Ilhan Abdi is a writer, researcher, curator, and archivist. Her archival practice explores Somali music and theatre from the 20th century, with particular care for the distinctive, enduring ache that drives widespread Somali fascination with this era of music. She is the founder of dhageeyso, a digital archival project honouring Somali music history. Through this practice—and beyond—she is currently exploring the joys and limits of memory and nostalgia. She is the Publications Coordinator of Sydney Film Festival and was previously the 2020 Program Officer of The Writing Zone and junior editor of the Sydney Review of Books. She edited The Writing Zone’s inaugural publication, Sky Conversations, and co-edited the program’s first annual print anthology, The Wayward Sky.
Hajer is an Iraqi-Australian writer, actress and founder of the Iraqi Diaspora Creatives Network. From prose to essays to plays, Hajer’s work explores the experiences of womanhood, messy friendships and everyone’s favourite topic… dysfunctional families.
Her writing has been featured in Refinery29 Aus, Sydney Writers Festival, Emerging Writers
Festival and Queerstories. She was a writer and actress on ABC’s ‘Halal Gurls’. She also has a blog on Medium where she shares film/tv reviews and social commentary. She has been featured on panels for Boundless Festival, Mudgee Readers Festival and Microflix Film Festival.
Hajer is a member of the Finishing School Collective.
Gary Lonesborough is an award-winning Yuin writer, who grew up on the Far South Coast of NSW as part of a large and proud Aboriginal family. Gary has experience working in Aboriginal health, child protection, the disability sector (including experience working in the youth justice system) and the film industry, including working on the feature film adaptation of Jasper Jones.
His debut YA novel, THE BOY FROM THE MISH, was published by Allen & Unwin in February 2021, and published by Scholastic in the U.S as READY WHEN YOU ARE in March 2022. THE BOY FROM THE MISH has been shortlisted for numerous awards, winning the 2022 Booktopia FAB Award for Favourite Debut Book.
Kim Pham is a filmmaker, screenwriter and English tutor from Bankstown. For as long as she can remember, she has been fascinated by the art of filmmaking. It wasn’t until after she finished her Master of Research at the University of Western Sydney that she wrote her first screenplay, Where the Green Lime Grows. In her screenplays she aims to “enter the minds of the audience and direct their thoughts before their eyes”. She is currently working on her second screenplay, Bird Hands Beaver a Fishmint Bouquet and was the recipient of the WestWords Emerging Writers Fellowship in 2020. Kim has also written and directed two short films, one for Diversity Arts Australia for their I AM NOT A VIRUS campaign and the other for Bankstown Arts Centre in 2021 and 2022.