CQUni alumnus Allanah writes a new chapter in Indigenous storytelling
[by Greg Chapman]
Allanah Hunt. Image: supplied
CQUniversity’s scholarship and internship opportunities for Indigenous students not only gave Allanah Hunt the opportunity to work with the State Library of Queensland in Brisbane, but it also helped her inspire other Indigenous people to tell their own stories.
Through the Aurora Internship Program, Allanah, who graduated from CQUni with a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Rockhampton in 2016, co-edited a number of blogs and also worked with the winners of the 2019 black&write! fellowships on their manuscripts.
“It was an amazing experience and very special to work with the authors who were so giving, passionate and such extremely hard workers,” Allanah said.
“I felt very privileged to be part of that experience and to get to read such exciting Indigenous voices coming onto the scene.
“I also felt extremely lucky to have gotten to share that experience with my fellow editor intern, Jasmin McGaughey. I also must mention our mentor and lead editor, Grace Lucas-Pennington. She has this wealth of knowledge that she never hesitates to share, inspiring me with her passion for editing.”
Although the editing internship is now complete, Allanah said she and Jasmin were recently made junior editors within the black&write! program.
She said her Arts studies gave her an amazing groundwork in writing, which in turn prepared her for the internship.
“It took me back to the basics of how to communicate effectively, no matter the genre. It also showed me the value of support and encouragement in what can sometimes be stressful situations,” she said.
During her studies at CQUni, Allanah was also a recipient of an Arrow Energy Go Further Indigenous Scholarship which allowed her to visit several overseas universities, including Oxford and Cambridge.
Her PhD project, which she says is in its final stages, is a fan-fiction novel taking place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
“I’m exploring ownership of women’s bodies and unremarked whiteness in the novel, which takes place in a fictionalised, apocalyptic version of Australia,” she said.
“I like to explore contemporary issues within popular culture formats and in this novel, I’ve concentrated on the current removal practices of Indigenous children and the archaic, racist systems in place for that to still be a reality.”
“Indigenous voices in literature are extremely important. Our Indigenous culture is beautiful, rich and diverse.
“Unfortunately, our stories have too often been told for us. Indigenous voices in our literature mean reclaiming our stories, showing our real history and the truth of the trauma that has been (and unfortunately, in some cases, continues to be) inflicted on us.
“I also know how hard it is to grow up loving literature and never seeing yourself or your experience reflected in the worlds you love. It can make you feel very unseen. To think that is changing and the next generation will see more of themselves within literature is very powerful to me.”
She encouraged other Indigenous people to follow in her footsteps.
“Your voice and your thoughts are important though and have value so please don’t stop trying to find a way to make them be heard. Whichever way you choose to express them, I can’t wait to listen.
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