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Jared Thomas

Author, Education Consultant, Social Issues

Dr Jared Thomas is a Nukunu person of the Southern Flinders Ranges and the Curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art and Cultural Material at the South Australian Museum and an international award-winning author.

Where were you born?

I was born in Port Augusta, South Australia.

What other jobs have you had?

My first paid work was as a musician –  playing either keyboard or guitar.

I have worked as a University lecturer, teaching about Australian film and literature, art and design, and communication relating to Aboriginal people and communities.

I am currently the Curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art and Material Culture at the South Australian Museum.

What themes are recurring in your work?

The stories, histories and aspirations of Aboriginal people and communities are often at the centre of my work, with issues relating to gender, sexuality, the environment and marginalisation also being explored. More generally my writing explores the power of belonging and culture.

What have been the highlights of your career?

When I first started writing, my first play was produced in Kenya and Uganda when I was 23 years old. Travelling to see the performance in both countries was my first overseas experience.

In 2013 I was able to develop the novel Calypso Summer, in Jamaica with my hero, Caribbean author Olive Senior. Olive was a neighbor and friend to Bob Marley, which meant that I was able to also meet other people connected to him. Calypso Summer is now being made into a six part television series.

Developing the Game Day Series with international basketball sensation, San Antonio Spurs and Olympian Patty Mills is also a career highlight.

Where have your works been published?

My works are published in Australia and America but read in countries including Indonesia, India, Canada, New Zealand, and America.

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about protecting the environment, and people having opportunity to reach their potential devoid of forms of discrimination including sexism, class-ism and racism.

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

I have been held at gunpoint, performed on stage with musician Paul Kelly, and suffered many major injuries being a daredevil.

 

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