Debra Dank wins NSW Premier Literary Award Book of the Year

22 May 2023

We Come With This Place, written by Gudanji and Wakaja woman Debra Dank, was named Book of the Year in the 2023 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards this evening in Sydney.

We Come with This Place is a remarkable book, as rich, varied and surprising as the vast landscape in which it is set. Debra Dank has created an extraordinary mosaic of vivid episodes that move about in time and place to tell an unforgettable story of country and people.

Dank calibrates human emotions with honesty and insight, and there is plenty of dry, down-to-earth humour. You can feel and smell and see the puffs of dust under moving feet, the ever-present burning heat, the bright exuberance of a night-time campfire, the emerald flash of a flock of budgerigars, the journeying wind, the harshness of a station shanty, the welcome scent of fresh water.

We Come with This Place is deeply personal, a profound tribute to family and the Gudanji Country to which Debra Dank belongs, but it is much more than that. Here is Australia as it has been for countless generations, land and people in effortless balance, and Australia as it became, but also Australia as it could and should be.

Dank’s 2022 debut title also won the Indigenous Writers’ Prize, the Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-fiction, and the UTS Glenda Adams Award for New Writing.


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