Melissa Lucashenko to be announced as University’s inaugural creative arts fellowship recipient

Published 1 August 2019
Melissa Lucashenko Melissa Lucashenko

The 2019 Miles Franklin award-winner Melissa Lucashenko will be announced this Friday as the inaugural recipient of the Barry Conyngham Creative Arts Fellowship at Southern Cross University.

Lucashenko was announced on Wednesday evening as the recipient of the 2019 Miles Franklin Award, worth $60,000, for her latest novel Too Much Lip (UQP).

The University’s prestigious fellowship will be presented by Professor Conyngham, the University’s Founding Vice Chancellor, at Lismore campus, where Lucashenko will spend four weeks writing and connecting with the University community.

The fellowship is launched in celebration of the University’s 25th Anniversary milestone.

Lucashenko is a Goorie novelist from Brisbane. Her accolades include the Queensland Deloitte Literary Prize, the Nita B. Kibble Award, The Victorian Premier’s Award for Indigenous Writing, and the NSW Premier’s Literary Award. She is a Walkley Award winner for her non-fiction, and a founding member of human rights organisation Sisters Inside.

“There’s nowhere I’d rather be at this tumultuous time in my career than back on Bundjalung country. It will be wonderful to see what the young people at Southern Cross University are doing and thinking,” Lucashenko said.

“Being in Lismore - where I had lifesaving surgery in 2004 - is a joy and a privilege that I never take lightly.”

The University’s founding Vice Chancellor Professor Barry Conyngham, who has had a long and distinguished academic career in the creative arts, returned to Lismore campus for the April graduation ceremony to deliver the occasional address marking the University’s quarter century and is thrilled to return again this Friday to present his namesake Creative Arts Fellowship.

Southern Cross University Vice Chancellor Professor Adam Shoemaker said having Lucashenko as Artist in Residence was a major coup for the Northern Rivers.

“This is a celebration of Southern Cross University’s long-time association with creative arts in one of the most creative parts of Australia,” he said.

“Melissa Lucashenko is a fabulous writer and a wonderful inaugural recipient of the Fellowship and would bolster the University’s already formidable creative writing academic talent.

“We’re thrilled to have a Miles Franklin award winner in residence and Lucashenko follows a formidable list of authors, including several other Indigenous writers, who’ve won this award.”

Lucashenko’s 2013 novel Mullumbimby catapulted Northern NSW to literary fame highlighting diverse experiences of connecting with country, through the book’s protagonist Jo Breen. During her four-week residency Lucashenko will spend time writing and interacting with University students and staff.

In an event not to be missed, Lucashenko will be ‘In Conversation’ with Southern Cross University Vice Chancellor Professor Adam Shoemaker, one of Australia's leading researchers in the area of Indigenous literature and culture, at the University’s Enterprise Lab at Lismore Campus on 22 August from 5.30pm – 7.30pm.

Tickets are $39 and include light refreshments and a copy of Melissa’s acclaimed book Too Much Lip.
Bookings are essential via

The Barry Conyngham Creative Arts Fellowship will be officially launched this Friday, 2 August at 9am in Studio 129 at Southern Cross University Lismore campus. Media invited to attend.

Media contact: Jessica Nelson, Southern Cross University, 0417288794,

Media contact: Jessica Nelson 0417288794 or