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Nakkiah Lui is an Australian actor, writer and comedian and is a young leader in the Australian Aboriginal community.[1][2]

Nakkiah Lui
Born1991 (age 27–28)
OccupationActor, writer, comedian
Notable work
Black Comedy, Kill The Messenger, Black Is The New White



Lui is co-writer and star of Black Comedy,[3][4] a sketch comedy television program on the ABC.

From 2012 to 2014 she was playwright-in-residence for Sydney's Belvoir Theatre and in 2013 she was the artist-in-residence for the Griffin Theatre. Her work includes: This Heaven (2013), I Should Have Told You Before We Made Love (That I’m Black) (2012), Blackie Blackie Brown: The Traditional Owners of Death (2013), Kill the Messenger (2015)[5] and Power Plays (2016).[6]

Lui is a columnist for Australian Women's Weekly and has also hosted Radio National’s Awaye and NAIDOC Evenings for ABC Local Radio. She has appeared on Q&A,[7] The Drum and Screen Time on ABC.

In 2017, Lui was on the program to appear in four events at the 2017 Brisbane Writers Festival in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.[8][9] The same year, Lui wrote and starred in Kiki and Kitty (2017) a comedy series on ABC iview and ABC Comedy.

Teaming up with Indigenous Australian actress Miranda Tapsell, Lui and Tapsell host the Buzzfeed podcast Pretty for an Aboriginal (2017).[10]

Lui’s play Black is the new White, was staged in 2017 at the Sydney Theatre Company.[11] The play was extended to a second season in 2018.[12] Blackie Blackie Brown: The Traditional Owners of Death is Lui's second play in the 2018 season at the Sydney Theatre Company and in co-production with Malthouse Theatre. The play contains illustrations by Barkindjii, Birri-Gubba artist Emily Johnson, visual animation by Oh Yeah Wow and directed by Declan Greene.[13] This production was awarded a $40,000 grant from the Australia Council production grant in 2014.[14]


In 2012, Lui was the first recipient of the Dreaming Award by The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Arts Board of the Australia Council and was the inaugural recipient of the Balnaves Foundation Indigenous Playwright award.[15]

In 2014, Lui was the awarded the Malcolm Robertson Prize and a Green Room Award for Best Independent Production.[15]

Lui received the Nick Enright Prize for playwriting in the 2018 New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards for Black is the New White.[16]

Personal lifeEdit

Lui is a Gamilaroi/Torres Strait Islander woman and lives in Sydney.[17]


  1. ^ Spring, Alexandra (26 January 2015). "Nakkiah Lui: I don't like the word leader, especially when used about me". Retrieved 26 February 2017 – via The Guardian.
  2. ^ "As an Aboriginal teen I thought about killing myself every day". 9 March 2016. Retrieved 26 February 2017 – via The Guardian.
  3. ^ "Black Comedy: How Indigenous humour is driving social change". 26 April 2016. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  4. ^ "They're a funny mob". 29 April 2016. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  5. ^ "Kill the Messenger review (Belvoir, Sydney) - Daily Review: Film, stage and music reviews, interviews and more". Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  6. ^ Blake, Elissa (20 September 2016). "Playwright Nakkiah Lui puts Q&A under the spotlight in STC's Power Plays". Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  7. ^ "Indigenous actress Nakkiah Lui thought she was to blame for the domestic violence she suffered". 22 November 2016. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  8. ^ "Brisbane Writers Festival". Uplit. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  9. ^ "Brisbane Writers Festival 2017". Concrete Playground. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  10. ^ "BuzzFeed launches new podcast, 'Pretty for an Aboriginal'". Mumbrella. 11 September 2017. Retrieved 29 March 2018.
  11. ^ "Subscribe to The Australian | Newspaper home delivery, website, iPad, iPhone & Android apps". Retrieved 29 March 2018.
  12. ^ "Playwright Nakkiah Lui Is Dreaming Of A White (And Black) Christmas". theMusic. Retrieved 29 March 2018.
  13. ^ "Sydney Theatre Company unveils its 2018 season - Limelight". Limelight. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  14. ^ Puvanenthiran, Bhakthi (28 November 2014). "'Bogan Aboriginal' playwright Nakkiah Lui pushes theatrical boundaries". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  15. ^ a b Cerabona, Ron (22 March 2018). "Black is the New White by Nakkiah Lui at the Playhouse, Canberra Theatre Centre". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  16. ^ Morris, Linda (30 April 2018). "Stories of ancestral memory storm NSW Premier's Literary Awards". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  17. ^ Pitt, Helen (20 July 2018). "Indigenous playwright Nakkiah Lui could be Australia's next David Williamson". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 31 March 2019.

External linksEdit