BORDERLAND: In conversation with Graham Akhurst

Monday, December 4th

5:30 PM – 6:30 PM


The Capitol Theatre

113 Swanston Street

Melbourne, VIC 3000



Danielle Binks

Author & Literary Agent, Jacinta di Mase Management



Graham Akhurst

Author & Lecturer of Australian Indigenous Studies & Creative Writing

Graham Akhurst is a Kokomini writer who grew up in Meanjin. He is a Lecturer of Australian Indigenous Studies and Creative Writing at UTS. Graham began his writing journey in a hospital bed in 2011. He read and started journaling between treatments for Endemic Burkett Lymphoma. As a Fulbright Scholar, Graham took his love for writing to New York City, where he studied for an MFA in Fiction at Hunter College. He is a board member for the First Nations Artists and Writers Network and Varuna. He lives with his wife on Gadigal Country in Sydney and enjoys walking Centennial Park with a good audiobook.


Borderland is his first novel. Graham Akhurst is represented by Danielle Binks and the Jacinta di Mase Agency.

“A hell of a debut novel from a writer once daring, insightful and heartfelt.”

-Markus Zusak

Author of The Book Thief 

A heart-pounding eco-horror gothic specfic by Graham Akhurst, the brilliant mind behind Borderland, a coming-of-age YA-fiction gem. Brace yourself for a fresh, mind-bending tale exploring Indigenous identity, the impact of colonization, and what happens when you take a stand.


Jono, a city-born Indigenous teenager is trying to figure out who he really is. Life in Brisbane hasn’t exactly made him feel connected to his Country or community. Luckily, he’s got his best friend, Jenny, who has been by his side through their hectic days at St Lucia Private.


After graduating, Jono and Jenny score gigs at the Aboriginal Performing Arts Centre and an incredible opportunity comes knocking—interning with a documentary crew. Their mission? To promote a big government mining project in the wild western Queensland desert. The catch? The details are sketchy, and the land is rumoured to be sacred. But who cares? Jono is stoked just to be part of something meaningful. Plus, he gets to be the lead presenter!


Life takes a turn when they land in Gambari, a tiny rural town far from the hustle and bustle of the city. Suddenly, Jono’s intuition becomes his best guide. He’s haunted by an eerie omen of death, battling suffocating panic attacks, and even experiencing visions of Wudun—a malevolent spirit from the Dreaming. What’s the real story behind the gas mining venture? Are the documentary crew hiding something from Jono? And could Wudun be a messenger from the land, fighting back against the invasion?


Borderland is Speculative YA Fiction for ages 13 and above that follows First Nations protagonist Jono on an epic quest to find himself in the face of unbelievable challenges. Graham Akhurst, the brilliant mind behind this coming-of-age gem, is a Fulbright scholar from the Kokomini of Northern Queensland. Brace yourself for a fresh, mind-bending tale exploring Indigenous identity, the impact of colonization, and what happens when you take a stand.


Join author & alumnus Graham Akhurst In Conversation with Danielle Binks on the launch of his first novel, Borderland. The Capitol Theatre, 113 Swanston Street, Melbourne

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