Yassmin Abdel-Magied: ‘We are certainly a land of storytellers'

Sudanese-born mechanical engineer, social advocate, writer and petrol head Yassmin Abdel-Magied advocates for the empowerment of youth, women and those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. She was the 2015 Queensland Young Australian of the Year.

Here, she reflects on how we might do justice to Australia's long history of storytelling.

Photo of Yassmin Abdel-Magied

Yassmin Abdel-Magied

We might not necessarily think of Australia as a nation with a deep literary history, but we are certainly a land of storytellers. Our storytelling tradition is over 60,000 years old, and is rich with culture, tragedy and joy. Our literary tradition, however, does not quite reflect this yet – and that needs to change.

That changes when more stories that reflect the diverse reality of our nation line our bookshelves, when our local talent is as celebrated as the international talent, and when migrants, refugees and First Nations people alike can pick books in any library in the country and see their lives reflected within their narratives.

I look forward to The Next Chapter ushering these storytellers onto the nation's stage, so that we can all enjoy the tales they will spin.