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UQP acquires 'Long Yarn Short: We Are Still Here' by Vanessa Turnbull-Roberts
Posted 07.10.2022

UQP acquires 'Long Yarn Short: We Are Still Here' by Vanessa Turnbull-Roberts

UQP is delighted to announce that we’ve acquired world rights for the first book by Vanessa Turnbull-Roberts, Long Yarn Short: We Are Still Here.

Vanessa is a proud Bundjalung, Widubul-Wiabul writer, human rights activist and lawyer who grew up in the Redfern and La-Perouse Community. Long Yarn Short details her experiences of being taken from her family at the age of ten and placed into statutory Out of Home Care (OOHC). Despite her parents fighting for her return, she was kept apart from her family and her community for over a decade with only supervised casual visitation.

By telling her own story as a survivor of OOHC, Vanessa highlights the ongoing violence and damage done by the forced removal of Aboriginal children and the role of policing and family regulation in First Nations communities. She also reveals how her lived experience informs her professional work and activism, and the values that now shape her own family’s life. As she says: ‘I hope to share with the world the implications of child removal, the pain, the love and the fight that lives in every single child’s soul. I tell a story that is not new to many blackfullas, a story of truth, of experience and of how we as a nation must not simply imagine a better world, but be a better world.’

Vanessa Turnbull-Roberts says:

‘This book is an invitation for people to understand Australia’s deep and dark history is not history – rather it is very much alive and practised today. I simply cannot put into a book all the racism and violence perpetrated against First Nations people, especially women and children, but what I can do is take you on a Long Yarn Short. Share truth, share struggle, share what justice looks like, with love.

As a proud Bundjalung Widubul-Wiabul woman, my lived experiences are circumstances that no person should endure. I chose to study law and social work because I needed to critically understand the systems from their perspective. Still today, we continue to be disproportionately impacted. Still today, we are still here fighting. Long Yarn Short is about the power in our storytelling and lived experiences; most importantly, it is about sharing truth with the world, a world where many think Australia is not guilty. We all have a duty in our kinship. For the children who didn’t get to come home, those yet to come home and those who had the chance for neither.’

Publisher Aviva Tuffield says:

‘Vanessa Turnbull-Roberts’s Long Yarn Short is an extraordinary work of truth-telling – hers is an important and eloquent voice, one that deserves to be heard. Vanessa’s experiences of being taken from her family and community, and the systemic failings of OOHC, are shameful and shocking. And yet, as she discusses, they are all part of a long and ongoing history of stolen generations on this continent, a racist cycle that needs to be broken. Long Yarn Short will be an important tool in the fight for change – a book that will speak directly to those who have shared experiences, while at the same time opening the hearts and shifting the minds of other readers.’

About Vanessa Turnbull-Roberts

Vanessa Turnbull-Roberts is a proud Bundjalung and Widubul-Wiabul woman who grew up in the Redfern and the La-Perouse Community. She has completed a joint Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Social Work at the University of New South Wales, followed by an Honours thesis that was awarded First Class Honours with High Distinction. She has a strong background in human rights advocacy, especially for young people and families impacted by statutory Out of Home Care (OOHC). She has assisted with the implementation of various programs, including outreach, suicide prevention and trauma-informed education. In 2019 she was awarded an Australian Human Rights medal from the Australian Human Rights Commission recognising her work informing organisations, individuals, and groups about the importance of children’s rights, and about the severe impacts of OOHC and the criminal justice system on Aboriginal lives. Her acceptance speech went viral: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UB8jMfizB94

Long Yarn Short will be published in 2024.

For more information, please contact the UQP marketing team on marketing@uqp.com.au.