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Nakkiah Lui

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Nakkiah Lui is a writer/actor/director and Gamillaroi/Torres Strait Islander woman.

She began her playwriting career at Sydney Theatre Company under the artistic directorship of Andrew Upton and Cate Blanchett, since then she has worked with every major theatre company in Australia. In 2012, Nakkiah was the inaugural recipient of both The Dreaming Award from The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Arts Board of the Australia Council and the Balnaves Foundation Indigenous Playwright Award.  In 2018, Nakkiah was also the recipient of the Patrick White Playwrights Fellowship at STC.

Nakkiah was actor/writer/producer of the ground-breaking series, Black Comedy, which ran for four seasons from 2014-2019.  From then she went on to create/write/star in the award-winning series, Kiki & Kitty which aired on ABC in 2017. Most recently, Nakkiah is is the co-creator/showrunner/star of the upcoming series, Preppers, as well contributing to a number of Australian drama and comedy series.

Nakkiah is a young leader in the Australian Aboriginal community. She is a regular guest on ABC’s Q&A, The Drum and Channel Ten’s The Project as well as contributing to The Guardian, New York Times and a variety of other news outlets. Nakkiah has been a columnist for Australian Women’s Weekly and is the co-host and co-creator of the award-winning podcast series, Pretty for an Aboriginal and Debutante with Miranda Tapsell. In 2020 Nakkiah teamed with Australia’s largest independent book publisher, Allen and Unwin to launch her own imprint, JOAN.

Nakkiah studied law but, after graduation, gave it up to pursue her love for the arts. She maintains her passion for legal activism and this is reflected in the work she creates.

Stay up to date with Nakkiah Lui on Twitter


  • Playwright, I Should Have Told You Before We Made Love (That I’m Black) (You Are Here Festival, 2012)
  • Playwright-in-residence, Belvoir Theatre (2012-2014)
  • Artist-in -residence, Griffith Theatre Company (2013)
  • Playwright, This Heaven (Belvoir Theatre, 2013; Finborough Theatre, 2015)
  • Playwright, Stho Sthexy (MKA Melbourne, 2013)
  • Playwright, Blackie Blackie Brown: The Traditional Owners of Death (Bondi Feast Tamarama Rock Surfers, 2013)
  • Dramaturg, Sovereign Wife (Melbourne Theatre Company, 2013)
  • Writer/Actor/Director/Associate Producer/Co-Producer, Black Comedy (ABC, 2014 – 2019)
  • Playwright/Actor Kill the Messenger (Currency Press, 2014) Shortlisted, 2016 Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards for Scripts
  • Playwright, Blak Cabaret (Sydney Festival, Malthouse Theatre Company, 2015)
  • Playwright, Blaque Showgirls (Malthouse Theatre Company, 2016)
  • Playwright, Power Plays (Sydney Theatre Company, 2016)
  • Playwright/Actor, Black is the New White (Sydney Theatre Company, 2017, 2018) Winner, 2018 New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards, Nick Enright Prize for Playwriting; Shortlisted, 2018 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards Louis Esson Prize for Drama; Nominated, 2017 Sydney Theatre Awards Best New Australian Work, 2018 Helpmann Awards for Performing Arts in Australia for Best Play, 2018 Helpmann Awards for Performing Arts in Australia for Best New Australian Work
  • Co-Host, Pretty for an Aboriginal (Buzzfeed, 2017)
  • Director/Writer/Actor Kiki and Kitty (ABC, 2017)
  • Writer/Director, Brown Lips (Short film, 2017)
  • Playwright Blackie Blackie Brown (Sydney Theatre Company, 2018; Malthouse 2018)
  • Writer, Get Krack!n (TV Series) (2 episodes, 2017-2019)
  • Playwright/Actor, How To Rule The World (Sydney Theatre Company, 2019)
  • Co-Host/Co-Writer/Co-Creator, Debutante (Audible, 2020)
  • Co-Writer/Co-Creator, Preppers (ABC – preproduction 2021)
  • Writer, Total Control Season 2 (ABC 2021)
  • Publisher, JOAN (Allen & Unwin 2020 – ongoing)
  • Writer/Consulting EP, The Great Season 2 (Hulu, 2020)

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