President’s Report

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With the nights growing longer and cooler, our year seems to quickly roll into the Easter break and the end of the first quarter.

White Night has come and gone, as has Blak & Bright, our first Victorian Indigenous Literary Festival (18–21 February), dubbed 'Blak Night' by Wheeler Centre Director Michael Williams. Blak & Bright featured publishing professionals from across the country in sessions that reflected the complexity of our relationships with our First Peoples. But the overarching feeling was one of strength, of self-determination, of an urge to begin a conversation.

We have many things to learn in publishing to respect the customs and cultural sensitivities of an ancient culture of 70,000 (perhaps 120,000) years and 400 languages. ‘It makes Out of Africa look like a kindergarten’, said Indigenous author Bruce Pascoe. And here we have – rather than something that’s too hard – an advantage, something unique in the world.

Kate Cuthbert, who heads up our events committee, was at Blak & Bright gathering ideas for another fab dinner meeting in April, continuing our tradition of inspiring meetings that take us out of our everyday and into the work of other people in our industry.

The accreditation exam is coming up in June, and I look forward to catching up with you to find out all about it at our ‘not a dinner meeting’ on 3 March.

I’ll be heading off for five weeks at Easter for a Big Adventure around the USA. Our vice-president, Davina Dadley-Moore, will be taking over while I'm away, and, of course, our other committee members and staff will be around to keep the wheels turning.

Be well!

Jackey Coyle