Texta Book Club: Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray (River of Dreams)

Past event

"There are books you encounter as an adult that you wish you could press into the hands of your younger self. Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray is one of those books – a novel that turns Australia’s long-mythologised settler history into a raw and resilient heartsong." – Guardian

In-person event Tuesday 12 April: Register now

To coincide with the exhibition Looking Glass: Judy Watson and Yhonnie Scarce at QUT Art Museum, we will be discussing Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray by award winning Wiradyuri author, Dr Anita Heiss.

The powerful Murrumbidgee River surges through town leaving death and destruction in its wake. It is a stark reminder that while the river can give life, it can just as easily take it away.

Wagadhaany is one of the lucky ones. She survives. But is her life now better than the fate she escaped? Forced to move away from her miyagan, she walks through each day with no trace of dance in her step, her broken heart forever calling her back home to Gundagai.

When she meets Wiradyuri stockman Yindyamarra, Wagadhaany’s heart slowly begins to heal. But still, she dreams of a better life, away from the degradation of being owned. She longs to set out along the river of her ancestors, in search of lost family and country. Can she find the courage to defy the White man’s law? And if she does, will it bring hope ... or heartache?

Set on timeless Wiradyuri country, where the life-giving waters of the rivers can make or break dreams, and based on devastating true events, Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray (River of Dreams) is an epic story of love, loss and belonging.

The evening commences with a tour of Looking Glass: Judy Watson and Yhonnie Scarce followed by a beverage of your choice and conversations about Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray (River of Dreams).

About Texta

Texta is no ordinary book club; it's for people who love art. We use fiction (mostly) to unpack the subjects, themes and emotions of art. Conversation is never colourless, and is facilitated by our brains trust from QUT Creative Industries, Education and Social Justice Faculty.

Texta is held throughout the year on Tuesday evenings. Purchase this title as an audiobook from Audible or from the Bookshop at QUT Depot.

For any queries, contact QUT Art Museum on 07 3138 5370 or artmuseum@qut.edu.au

Register to let us know you're coming and please read our COVID Safe guidelines before attending. If you are unwell please cancel your booking.

The Queensland University of Technology (QUT) acknowledges the Turrbal and Yugara, as the First Nations owners of the lands where QUT now stands. We pay respect to their Elders, lores, customs and creation spirits. We recognise that these lands have always been places of teaching, research and learning.


Looking Glass: Judy Watson and Yhonnie Scarce


18 March 2022 - 19 June 2022


QUT Art Museum


12 April 2022






Bookings essential, register via Eventbrite for the in-person event on 12 April.