- West Writers
Footscray Community Arts is excited to welcome a new cohort of emerging writers into our Artist Development Program, West Writers.
West Writers supports emerging writers across all disciplines to come together and develop their creative practice. Now in its eighth year, West Writers is an opportunity for participants to excel and take risks, learn best practice approaches and gain confidence to be a successful and influential writer.
Over a series of seventeen workshops, participants will be supported to expand their understanding of the community arts sector, build a strong knowledge foundation for their practice, create a community of peers with program participants and alumni, and create industry connections.
Meet the 2021-2022 West Writers participants:
Chris Phung is a second-generation Vietnamese-Australian deep listener based on the Western suburbs of Naarm/Melbourne. His creative practice is an open love letter for us to come together to create cocoons of care and healing. Beginning with looking deeply within ourselves and using the energy of compassion, understanding, and love in action.
Christy Tan lives on unceded Wurundjeri and Boonwurrung land in Naarm (Melbourne). Her writing has been published or is forthcoming in Cordite Poetry Review, The Suburban Review and Going Down Swinging, amongst others. She has previously performed in Digital Writers’ Festival, National Young Writers’ Festival, Emerging Writers’ Festival and been shortlisted for the Woollahra Digital Literary Award. Currently she has upcoming works with SEVENTH Gallery’s Emerging Writers Program and WRITING & Concepts: Lecture Series.
Ferris Knight is a queer and disabled writer, producer and advocate from Melbourne, Australia. They mainly write about lived experiences with mental and physical health conditions.
In 2019 they produced their first Melbourne Fringe Festival show LEtGO of Stigma, walking 80m across Lego to talk about living with hidden pain and the resilience of those with mental illnesses. In 2020 they were a part of the anthology Closet Cases: Queers on What We Wear from Et Alia Press, writing about sexual harassment. In 2021 they were the editor for Backstory Journal.
Freya Alexander is an artist, educator and writer living and working in the Western Suburbs of Naarm/Melbourne. Working across a range of art forms, including painting and poetry, Freya’s work explores the female gaze and queer desire, through depictions and recollections of intimate moments. Freya also co-runs Gems, a collective that self-produces zines tri-annually, which showcase art and writing by local and international women and non-binary creatives.
Gabriella Munoz is a Mexican-Australian writer and editor. She was the 2018 Digital Writer in Residence at Writers Victoria and a 2019 Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellow. Her writing has been published widely including Meanjin, the Australian Multilingual Writing Project, Harana Poetry, Mascara Literary Review and Senses of Cinema, among others.
Gloria Demillo (they/them) is a poet, researcher and multidisciplinary creative. Their most notable contributions include the Harana Poetry Tour for the Art Gallery of New South Wales; published works with the Australian Poetry Journal, Peril Magazine, Cordite Poetry Review, Red Room Poetry; and poetry performances at the Biennale of Sydney, Sydney International Women’s Poetry and Arts Festival, Wollongong Writers Festival, Australian Poetry Slam, and the Bankstown Poetry Slam Olympics. Gloria made their acting debut in Let Me Know When You Get Home by Miranda Aguilar (2021) produced by National Theatre of Parramatta and CuriousWorks.
Gurmeet Kaur is a writer, poet, and educator from London, living in Wurundjeri country. She is a receipient of the 2022 Varuna Fellowship and a winner of the 2021 Ultimo Prize. She has been a writer-in-residence at Incendium Radical Library and City of Maribyrnong, Melbourne. Her work appears in Aniko Press, Sweet and Sour Zine, DYNAMIS Journal, and elsewhere.
Kelly Bartholomeusz (she/her) is a writer based on the unceded lands of the Wurundjeri people. Her writing explores a range of topics, from the discourse surrounding violence against women to the role of grief in meaningful climate action. Kelly seeks to examine the impacts of capitalism and colonialism on social, political and economic structures. Her work is also influenced by the spiritual ecology movement, which seeks to reimagine the potential of human relationship with the more-than-human world. Kelly has also worked in communications, engagement and community development across multiple sectors including disability, mental health, global health and human rights.
Monique Nair is Naarm/Melbourne based writer of Indian-Italian-Polish heritage. She is currently an editor for Mascara Literary Review and also works as a writer and editor for Mind Blowing Films/Indian Film Festival Melbourne developing international film projects. She has been published with Peril, The Indian Weekly, RMIT Feature Stories and has performed poetry at the Emerging Writers Festival. Her work is interested in diaspora experiences, intergenerational and intercultural tensions and connections, coming of age narratives, mental health and the complexity of identity.
Sam Elkin is a writer and radio maker living on the unceded lands of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. His essays have been published in the Griffith Review, Kill Your Darlings and Overland Literary Journal. He is a co-editor of Nothing to Hide: Voices of Trans and Gender Diverse Australia, which will be published by Allen & Unwin in 2022. Sam is an Australian Society of Authors fellowship recipient, and he working on a debut memoir.
Yasmin Ali is a Somalian woman who grew up in Nairobi as Refugee. Ali was not able to access education as a foreign citizen and spent much of her youth helping her grandma with domestic duties.
Ali enjoyed helping peers on a farm cutting sugar cane and growing vegetables. In 2008, Ali and her family migrated to Narrm (Melbourne) and Ali experienced a mass culture shock not only meeting a plethora of new people, but also experiencing the Australian social landscape and education system. Ali went on to study a Bachelor of Education at Victoria University (2019) and continues to work in educating youth in a custodial setting. Yasmin Ali is very interested in education, storytelling, youth empowerment, and social justice issues influenced by her experiences as a refugee and educator.
1- Image by Shuttermain