In Conversation: The White Girl by Tony Birch

This event has already taken place.

Thursday 13 June 2019

Join Tony Birch and a panel of speakers from Victoria University's Moondani Balluk Indigenous Academic Centre in conversation about Tony's newest book, The White Girl. 

The White Girl will be on sale on the night, and book signings available after the conversation.

The White Girl

Odette Brown has lived her whole life on the fringes of a small country town. Raising her granddaughter Sissy on her own, Odette has managed to stay under the radar of the welfare authorities who are removing Aboriginal children from their communities. When the menacing Sergeant Lowe arrives in town, determined to fully enforce the law, any freedom that Odette and Sissy enjoy comes under grave threat. Odette must make an impossible choice to protect her family.

‘Odette, be sensible. Sissy cannot leave this town.’ Shea threw his hands in the air. ‘Listen to me, please, Odette. It’s not as if your Sissy is a white girl.’

In The White Girl, Tony Birch has created memorable characters whose capacity for love and courage are a timely reminder of the endurance of the human spirit.

Author biography

Tony Birch is the author of Ghost River, which won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Indigenous Writing and Blood, which was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award. He is also the author of Shadowboxing and three short story collections, Father’s Day, The Promise and Common People. In 2017 he was awarded the Patrick White Literary Award. Tony is a frequent contributor to ABC local and national radio and a regular guest at writers’ festivals. He lives in Melbourne and is a Senior Research Fellow at Victoria University.

Event speakers

Kim Kruger

Kim Kruger is a lecturer and researcher with Moondani Balluk at Victoria University. She has a background in community development, community radio broadcasting and Indigenous arts management including film, theatre, visual art and festivals. Most recently she has contributed to the Blak Brow editorial collective for Issue 40 of The Lifted Brow, and the naming of Warrior Woman Lane.

Paola Balla

Paola Balla is a Wemba-Wemba and Gunditjmara woman. An artist, curator, writer and lecturer, and Lisa Bellear Indigenous Research Scholar based at VU's Moondani Balluk Indigenous Academic Centre. She co-curated Sovereignty and Unfinished Business: Perspectives on art and feminism at the Australia Centre for Contemporary Art. She is a co-editor of Blak Brow - The Lifted Brow.

Karen Jackson

Karen Jackson is a Yorta Yorta woman, a Footscray resident and Director of the Moondani Balluk Indigenous Academic Unit at Victoria University. Karen is an advocate for land rights and the recognition of Sovereign Peoples; for developing culturally safe spaces that enable Aboriginal people to aspire to personal, family and community goals; and the delivery of relevant education and community-based programs by Aboriginal people for Aboriginal people.


This event is free, however please RSVP online


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The White Girl by Tony Birch


This event has already taken place.

13 June 2019, 6:00pm to 8:00pm


VU at MetroWest (Footscray) 138 Nicholson Street

Get in touch

VU at MetroWest
(03) 9919 7043