The lack of political voice leads to disempowerment, disengagement and disadvantage. In this panel, authors Kirsty Eagar, Randa Abdel-Fattah and Alice Pung offer personal testimony on the politics that affect them. Their testimonies are followed by a panel discussion on the ways marginalised voices are silenced, hosted by Bec Kavanagh. These women are sure to challenge the way we think. Presented with the Stella Schools Program. Supported by the City of Parramatta and the Department of Family and Community Services.

Kirsty Eagar (Australian)

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Kirsty Eagar is an award-winning Young Adult author, economist and surfer. Her YA fiction has won and been shortlisted for numerous awards, including the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, the Queensland Literary Awards, the Western Australia Premier’s Awards and the Gold Inky. Her novels include Raw Blue, Saltwater Vampires, Night Beach and Summer Skin.

Randa Abdel-Fattah (Australian)

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Randa Abdel-Fattah is an award-winning author of 11 books and is published around the world. She was a lawyer for ten years and has a Phd in Sociology on the topic of Islamophobia in Australia. She is currently an Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Sociology at Macquarie University. Her latest novel, When Michael Met Mina, won the 2017 Victorian Premier's Literary award for Young Adults and the People's Choice award. Her novel, Does My Head Look Big in This? is being adapted as a feature film. Randa's novel Where the Streets Had A Name will be on the stage with MonkeyBaa theatre company in September 2017. Randa is keen to use her intervention into popular culture and academia to reshape dominant narratives around racism, identity and multiculturalism.

Alice Pung (Australian)

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Alice Pung is an award-winning Melbourne writer, whose latest book, On John Marsden, is a meditation on her biggest literary influence. She is the author of Laurinda, Her Father’s Daughter and Unpolished Gem, and the editor of Growing Up Asian in Australia and My First Lesson. She also wrote a children’s series, Our Australian Girl.

Bec Kavanagh (Australian)

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Bec Kavanagh is a Melbourne based freelance writer, reviewer and YA fiction specialist. Bec has appeared at the Melbourne Writers Festival, on Radio National’s Books and Arts Daily and has judged a number of literary prizes, including for the Victorian Premier’s Award. Her work has been published by Bookseller and Publisher, Australian Book Review, Killings, and a number of education publications. She has had fiction published by Seizure and the Review of Australian Fiction. Bec is currently the Manager of the Stella Schools Program and completing a Masters of Creative Writing at Melbourne University.