Indigenous Book Club -Known as Blackfulla Bookclub

A little poetic licence with this one, okay………

Individually, Teela Reid and Merinda (Min) Dutton are successful and passionate women in their chosen careers. Together, these driven young women are powerful change makers. Let’s meet them both :

Teela grew up in Gilgandra, NSW, a proud Wiradjuri and Wailwan woman. It was after training as a school teacher that Teela was selected as Australia’s Female Indigenous Youth Delegate to the United Nations Permanent Forum in New York which inspired her journey to become a lawyer. At UNSW Law, Teela was named on the UNSW Law Deans women of excellence list, and was the first Aboriginal person to be elected on the UNSW Law Society as Vice-President (Social Justice) where she was the founding director of the UNSW Law First Peoples Moot. She was also the inaugural recipient of the NSW Indigenous Barristers Trust Award and the Law Spirit Award.

An activist and storyteller Teela won the 2020 Daisy Utemorrah award for her powerful work of junior fiction, Our Matriarchs Matter. She currently works as a criminal defence lawyer based in Sydney and is a strong advocate for abolishing systemic racism in the criminal justice system.

Merinda , known as Min, is a proud Gumbaynggirr and Barkindji woman from Grafton, NSW. Her father is a Stolen Generation survivor which ignited her interest in social justice  leading to her Bachelor of Jurisprudence/Bachelor of Laws double degree. In 2019 she was awarded the National Indigenous Legal Professional of the Year. Merinda is a senior lawyer at Legal Aid NSW, driving improvements to justice outcomes for Australia’s First Nations peoples with a particular interest in Indigenous women in custody and rural and remote communities.

Both these women are avid readers and with the advent of COVID they got together in a Zoom Bookclub. Together they then co-founded the Blackfulla Bookclub  ( instagram handle: @blackfulla_bookclub ) which started with 1,000 followers, and which has since grown to 40,000.

Min has stated that the bookclub “celebrates Aboriginal stories and Aboriginal voices…….in the way that Aboriginal people tell stories … we tell them in different ways that don’t necessarily comply with the white man’s rules about what is right and who is a good writer.” Teela follows up with ” it is a platform that remembers our ancestors are the original storytellers and that First Nations languages matter.” There is a Blackfulla  Bookclub Facebook page as well.

The Blackfulla Bookclub also promotes the writing of the indigenous peoples all around the world.

You go, girls!

Celebrating the women from our past to the present who have helped shape Australia.

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