Trinitytoday 2 College News EVELYN ARALUEN WINS NAKATA BROPHY PRIZE Evelyn Araluen is the winner of the 2017 Nakata Brophy Short Fiction and Poetry Prize, which recognises the talent of young Indigenous writers across Australia. Sponsored by Trinity College, the prize alternates each year between fiction and poetry. This year’s prize was for the best short story (up to 3,000 words) by an Indigenous writer under 30. The award included $5,000, publication in the literary magazine, Overland, and a three-month writer’s residency at Trinity College. Evelyn was runner-up for the prize in 2016 with her poem, Learning Bundjalung on Tharawal, being the first time Evelyn had submitted a poem for a writing competition. Despite not winning, she found the community aspect and meeting fellow entrants to be a highlight of the awards ceremony. ‘All round, it was a really positive experience, and ultimately it was just something I wanted to continue to be involved with,’ she says. In 2017, the competition was for short-fiction, a genre she is more familiar with. Her winning story, Muyum: A Transgression, is COLLEGE NEWS about Aboriginal country and the metaphysical world, and draws on magic realism, blending spirituality with the supernatural. It was the culmination of something Evelyn had been working on for several years, which she was unsure she would ever publish. ‘From the very first paragraph, it was so different to any of the prose that I’d written before,’ she says. But her decision to submit the story paid off. Evelyn will move from the University of Sydney, where she is a PhD candidate working with Indigenous literatures, to take up her three-month residency at Trinity next year. ‘Trinity College, just by the fact that they’re putting this competition together, I can tell they actually care about Aboriginals and Aboriginal representation,’ she says. The prize is named after the first two Indigenous scholarship students to be residents at Trinity College – Sana Nakata and Lilly Brophy – who both enrolled in 2001. Evelyn actively promotes Indigenous literature and has been critical of the lack of Aboriginal literature representation within the Australian school and university curriculums. She acknowledges there is a need for Indigenous storytellers to be better at promoting their literature, but believes it is also incumbent on the broader public to discover the rich variety of Indigenous literature for themselves. ‘We do need to be producing more, and we do need to be widening the understanding of what is literature, and what is worthy of being read,’ she says. ‘But also, a lot of institutions need to take some accountability for how they have been creating a space for that, or how they’ve been denying a space for that.’ Evelyn is yet to decide what she will be working on while at Trinity, but is hoping to have her PhD finished by the time she arrives in Melbourne. She is excited by the prospect of working on her writing full time and making new friends. ‘I’ve got a lot of mates who live in Melbourne and they’re from all over the country,’ she says. ‘They obviously like Melbourne, so there’s a lot to be said about the sort of beacon it’s become for a lot of amazing and exciting young Aboriginals.’ Evelyn was born and raised on Dharug country in New South Wales and is a descendant of the Bundjalung nation from the central coast. Trinity College sincerely thanks the late Peter Gebhardt (TC 1955), who died earlier this year, for his contribution to reconciliation with Indigenous Australians. A lifelong supporter of the Aboriginal people, Peter was a driving force behind Trinity’s support of Indigenous students, and inspired the establishment of the Nakata Brophy Prize. His poetry and essays on Indigenous affairs have been widely published. BY TIM FLICKER Jacinda Woodhead, Allanah Hunt, Evelyn Araluen, Ken Hinchcliff and Gayle Allan. Evelyn Araluen at the Nakata Brophy awards ceremony in the JCR.