Vanessa Lee


Vanessa Lee (Yupungathi and Merriam) is a writer, poet and social-epidemiologist. She combines art and health to create change in the world. The racism, inequality and violence that she has witnessed has influenced her writing. She has worked with dance choreographers to turn her poems into dance pieces. Vanessa is a leader advocating for social justice in Australia. Her art and health lens has contributed to a variety of platforms including publications, panel discussions and keynote addresses. In 2017, her poem ‘rock, desert, pearl’ was the poem of choice for Suicide Prevention Australia greeting cards. Vanessa believes that poetry can change the way people think about issues whether personal, community, national or global and at the same time it can empower you, make you cry and turn your soul into a thousand ions. Vanessa writes to empower the reader and to challenge the status quo.


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