2018 Dinny O'Hearn Fellowship
Eda Gunaydin for her work in progress The Rock is a Hard Place
Sydney writer Eda Gunaydin's outstanding short story collection in progress, A Rock is a Hard Place, contributes to the broader tradition of diasporic literature. The writer engages uniquely Turkish migration histories, reflecting on Turkish people's roles as guest workers, their changeable relationship with whiteness and complex histories of Turkish ethnonationalism. Other themes touched on include immigrant attitudes to work and sexuality, Anzac myths, and the way multicultural societies render Muslims Other.
The judges warmly congratulate Eda for a story collection that nuances, and makes complex, stereotypes of multicultural urban experience. Gunaydin's tales of cultural, social and economic survival are dramatised with exhilarating parodic wit and pathos, providing a distinctly original, often comic, perspective on Turkish disaporic experience. The relevance of the writer's themes and compelling character treatments also made this submission stand out.
Commended: Kim Ho for work in progress Panacea: Or: The Very Real, Definitely Not Falsified History of Lasseter’s Reef
VCA playwright Kim Ho's Panacea: Or: The Very Real, Definitely Not Falsified History of Lasseter’s Reef delves into a mythological Australian story of gold and greed and the hunt for a fictional reef of gold. The play refers directly to the purported discovery, announced by Harold Bell Lasseter in 1929 and 1930, of a fabulously rich gold deposit in a remote and desolate corner of central Australia.
The judges felt that Kim Ho’s play script fragment despatched clichés of larrikin mateship and unrealisable colonial dreams of getting rich fast with great parodic verve. The sharp, economical dialogue was also commended as a writing technique bringing this post-federation history of failure and deception alive. The judges commend this outstanding, humorous and insightful work of postcolonial theatre.
- Chair: Professor Ken Gelder (Director of the Australian Centre and Head of English and Theatre Studies, The University of Melbourne)
- Dr Amanda Johnson (School of Culture and Communication, Faculty of Arts, The University of Melbourne)
- Dr Odette Kelada (School of Culture and Communication, Faculty of Arts, The University of Melbourne)
2016 Dinny O'Hearn Fellowship
Anupama Pilbrow for her work in progress the ravage space
Anupama submitted a suite of poems titled ravage space. The judges agreed that these poems were both compelling and of a remarkably high standard. They spoke to an Australian/South Asian diaspora, to street life and the life of things and people, of relationships, past lives and futures. The poems were formally and linguistically fascinating, mixing English with Hindi and Marathi phrases with the aim - as some excellent accompanying notes put it - of 'reframing pluralism as the cultural norm'. This is inventive, thoughtful and vibrant work. The judges look forward to the publication of this collection and are certain it will be met with critical acclaim.
- Chair: Professor Ken Gelder (Co-director, Australian Centre, The University of Melbourne)
- Dr Eddie Paterson (Lecturer, Creative Writing, The University of Melbourne)
- Dr Elizabeth MacFarlane (Lecturer, Creative Writing, The University of Melbourne)
2013 Dinny O'Hearn Fellowship
Amy Barker for her work-in-progress Paradise Earth
Amy Barker's developing novel explores the Port Arthur massacre as a national and individual traumascape. Her narrative is deeply inward and managed with a keen eye.
- Julia Prendergast for The Earth Does Not Get Fat
- Janine Mikosza for Monkey Boy
- Joanne Riccioni for The Onorati
- Chair: Professor Chris Wallace-Crabbe (The University of Melbourne)
- Dr Delia Falconer (Senior Lecturer, The University of Technology Sydney)
- Dr Lisa Gorton (Alumni Member, The University of Melbourne)
- Mr Nick Sharman (Media and Communications Lecturer, The University of Melbourne)