Books, podcasts and films that will change your perspective.

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A circle has no beginning and no end. Nothing is excluded. When one sits in a circle with others, everyone is equal and linked. Magic occurs in circles.

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Maureen Murdock


At MECCA M-POWER, we believe in the power of narrative, and that storytelling is an important tool for social change. It’s one of the reasons we partner with Stella, a major voice for gender equality and cultural change in Australian literature. Founded in 2012, the organisation’s flagship program is the annual Stella Prize – a major literary award celebrating Australian women’s writing. The organisation also delivers a suite of year-round initiatives, which actively champion Australian women writers, tackle gender bias in the literary sector, and connect outstanding books with readers. Here, we share the winning books over the years, all written by extraordinary authors.  

The Jaguar

Stella Prize Winner 2023
Author: Sarah Holland-Batt
Publisher: University of Queensland Press

In 2023, award-winning writer Sarah Holland-Batt’s collection of poetry, The Jaguar was the winner of the 11th annual Stella Prize. In her electrifying fourth work, Sarah Holland-Batt confronts what it means to be mortal in an astonishing and deeply humane portrait of a father’s Parkinson’s Disease, and a daughter forged by grief.


Stella Prize Winner 2022
Author: Evelyn Araluen
Publisher: University of Queensland Press

This fierce debut from award-winning writer Evelyn Araluen confronts the tropes and iconography of an unreconciled nation with biting satire and lyrical fury. Dropbear interrogates the complexities of colonial and personal history with an alternately playful, tender, and mournful intertextual voice, deftly navigating the responsibilities that gather from sovereign country, the spectres of memory and the debris of settler-coloniality.

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The Bass Rock

Stella Prize Winner 2021
Author: Evie Wyld
Publisher: Penguin Random House

Evie Wyld’s The Bass Rock is a perplexingly brilliant novel exploring themes of family and love, the legacy of male violence and the ways in which these traumas ripple and reverberate through time and place. Set across multiple time periods, and with three distinct narrative voices throughout, The Bass Rock has solidified Wyld’s place as a fearsomely intelligent writer in the Australian cannon.

See What You Made Me Do

Stella Prize Winner 2020
Author: Jess Hill
Publisher: Black Inc

Investigative journalist and global correspondent Jess Hill’s four-year investigation into the parlous numbers of domestic abuse in Australia ignited a nationwide debate. Combining forensic research with riveting storytelling, See What You Made Me Do radically rethinks how to confront the national crisis of fear and abuse in our homes.

The Erratics

Stella Prize Winner 2019
Author: Vicki Laveau-Harvie
Publisher: Fourth Estate

In her gripping memoir, Vicki Laveau-Harvie’s The Erratics  mines the psychological damage wrought on a nuclear family by a monstrous personality, set against the bitter cold of a Canadian winter. Delving into lonely and harrowing subject matter, Laveau-Harvie’s detached, slightly numb and darkly humorous narrative voice conveys constant wit and honesty throughout.


Stella Prize Winner 2018
Author: Alexis Wright
Publisher: Giramondo

In this remarkable biography, Waanyi writer Alexis Wright follows an Aboriginal tradition of storytelling that she describes as a ‘practice for crossing landscapes and boundaries, giving many voices a part in the story’. Tracker is a collective memoir of Tracker Tilmouth, charismatic Aboriginal leader, thinker, entrepreneur, visionary and provocateur.

The Museum of Modern Love

Stella Prize Winner 2017
Author: Heather Rose
Publisher: Allen and Unwin

In her seventh book, The Museum of Modern Love, Heather Rose reimagines Marina Abramovic’s 2010 performance of ‘The Artist is Present’, in which she silently encountered individual members of a larger audience of viewers while seated in the atrium of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. This dazzlingly original novel asks beguiling questions about the nature of art, life and love and finds a way to answer them.

The Natural Way of Things

Stella Prize Winner 2016
Author: Charlotte Wood
Publisher: Allen and Unwin

The Natural Way of Things is a novel of – and for – our times, explosive yet written with artful, incisive coolness. It parodies, with steely seriousness, the state of being visible and female in contemporary Western society. Charlotte Wood captures an unsentimental, remarkable story that depicts inner sympathies and irritations of individual women, sad allegiances, betrayals, with good and evil as moral absolutes that are deliberately blurred.

The Strays

Stella Prize Winner 2015
Author: Emily Bitto
Publisher: Affirm Press

Emily Bitto’s debut novel The Strays is about families, art, isolation, class, childhood, friendship, and the power of the past. It’s both moving and sophisticated; both well-researched and original; both intellectually engaging and emotionally gripping. The Strays has the ring of originality in its richly and fully imagined vision of a particular time and place in Australian social and cultural history.

The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka

Stella Prize Winner 2014
Author: Clare Wright
Publisher: Text Publishing

Historian, political speechwriter, university lecturer, professor, and broadcaster Clare Wright’s The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka sheds a bright new light on a dark old Australian story. In her account of the Eureka Stockade and the years leading up to it, historian Clare Wright revisits that well-trodden territory from an entirely new perspective, unearthing images, portraits, and stories of the women of 1850s Ballarat.

Mateship With Birds

Stella Prize Winner 2013
Author: Carrie Tiffany
Publisher: Pan Macmillan

In her second Novel Mateship with Birds Carrie Tiffany writes a story with a deceptively gentle-looking calm surface that belies its many sharp and frank observations about the world. Set in country Victoria in the 1950s, it follows the fortunes of two people whose loneliness is offset by the many active strands of their daily lives.


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Black Prose

By New Strange

Black Prose is the podcast where Black writers talk amongst themselves. Join journalist Yolanthe Fawehinmi as she interviews some do the best and most talented Black writers of our time – from journalists, and authors to songwriters and rappers – about their careers, top tips and writing rituals.


Dr. Emma Fulu

How Feminism Can Save Us All

Dr. Emma Fulu, TEDx Talk

Can feminism REALLY save us all? There's more to it than you think. Emma is a feminist activist, social entrepreneur and one of the world’s leading experts on gender-based violence, appearing widely throughout the media. In 2015, Emma founded a global feminist agency The Equality Institute working to advance gender equality and end violence against women, which has grown to work in over 30 countries, conducted over 50 studies, and trained thousands of people. She has a PhD, is an author, and lives in Naarm (Melbourne) with her three children.


Body Image Movement

If you haven’t already watched the 2016 film EMBRACE, add it to your list. There’s also Embrace Kids, which every child should watch. Directed by the 2023 Australian of the Year Taryn Brumfitt, EMBRACE is a social impact documentary that inspires us to change the way we feel about ourselves and think about our bodies. Released in 2016, this film continues to be relevant, relatable – and life-changing. Nominated for the Documentary Australia Foundation Award for Best Documentary, EMBRACE has been seen by millions of people across the world and has created a ripple of positive change.

EMBRACE KIDS (2020) is a follow-on for the next generation. The film, which brings together a vibrant collection of stories from young people and famous friends alike, focuses on turning around the epidemic of body hate and negativity our young people are experiencing.

Shot from the documentary 'Embrace'