Anita Heiss

Anita Heiss


Speaker type

  • Author
  • Poet
  • Non-fiction
  • Educational consultant
  • Motivational
  • Virtual visits
available for virtual visits

Aboriginal literature, the National Curriculum and your school with Anita Heiss

Indigenous perspectives are one of three 'cross-curriculum dimensions' in the national curriculum. Having Indigenous perspectives as a dimension of the curriculum means that Indigenous history, culture, books, stories, art and knowledge of the land are taught to all Australian children. Students from Kindergarten to Year Ten will have Indigenous perspectives included in their History, English and Science curriculum each year.

Scattered across History, English and Science there will be content focusing on Indigenous cultures, languages, knowledge, history and events in classes from Kindergarten (or Prep) to Year Ten. For example, in Year Three History, students are asked to identify different points of view by reading or listening to an historic story and answering questions about the thoughts and feelings of the person in that story. In Year Ten students look at the struggle for Indigenous rights in Australia through examining such events as the Wave Hill walk-off, the 1967 referendum and the Mabo decision.

Hyllus Maris Memorial Lecture 2017 - see Anita from Minute 39.

How will you integrate Indigenous voices and knowledge into your own classrooms?

And how will you use local content to make local connections to ensure you meet the requirements of the National Curriculum?

Dr Anita Heiss is the author of non-fiction, historical fiction, commercial women's fiction, poetry, social commentary and travel articles. She is a regular guest at writers' festivals and travels internationally performing her work and lecturing on Indigenous literature. She is an Indigenous Literacy Day Ambasador and a proud member of the Wiradjuru nation of central New South Wales. Anita is a board member of the National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy and Patron of the Alliance of Girls' Schools of Australia. She is a National Ambassador for the 2012 Year of Reading and an Adjunct Professor with Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning, UTS. Anita currently divides her time between writing, public speaking, MCing, and as a workshop facilitator. She is a finalist in the NSW Australian of the Year (Local Hero) Awards.

In 2012, Anita has toured nationally, but in Brisbane has been a guest author/speaker at St. Rita's College and Mt Alvernia and also completed a major project (the writing and publishing of a short crime novel) with a select group of students at St. Laurence's College, South Brisbane.

Anita's publications list includes:

  • Am I Black Enough for You? A memoir on Aboriginal identity, and winner of hte 2012 Victorian Premier's Literature Award for Indigenous Writing.
  • The Macquarie PEN Anthology of Aboriginal Literature. Co-edited with Peter Minter
  • Why Am I? The diary of Mary Talence, Sydney 1937. An historical novel on the Stolen Generations.
  • Yirra and her deadly dog, Demon and Demon Guards the School Yard. Both co-written with the students of La Perouse Public School and focusing on urban identity.
  • Four commercial women's novels: Not Meeting Mr Right, Avoiding Mr Right, Manhattan Dreaming and Paris Dreaming.

What Anita can do to assist you:

  • Standard author talks about her books, writing, and research - all with Indigenous themes.
  • Creative writing workshops - which can also incorporate Indigenous themes
  • Project managing the creation of a complete work - short novel or anthology of writing.
  • Addresses to whole student bodies and staff
  • Workshops/presentations to teachers/librarians on Indigenous authored resources for use in the classroom.

Examples of what you can book Anita for:  

  • Standard one-day author visit which may include writing workshops
  • Five-day writer-in-residence with workshops, author talks and presentations to teachers/librarians.
  • Keynote address to staff/student body
  • Major project - novel or anthology

As part of the 2012 National Year of Reading celebrations at St Laurence College, Anita worked closely with students to produce a fabulous short novel, The Tightening Grip. The boys created a thrilling murder mystery set in the local area.

For more information, follow the Media Release.

Hear Anita's 2013 TED talk here

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  • Well researched and well thought out speech very appropriate for the occasion, and extremely interesting to our audience. It was perfect. Anita's presentation exceeded our expectations.

    Libraries ACT - May, 2017

    Libraries ACT - May, 2017
    Anita Heiss
  • Excellent! Informative and very entertaining. Received a lot of positive feedback from those attending our event.

    La Trobe University - March, 2017

    La Trobe University - March, 2017
    Anita Heiss
  • Anita's visit exceeded expectations. She was very early, engaged the audience, spoke clearly and was on the ball from the very beginning. Amazing session to attend.

    Anita is a brilliant Speaker!

    Anita Heiss - TAL Insurance, March 2016

    Anita Heiss - TAL Insurance, March 2016
    Anita Heiss
  • I really enjoyed Anita's talk - what a humorous and fascinating person. Her discussion of both race and gender and her explanation of her move into "chick lit" was really interesting. A very thought provoking Inspire event (as always!)

    Excellent once again! outstanding speaker and a wonderfully refreshing and inspiring way to start the day!

    She was genuinely inspiring - I could have listened to her for hours!

    Anita is truly remarkable. An inspiration for anyone, not just women (well, all I can say is that I'm a man and I was inspired).

    Anita Heiss - Inspire Talk, Google Sydney, May 2016

    Anita Heiss - Inspire Talk, Google Sydney, May 2016
    Anita Heiss
  • Anita exceeded expectations. Her talk was engaging, clever down to earth, funny but still captured the serious messages. Anita was very well received.

    Anita Heiss - Dept. of Employment, May 2016

    Anita Heiss - Dept. of Employment, May 2016
    Anita Heiss

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Anita Heiss