Born in Brisbane in 1990 to Aboriginal and Dutch parents, Ellen van Neerven is a Yugambeh writer with traditional ties to the country between the Logan and Tweed rivers. Ellen won the David Unaipon Award in the 2013 Queensland Literary Awards for Heat and Light. Ellen lives in Brisbane.

A selection of their works:

  • Heat and light, University of Queensland Press
  • Skin, Meanjin Literary Journal
  • Wetskins, The Lifted Brow
  • S&J, McSweeney’s
  • Comfort Food, University of Queensland Press
  • Throat, University of Queensland Press
  • invisible spears
  • Poems
  • ‘Invisible Spears’

Indigenous graduate Bachelor of Fine Arts (Creative Writing) graduate Ellen Van Neerven is recognised in the 2021 QUT Alumni Awards as one of Indigenous Australia’s leading literary voices.

Involved in the black&write! Indigenous Writing and Editing project from 2011-2017 and again this year, the role is aimed at addressing the underrepresentation of Indigenous editors within Australian publishing.

The Aboriginal Australian author, educator and editor has also edited or authored seven books.

“My Mum told me to follow my dreams and potentially take on opportunities that were not going to be immediately economically rewarding but would put me in line with my passions,” the Alumni Award winner said.

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“I think this award means a lot to my parents who always supported me with the career choices I made.”

Ellen is currently working with Inala Elders in a Knowledge Keepers Poetry Circle project, facilitating the storytelling and healing of Elders and acknowledging their contributions to Inala and the wider Brisbane region.

The Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Alumni Awards are an annual awards event, where graduates are recognized for exceptional professional and personal achievements and contributions to the local, national and international community.

More information: Meet award-winning Indigenous author: Ellen van Neerven