Interview: Eleanor Jackson – 2024 Stella Prize Judge
An interview with award-winning author, editor, radio host and arts worker Eleanor Jackson.
What excites you most as a judge and awarding the 2024 Stella Prize?
Opening a giant box of books. And then another. And then another.
Why is judging the Stella Prize important to you?
I believe Australia has made important progress towards gender equality, but there remains strong evidence that progress is uneven, at times stagnant, and even going backwards in some areas. The social norms that underpin inequality are often rooted in our attitudes and beliefs about what women can and can’t do, how important their voices and ideas are, and how we determine value as a culture.
By celebrating the diversity of women and non-binary writers and voices, by recognising excellence in its complexity of form and subject, and by centring discussions of equality of representation in the arts and culture, Stella has become a leader in the Australian public cultural debate around gender equality.
Why did you become a writer?
I don’t consider myself so much “an author” but a reader. There wasn’t any clear “why”. It just happened because I love books and ideas.
Tell us something about yourself that isn’t on your CV.
I am an excellent dancer. Probably not. But I’m happy to have the rumour start here.