Listen to the live session of DEAR/HELLO from the 2016 National Young Writers' Festival

Recorded live on October 2, 2016 from The Royal Exchange in Newcastle, NSW

Featuring original pieces:

  • Dear Body
  • Dear Fat, Aboriginal Blonde Schoolgirl
  • To The Women Who Raised Me
  • Dear White Boys

Pieces written and read by Lamisse Hamouda, Alison Whittaker, Somayra Ismailjee and Laurie May (co-written by Jessica Knight)

We would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which these pieces were recorded - the Awabakal people. We would like to pay respects to their elders past, present and emerging and extend that respect to other Aboriginal people listening.

If you would like to download any excerpts of this audio for re-broadcast, please get in touch with us at (attribution to DEAR/HELLO, NYWF and the artists will be necessary)



Lamisse Hamouda
A writer, youth worker and manager of a community organisation for young people from refugee and migrants backgrounds, Brighter Future Collective. Lamisse has presented at NOWSA 2015, the launch UNAOC 7th Forum in Azerbaijan and attended the 60th UN Commission on the status of women In New York. Some of her writings have been published in the Age, New Matilda and Writers of Colour. 

Alison Whittaker
A Gomeroi poet, life writer and essayist from Gunnedah and Tamworth, north-western New South Wales. She now lives in Sydney on Wangal land, where she studies a combined Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws at the University of Technology Sydney.

Somayra Ismailjee
A writer and visual artist from Perth, her work has appeared in New Matilda, Eureka Street, Right Now, Junkee, The Lifted Brow, The Music and Hi-Fructose, among others. She was recently awarded the inaugural Margaret Dooley Young Writers Fellowship for ethics, current affairs and social justice writing.
You can read some of Somayra's work here and here.

Laurie May
Alice Springs’ poet Laurie May challenges norms and explores identity, her own and the developing cultural identity of Australia. Laurie delves into the depths of what makes us and aims to empower, inform and entertain at the same time, poignant and darkly humorous Laurie’s on stage presence will transfix you.

Jessica Knight 
A Melbourne based feminist, writer, poet and artist. She won a Creative Partnerships grant in 2014. She is the author of a book of poetry called Tongue Between Teeth. Her writing has been published in The Victorian Writer, and her artwork was shown in 2014 in a group exhibition at D11 Docklands, called Paper Dolls.