Professor Alexis Wright, a member of the Waanyi Nation and Boisbouvier Chair in Australian Literature at the University of Melbourne Faculty of Arts, has been awarded the 2018 Stella Prize for Tracker, the collective memoir of Aboriginal leader and visionary Tracker Tilmouth.
The Stella Prize is Australia’s major literary award celebrating women’s writing.
Professor Wright said she was honoured that the Stella Prize had recognised Tracker Tilmouth’s importance and the Aboriginal storytelling approach taken in the book.
“To tell the important stories about Australia is a challenge for writers to use their imagination and be innovative in the way that stories are told,” Professor Wright said.
“That was what I tried to do with Tracker, to find a form that did justice to the scope of his work and the world he operated in.”
University of Melbourne Faculty of Arts Dean Denise Varney said the Stella Prize is further recognition of Professor Alexis Wright’s immense contribution to contemporary Australian literature.
“As a successful and acclaimed author, Alexis brings an inspiring perspective to our teaching and research in the Australian Centre and the School of Culture of Communication,” Professor Varney said.
“Her work is of great value to fellow members of the Faculty, to our students and to the wider literary culture of Melbourne.”
Professor Wright’s position as the Boisbouvier Chair in Australian Literature was established with a $5 million endowed gift from Mr John Wylie and Mrs Myriam Boisbouvier-Wylie.
As part of the position, Professor Wright is conducting research on contemporary Australian Literature in the context of world literature, with a focus on Aboriginal oral storytelling and other international literatures with oral storytelling traditions.