Reconciliation, Identity and Imagined Futures:
Claire G. Coleman
and Shais Rishon in conversation with Isabelle Oderberg

Join Melbourne journalist Isabelle Oderberg as she speaks with Noongar writer Claire G. Coleman and writer, Black American and Orthodox Rabbi Shais Rishon as they journey through the variegated terrain of identity and belonging. Exploring experiences of connection and community alongside those of disconnection and divide, Oderberg will uncover Coleman and Rishon’s realities, fears and hopes through the prism of their writing, both fiction and non-fiction.

Supported by our media partner The Australian Jewish News

Tuesday 13th October
8.00 - 9.00 pm AEST 
FREE via Zoom – registration required
Register to Attend Online

Claire G. Coleman is a Wirlomin-Noongar Australian writer and poet whose ancestral country is on the South Coast of Western Australia. Her debut novel Terra Nullius won a black&write! Writing Fellowship, the 2018 Norma K. Hemming Award; and was shortlisted for the 2017 Aurealis Award and the 2018 Stella prize. Her second novel The Old Lie was published in 2019.

Claire G. Coleman’s new novel takes us to a familiar world to again ask us what we have learned from the past and Australia’s deeply flawed history. The Old Lie might not be quite what you expect. ‘Set in an intergalactic war, this powerful story is told from multiple viewpoints and delivers an emotionally wrenching impact.’ Sally Morgan, author of the bestselling Australian classic My Place.

Purchase via phone or order online at Readings, The Avenue and Jeffreys Books

Shais Rishon (aka MaNishtana) is a New York-based African-American Orthodox Jew born from two African-American Orthodox Jewish parents. He grew up Chabad-Lubavitch and hails on his mother’s side from a legacy of African-American Judaism stretching back to the 1780s. He is an author, writer, educator, playwright, rabbi, and public speaker, whose work on racial and religious identity & culture  takes prejudice, bias, and ignorance head on, asking the questions about humanity, race, religion, and social injustice that we all have (and maybe are afraid to talk about), with gut-punching insight and gut-busting sarcasm.

Thought leader and provocateur MaNishtana (Shais Rishon) turns his eye to fiction in this imaginative, semi-autobiographical novel, making Ariel Samson, Freelance Rabbi the most dazzling debut of an Orthodox black Jew born on a Sunday at 2:24AM in a Brooklyn hospital in 1982 that you will ever have the privilege of reading. 2018 Finalist for the National Jewish Book Award's Goldberg Award for Debut Fiction. 

Purchase ebook via Amazon (Kindle edition)

Isabelle Oderberg is a former journalist who worked for Reuters, Dow Jones, AAP and at News Corp. She was Australia’s first social media editor, sat on the Melbourne Press Club Board for five years and was a founding member of Women in Media Victoria. She now works in the NFP sector as well as a freelance journalist. You’ve read her words most recently in The Guardian, ABC Life, Beat and Artshub. Isabelle is currently writing her first book.


Dr Paul Valent MBBS, DPM, FRANZCP, discusses the enigma of violence and its relationship to love with Dr Rachael Kohn AO, FRSNSW. Violence, for Valent, is not an isolated feature of the human condition. Surprisingly close to violence are struggles for love. Find out more about that aspect of humanity.



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