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WINNER! Melissa’s latest novel Mullumbimby was awarded the prestigious De Loitte Queensland Literary Award for Fiction 2013 against a strong national field.

WALKLEY AWARD FOR LONG FORM JOURNALISM:  In November 2013 Melissa’s essay “Sinking Below Sight: Down and Out in Brisbane and Logan” published by Griffith Review was awarded an Australian Walkley Award for Outstanding Achievement in Journalism (Long Form). This was the inaugural Long Form Walkley award and was one of two Walkleys won by Griffith Review in 2013, the other being for Kathy Marks’ “Channelling Mannalargenna”.  

Australian Literature

Aboriginal Culture

Please contact Melissa
via the University of Queensland Press,

Melissa Lucashenko, Sydney Pen



Melissa Lucashenko is an acclaimed Australian writer of Goorie (Aboriginal) and European heritage.  She was born in Brisbane in 1967. After working as a barmaid, delivery driver and karate instructor, Melissa received an honours degree in public policy from Griffith University.


Since 1997, she has been widely published as a novelist, essayist and short story writer, with occasional forays into the world of criminalised women through the ground-breaking organisation she helped establish in Brisbane, Sisters Inside. Her books have won or been shortlisted for many major awards.

Melissa's first novel of urban Aboriginal Australia, Steam Pigs, was published by the University of Queensland Press in 1997 to critical acclaim. A story of racial identity and working class life, Steam Pigs won the Dobbie Prize for Australian women's fiction, was shortlisted in the NSW Premier's Awards, and was shortlisted for the regional Commonwealth Writer's Prize.

Melissa's second novel, Killing Darcy, was written for teenagers, and won the Aurora Prize of the Royal Blind Society. Her third novel, Hard Yards(UQP) concerns the aftermath of a death in custody. It was shortlisted for the Courier-Mail Book of the Year in 2001, as well as the NSW Premier's Award. Too Flash, a teenage novel about class and friendship, was released by IAD Press, Alice Springs, in late 2002.


Melissa has recently released her fifth novel, Mullumbimby, a story of romantic love and cultural warfare, to ecstatic reviews (to read more about Mullumbimby, see the following page).


"We live in a period in which the conservation of anything is disparaged..the conservation of books, the conservation of darkness, the conservation of ideas...it all gets very short shrift in contemporary society..."

Barry Lopez, US writer

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