Veronica Heritage-Gorrie and Kathryn Heyman share insights into their powerful memoirs of adversity and perseverance with the author of Who Gets To Be Smart, Bri Lee (and another special guest: Veronica’s grandchild). Veronica’s Black and Blue: a memoir of racism and resilience tells of her experiences as an Aboriginal police officer fighting for justice within and beyond Australia’s deeply compromised law-enforcement system. Kathryn’s Fury is the account of her year-long stint as a fishing trawler deckhand in the Timor Sea, which reshaped a life marked by poverty and abuse. Together, they explore the transformative power of giving form to your experiences.

Please note, this episode contains references to topics such as the Stolen Generations and sexual assault.

This podcast was recorded live at the 2021 Sydney Writers Festival and is available on all major podcast platforms. 

Veronica Heritage-Gorrie (Australian)

Veronica Heritage-Gorrie

Veronica Heritage-Gorrie (Ronnie) is a proud Kurnai woman, a writer and the author of Black and Blue published by Scribe Publications. She is passionate about and skilled in non-fiction memoir and is excited to extend her practice into film writing. Ronnie was a recipient of Creative Victoria’s First Peoples funding program for the writing of Nullung. Veronica was also the recipient of The Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowship 2020.

Kathryn Heyman (Australian)

Kathryn Heyman

Dr Kathryn Heyman is the author of the memoir Fury published in Australia and the UK in May 2021. Her previous novels include Storm and Grace and Floodline. Her work has won and been nominated for awards in Australia and the UK including the Scottish Writer of the Year Award, the Wingate Literary Prize, the West Australian Premier’s Literary Awards, the Orange Prize and the Arts Council of England Writers Awards. As founder of the Australian Writers Mentoring Program, she has guided many writers from idea to publication, including many award-winners. She received the 2017 Copyright Agency Author Fellowship for Fury and is an Honorary Professor of Humanities at the University of Newcastle.

Bri Lee (Australian)

Bri Lee

Bri Lee is an award-winning author and freelance journalist. Her books are Eggshell Skull and Beauty, and her latest book, Who Gets to be Smart, was released in June 2021. Her writing has appeared in The Monthly, The Saturday Paper, The Guardian Australia, and elsewhere. She runs the monthly author talks program, ‘The B List Bookclub’ at the State Library of New South Wales.