Magabala Books Magabala Books Australia’s leading Indigenous publisher Support us

We respectfully caution Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers that this website contains images of people who have passed away.

← News

'Close to the Subject' wins 2024 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Indigenous Writing

Thu, Feb 01, 2024

Congratulations to Daniel Browning, his book Close to the Subject: Selected Works has won the 2024 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Indigenous Writing! 

Close to the Subject: Selected Works is a collection of work from Daniel’s stella career, blending poetry, journalism, playscript, memoir and art criticism. It is a true “masterclass in First Nations creativity, culture and story” and defies categorisation. 

The Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards honour literary achievement by Australian writers. The winners of the main suite of awards – the prizes for Fiction, Non-Fiction, Drama, Poetry, Award for Indigenous Writing, Children’s Literature and Writing for Young Adults – each receive $25,000. 

"I am deeply thonoured to receive the 2024 Indigenous Writing Prize at the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards because I know what a monumental and sometimes heartbreaking task it is to judge the storytelling ability of other blackfellas, having judged the Prize four times. Thanks Jeanine Leane, Tristan Harwood and Maya Hodge. I want to thank the Magabala family for opening their wide arms to wrap around me, and for their trust and their vision in seeing my potential, when even I didn't. 

To the big hearted and inspirational publisher Rachel bin Salleh and 'my' editor, the hardworking and tenacious Arlie Alizzi, thank you for the care and the blind faith you invested in this book and me. We got there in the end. But without either of you, there is no book. You also handed me a precious gift: the ability to see a future beyond journalism. It may not be so safe and predictable, but give me a creative practice over the demands and the administrivia of a big media organisation any day. I hope to dedicate my life to writing.

If there's anything I'd like to say to young black journalists and media professionals it's this: that when you're close to the subject, you care about the telling of their story and the stories of those directly involved. There is an ethics of care that governs what we do, and how we interact and engage with our communities. It's not written down but we all know it. Never sacrifice who you are, culturally, to satisfy the needs of your employer. No job is worth that kind of compromise. It's pretty simple I reckon: don’t write stories that you don't care about.", says Daniel Browning.


Daniel Browning is a Bundjalung and Kullilli journalist, radio broadcaster, documentary maker, sound artist and writer. A celebrated pioneer for his fiercely perceptive commentary and values-driven practice, Daniel has been achieving in the arts and media world for almost three decades.