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Magabala Creative Development Scholarships announced...

Thu, Nov 05, 2020

Magabala Books is thrilled to announce the recipients of the 2020 Creative Development Scholarships. Congratulations to Carl Merrison, Gaberyah Cox, Uncle Greg Simms, Kirli Saunders, Linda Augusto and Tyrown Waigana.

Image: Top L-R Carl Merrison, Gaberyah Cox, Uncle Greg Simms. Bottom L-R Kirli Saunders, Linda Augusto, Tyrown Waigana

Magabala scholarships represent a significant investment in creative development, with six creators receiving funding to pursue creative projects and professional development opportunities. Scholars are selected through a competitive application process and expressions of interest come from all over Australia. Scholarship activity will be undertaken in 2021.

Congratulations to the 2020 scholars!

Carl Merrison

Carl Merrison is a Jaru/Kija author/Youth Worker/AFL Coach, and the co-author of Magabala title ‘Black Cockatoo’ and future title ‘Tracks of the Missing’. The winner of the 2020 black&write! Fellowship for a series of picture books, Carl also has two co-authored picture books forthcoming with Hachette in 2021 and 2022. Carl is passionate about AFL, mentoring Aboriginal youth, hunting, looking for gold and time out bush with family.

Carl will complete a series of professional development courses to further develop his writing for children and receive support to purchase new writing equipment.

Gaberyah Cox

Gaberyah Cox is a young artist from Broome. Of Wongai and Banjima descent on his mother’s side and Nimarnburr/Bard and Noongar descent on his father’s side, Gaberyah is keen to explore comic book writing and graphic illustration. Gaberyah has been an artist for most of his life and is now seeking professional development support to develop the skills to publish his work.

Gaberyah will undertake an online comic book masterclass and receive support to purchase illustration materials and equipment.

Uncle Greg Simms

Uncle Greg Simms is an Elder, Gadigal of the Dharug nation/Gundungurra/Budawang of the Yuin nation. Uncle Greg Simms is known as an activist for reconciliation, a traditional woodcarver, a storyteller and an Aboriginal cultural educator. His ties to the Aboriginal community of Greater Western Sydney are through ancestral links to the Gundungurra (Water dragon Lizard people) of the Blue Mountains and the Gadigal (whale people) of the Darug nation. Uncle Greg grew up in La Perouse and now live in Greater Western Sydney.

Uncle Greg will be supported to continue transcribing his life story with his niece Dr Danièle Hromek, a Budawang woman of the Yuin nation, and will receive an editorial mentorship to develop his story into a manuscript for publication.

Kirli Saunders

Kirli Saunders is a proud Gunai Woman and award-winning international writer of poetry, plays and picture books. She is a teacher, cultural consultant and artist. In 2020, Kirli was named the NSW Aboriginal Woman of the Year. Kirli created Poetry in First Languages, delivered by Red Room Poetry. Her debut picture book ‘The Incredible Freedom Machines’ was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards and CBCA notables. Her poetry collection, ‘Kindred’ was shortlisted for the ABIA 2020 Book Awards. Her forthcoming verse novel, ‘Bindi’ was the inaugural winner of the WA Premiers, Daisy Utemorrah Award.

Kirli will receive creative development fees and undertake an editorial mentorship to further develop a children’s picture book series called Cloud Spotting.

Linda Augusto

Linda Augusto is a proud Wiradjuri woman and Early Childhood Teacher who is a passionate advocate for children and their families. She currently works at the Indigenous Literacy Foundation as the Early Literacy Manager and has extensive experience across the early childhood sector as an educator, manager, early childhood teacher (including Aboriginal cultural education) in the vocational and higher education sector and cultural consultant working within the child protection field. 

Linda will receive support to enrol in a number of online creative writing courses to develop foundations of genre, plot and character and further explore her craft as an emerging writer.

Tyrown Waigana

Tyrown Waigana is a multidisciplinary artist and designer working out of Perth. He is both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander with connection to the Wardandi Noongar people in south west western Australia and the Ait Koedha people from Saibai island in the Torres Strait. Tyrown is an established artist and an emerging writer. He holds a Bachelor of Art at Curtin university majoring in Creative Advertising and Illustration. He is the winner of the 2020 NAIDOC poster competition.

Tyrown will receive creative development fees to further develop his comics and support to undertake a comic writing course.


Magabala Creative Development Scholarships are generously supported through our philanthropic program. For more info or to donate, see Support Us.