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Anita Heiss talks

Teaching notes

Back to home A close-up of Anita Heiss smiling and wearing glasses on top of her head.

How to use this resource

‘Anita Heiss talks’ is part of the larger resource, Writers talk and aims to stimulate students to read and respond to literature. She was one of over a hundred authors participating in the 2007 Sydney Writers’ Festival.

Dr Anita Heiss is a member of the Wiradjuri nation of central NSW. She grew up in Matraville, Sydney (Gadigal country). An academic and a promoter of Indigenous literacy, she has written fiction, nonfiction and poetry books for young people and adults. She produced the book Yirra and her deadly dog, Demon with the students of La Perouse Public School. Together they came up with the ideas for the stories and characters portrayed in the book which presents a view of life in the city for Indigenous people. She also wrote Me and my mum, a story about family life for the Indij Readers series of literacy materials. Her book Not meeting Mr Right is more suitable for adult readers.

This resource contains five videos addressing her ideas about inspiration for writing, the writing process, characterisation, literary tips and techniques and the messages in her work. Each video has a series of questions or comments for students to consider and discuss. Teachers may find it useful to combine this resource with others listed in the Related resources section to extend students’ learning.

‘Anita Heiss talks’ can be used with students working towards achieving outcomes from Stages 4, 5 and 6 of the NSW Board of Studies English syllabuses and parts of the Aboriginal Studies 7–10 Elective course syllabus. The syllabuses can be found at:



Stage 4

Students using ‘Anita Heiss talks’ have the opportunity to:

Stage 5

Students using ‘Anita Heiss talks’ have the opportunity to:

Stage 6

Students using ‘Anita Heiss talks’ have the opportunity to:

Aboriginal Studies

Stage 5

Students using ‘Anita Heiss talks’ have the opportunity to:

Quality teaching

This resource, along with study of the texts written by the featured author, can be used to address the elements of Quality teaching in NSW public schools.

The Writers talk resource, and related classroom discussion and learning activities, enable students to: