacy Movement. His debut novel, The Tribe, received the 2015 Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Novelists of the Year Award. Mohammed’s latest novel is The Lebs.

Sarah Ayoub (Australian)

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Sarah Ayoub is a freelance journalist and author. Her writing has appeared in publications including The Guardian Australia and The Sunday Telegraph. Sarah teaches journalism at The University of Notre Dame in Sydney, where she is currently researching the representations of culturally diverse females in Australian YA literature. She is the author of Hate is Such a Strong Word and The Yearbook Committee.