Graham is an Aboriginal writer and scholar hailing from the Kokomini of Northern Queensland. As the first Indigenous Fulbright W.G. Walker Scholar, a Nomad Two Worlds Indigenous Arts AAA and Roberta Sykes Scholar, he is undertaking an MFA in Creative Writing at Hunter College, CUNY, to write his second novel.
Valedictorian of his graduating year in 2014, Graham completed his Bachelor of Creative Arts with First Class Honours in 2015, from the University of Queensland. He also holds an MPhil in Creative Writing from the University of Queensland. Prior to his MFA, Graham was teaching Indigenous Studies at the University of Queensland.
Graham has been published in Mascara Literary Review and Westerly for creative non-fiction, and Island, Australian Book Review, Cordite, VerityLa, Off the Coast (Maine America), Red Ink (Arizona State University Press) Australian Poetry Journal, and Artlines for poetry. He was the poet of the week for the Australian Book Review in early April 2016. Graham has also been a featured reader at the Queensland Poetry Festival, Clancestry, Woodford Folk Festival, UQ Art Museum, Queensland Art Gallery, Ruckus Slam, and Dark Mofo. Graham's poetry was exhibited alongside contemporary Indigenous photography and published in the catalogue for UQ Art Museum's Over the Fence exhibition. He was also the first featured seasonal artist for QAGOMA's Australian Collection and received an Australia Council Grant for the creation of his debut novel Borderland, which will be published with Hachette Australia July 2021.
Standing on the Shoulders of My Ancestors by AAA-Nomad Two Worlds Indigenous Arts Scholar Graham Akhurst AAA, June 2020
A taco shop, Peter Carey, and the first Indigenous Fulbright scholar, Brisbane Times, January 2019
AustLit profile: Graham Akhurst
ATSIS Unit UQ, Associate Lecturer, Graham Akhurst, ATSIS Unit, UQ
My grandparents had met near Cloncurry on a cattle station where they worked for no wage and had no access to education. I hoped that I could do them proud. I was leaving home to continue my studies in the US as part of the Hunter Master of Fine Arts (MFA) fiction program with some of the greatest teachers I could possibly imagine, including Australia’s own Peter Carey. I hoped I could learn and eventually write something that had meaning for the sacrifices my grandparents made.