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UQP devised and launched the David Unaipon Award in 1988 – the bicentennial year of white settlement. It is recognised as the most coveted Indigenous writing prize in the country.

The winner of the first David Unaipon Award was Graeme Dixon for his manuscript Holocaust Island. It was published in 1989 following a 12 month mentoring process to develop the manuscript.

Past winners include:

Many winners have achieved notable writing careers.

For over 20 years, UQP has been committed to publishing the winners of the David Unaipon Award. UQP will continue to publish and celebrate the wonderful collection of contemporary writing and Indigenous stories awarded the David Unaipon Award into the future.  

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Anonymous Premonition

Picture of Anonymous Premonition
'Anonymous Premonition is lyrical and luscious but it is also poetic activism that packs a punch. In discussing pride in identity, painful memories, the realities of Aboriginal life and death, and the power of sisterhood, this collection is a tribute to the resilience of Aboriginal women everywhere.' Dr Anita Heiss.


Bitin' Back

Picture of Bitin' Back
Bitin' Back is a rollicking comic novel that nimbly blends the realities of smalltown prejudice and racial intolerance. When the Blackouts' star player Nevil Dooley wakes one morning to don a frock and 'eyeshada', his mother's idle days at the bingo hall are gone forever. Bitin' Back is the winner of the 2000 David Unaipon Award for unpublished Aboriginal writers. Cleven's novel has been described as one of the most achieved manuscripts to come from the twelve year old Unaipon Award to-date.


Dancing Home

Picture of Dancing Home
Winner of the 2016 David Unaipon Award


Every Secret Thing

Picture of Every Secret Thing
When culture and faith collide...nothing is sacred. Playful and sharp, Marie Munkara’s wonderfully original stories cast a taunting new light on the mission era in Australia. 2008 David Unaipon Award Winner.


Ghost Bird

Picture of Ghost Bird
An intriguing and gripping young adult novel by the winner of the David Unaipon award.


Heat and Light

Picture of Heat and Light
In this award-winning work of fiction, Ellen van Neerven takes her readers on a journey that is mythical, mystical and still achingly real.



Picture of Home
Candice is a young woman setting out on her first visit to the traditional land of her Aboriginal grandmother. When she arrives at the 'place where the two rivers meet', the twentieth century falls away and the story of Candice's family comes to life. Here in 1918, her grandmother Garibooli was taken from her family.


Mazin Grace

Picture of Mazin Grace
Growing up on the Mission isn't easy for feisty Grace, especially when her classmates tease her for not having a father. Winner of the 2011 David Unaipon Award for Indigenous Writing.


Me, Antman & Fleabag

Picture of Me, Antman & Fleabag
Winner 2006 David Unaipon Award Take one woman, her partner Antman and their dog Fleabag, pack up the car, turn up the country music and you’ve got one spirited road trip ‘makin room for all the good things in life, like family, laughin, travellin and, best of all, love’. Me, Antman & Fleabag is packed to the roof with wicked black humour, eccentric aunties, six-fingered redheads, and martyrs to the cause of sheep well-being – all carried along with a dose of Slim Dusty for good measure. Gayle Kennedy has a gift for telling tales and making them sparkle with warmth and pathos in equal measure. Me, Antman & Fleabag is a funny and incisive look at contemporary Indigenous life and the family and friends that make it up. So hold on to your boongalungs; this’ll be a crackin ride.


Not Just Black and White

Picture of Not Just Black and White
An extraordinary memoir about two women, striving for equality and determined to make sure history is not forgotten.


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