Manal Younus is a Naarm/Melbourne based freelance storyteller. As a Muslim with Eritrean origins living in Australia, the young writer and spoken word artist uses her poetry to both discover and strengthen her identity as well as to spark thought and discussions amongst those around her.
Since making the Australian Poetry Slam National Finals in 2013, Manal no longer competes in slams but has gone on to perform around the country including at The Sydney Opera House. In 2015, Manal released her first book of poetry called ‘Reap’. As an active member of grassroots community organising, performance is only a fraction of the work Manal is interested in doing. Manal facilitates writing and performance workshops with young people to help develop their own voices.
Manal has presented at the Adelaide TEDx Conference in 2016 and the National Multicultural Women's Conference of 2016. She has presented at the Adelaide Festival of Ideas and Open State Festival as well as the Halogen Foundation's Young Leaders Convention. Manal regularly speaks at conferences and function, on topics such as leadership, art and expression, cultural competency, racism and women.
Manal has worked with Act Now Theatre, a forum theatre company, to raise awareness about racism amongst high school students and community leaders in South Australia. The workshops help them to develop practical skills for ‘responding to racism’ through drama. Manal also does public speaking and personal development and leadership workshops, particularly amongst culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
Still Nomads, In Our Own Words, Salt Magazine, Warriors of Aboriginal Resistance (WAR), AIME Mentoring, Rise Refugees and other organisations that focus on building resilience, education and platforms amongst minority communities through empowerment and encouraging ownership.
Photo by Mark Zed | Aspect Photographics
Respect to the traditional owners of this land and to their elders, past and present.
• Finalist for Channel 9 Young Achiever Award in Arts and Culture
•Finalist as Young South Australian of the Year
• Finalist of Governors Multicultural Award
• Australian Poetry Slam National Finalist