Anita Heiss is a proud member of the Wiradjuri nation of central New South Wales, but was born in Gadigal country and has spent much of her life on Daharawal land near La Perouse. She is one of Australia’s most prolific and well-known authors publishing across genres including non-fiction, historical fiction, commercial fiction and children’s fiction. She is also a marathoner!
Anita’s children’s literature includes Kicking Goals with Goodesy and Magic, co-written with Adam Goodes and Micheal O’Loughlin. She also wrote two kids’ novels with students from La Perouse Public School - Yirra and her deadly dog Demon and Demon Guards the School Yard.
Anita’s other published works include the historical novel Who Am I? The Diary of Mary Talence, Sydney 1937, non-fiction text Dhuuluu-Yala (To Talk Straight) – Publishing Aboriginal Literature, and The Macquarie PEN Anthology of Aboriginal Literature which she co-authored with Peter Minter.
Her adult fiction includes Not Meeting Mr Right, Avoiding Mr Right, Manhattan Dreaming, Paris Dreaming and Tiddas. Her most recent books include Harry’s Secret Matty’s Comeback, and Barbed Wire and Cherry Blossoms which was shortlisted for the QLD Literary Awards and longlisted for the Dublin International Literary Prize.
In 2004, Anita was listed in The Bulletin magazine’s “Smart 100”. Her memoir Am I Black Enough for You? was a finalist in the 2012 Human Rights Awards and she was a finalist in the 2013 Australian of the Year Awards (Local Hero).
As an advocate for Indigenous literacy, Anita has worked in remote communities as a role model and encouraging young Indigenous Australians to write their own stories. On an international level she has performed her own work and lectured on Aboriginal literature across the globe at universities and conferences, consulates and embassies in the USA, Canada, the UK, Tahiti, Fiji, New Caledonia, Spain, Japan, Austria, Germany and New Zealand.
Anita is a Lifetime Ambassador for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, and a proud Ambassador of Worawa Aboriginal College, the GO Foundation and the Sydney Swans. She is on the Board of the State Library of Queensland and lives in Brisbane.