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Roanna Gonsalves came to Australia as an international student from India in 1998. She is the author of The Permanent Resident, an acclaimed collection of short fiction published by UWAP in November 2016.

According to the award-winning Australian writer Michelle De Kretser, The Permanent Resident is “a brilliant fashioning of newness in the Australian literary landscape”. Roanna has been called “a bold Australian voice” who “writes like a minx, full of mischief”, “like Jhumpa Lahiri but with a playful approach”.

The Permanent Resident is on the syllabus of courses at a number of Australian universities and is being studied in the fields of Australian Literature, Postcolonial Literatures, and Creative Writing.

Roanna’s series of radio documentaries, On the tip of a billion tongues, commissioned and broadcast by Earshot, ABC RN, is an acerbic socio-political portrayal of contemporary India through its multilingual writers. She is a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Australia Asia Endeavour Award, and is co-founder co-editor of Southern Crossings.

She has a PhD from the University of New South Wales, and has been facilitating and teaching creative writing workshops for all ages within communities as well as at schools and in the university sector for many years. Her research interests are in the sociology of the arts, social media, creativity studies, and postcolonial literatures.

She currently teaches in the Creative Writing and Media Studies streams at UNSW at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level, and in the Postcolonial Literatures unit at Western Sydney University.

She can be found at roannagonsalves.com.au, on Twitter @roannagonsalves, and also at thepermanentresident2016@gmail.com

She is represented by Benython Oldfield at Zeitgeist Media


  • PhD, UNSW
  • Graduate Diploma in Arts by Research in Social Science, UNSW, Australia (High Distinction)
  • M.A. in Professional Writing, UTS, Sydney, Australia
  • Diploma in Television Production, North Sydney, Australia
  • M.A. in English Literature, University of Bombay, India
  • B.A. in English Literature, St. Xavier’s College, University Of Bombay, India





  • The Skit: Short fiction in Mascara Literary Review, June 2014
  • Friending and Trending: Short fiction in Only Connect, an anthology of short stories by writers from India and Australia, edited by Sharon Rundle and Meenakshi Bharat, Brass Monkey Books (2014)
  • The Skit: Edited extract (audio), featured as part of Varuna Writer-A-Day App December 2011
  • Curry Muncher: short fiction in Eureka Street June 23, 2009


  • Margaret Daymond, Roanna Gonsalves, Weishin Gui, Michael Griffiths, Madhu Krishnan, Christine Lorre-Johnston, Dougal Mcneill, Ira Raja, Giselle Rampaul, Paul Sharrad, Geraldine Skeete, Lynda Gichanda Spencer, Tina Steiner, Mark Williams; 2017, ‘XVIII New Literatures’. The Years Work In English Studies, Oxford Journals, Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/ywes/max022
  • Gonsalves, R 2015, ‘The Survival of the Friendliest: Contemporary Indian Publishing in English at the Frankfurt Book Fair’. Cultural Sociology 9(3), 425-446. Online 2015 doi: 10.1177/1749975515590244
  • Chan, J, Bruce, J, Gonsalves, R 2014/2015 ‘Seeking and Finding: Creative Processes of 21st Century Painters’, Poetics, 48:21-41. Online 2015 DOI:10.1016/j.poetic.2014.11. 001
  • Gonsalves, R 2011, ‘Multiculturalism and Mainstage Australian Theatre’. Journal of the European Association of Studies on Australia, Vol.2. No.2.
  • Gonsalves, R and Chan, J 2008, ‘Creating Fiction: Bourdieu’s theory, and Writing Practice’. TEXT, Vol 12. No. 1.



  • Gonsalves, R 2016, ‘Trails of Breadcrumbs: On Being Indian and Australian’. In Pal. S (ed) Indo-Australian Relations: Retrospect and Prospects. Pinnacle Learning, 20-27
  • Gonsalves, R and Chan, J 2013 ‘Authorship and collaborative creativity in new media art ‘ in K Thomas and J Chan (eds) Handbook of Research on Creativity, Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham, UK and Northampton, MA, USA 2011
  • Chan, J, Gonsalves, R and Metcalfe, N 2011 ‘Bridging the Two Cultures: The fragility of interdisciplinary creative collaboration’ in G Fischer and F Vassen (eds) Collective Creativity. Collaborative Work in the Sciences, Literature and the Arts. Rodopi Publishers, Amsterdam and New York.




  • Merchants: A showing of some preliminary scenes, development commissioned by Mind’s Eye, Bell Shakespeare Company, Australia, November 2011
  • Yet to Ascertain The Nature Of The Crime, Melbourne Workers Theatre (November 2010, with Damien Millar, Raimondo Cortese and the company)  ***WINNER AUSTRALIAN WRITERS GUILD AWARD 2011***
  • Altered States: co-writer, a multimedia performance show, a collaboration between PACT Theatre, Sydney and Backbone Theatre, Brisbane, performed -Brisbane, 2003
  • Replicant Hotel: I co-wrote this multimedia performance show performed at PACT Theatre, Sydney, August 2000


  • Script consultant on the documentary  Sunshine and Shade, about Indian students in Australia, 2010-2012
  • Director, co-writer of Don’t Be Mean, an educational video (drama) for the Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW, 2001
  • Various corporate videos as writer, director, assistant director, Dream Studio, Mumbai, India


  • Gonsalves, R 2015, ‘A Prime Minister, his selfies, and the narration of India in Australia: Narrating India Symposium, Globalisation and Governance Network, UNSW, October 30.
  • Gonsalves, R 2015, ‘The Survival of the Friendliest: Illuminating the process of learning to become a writer in contemporary India’. Seminar at the Centre for Creative and Cultural Research, University of Canberra, 13 April.
  • Gonsalves, R 2015, ‘Learning to become a writer in contemporary India’. Seminar at School of the Arts and Media, UNSW. 31 March.
  • Gonsalves, R 2015, ‘Notes on becoming a writer in contemporary India (a historical focus), Moving Ideas: Methodological Challenges of Chasing Post-National Histories A Symposium with Professor Benjamin Zachariah, University of Heidelberg, Germany, School of Humanities and Languages, UNSW, 13 February.
  • Gonsalves, R 2014, ‘Creating the Creators: Stories about writers in contemporary India’. Seminar, School of the Arts and Media, UNSW, June 3.
  • Gonsalves, R 2012, ‘Borders and Shading and other minor matters’. Invited presentation at the Australia India Literatures International Forum (AILIF, UWS) at the State Library of New South Wales, September 3-6.
  • Gonsalves, R 2011, ‘The Work of Art in the Age of the Education Industry: Invited presentation at the Centre for Asia Pacific Social Transformation Studies, Public Seminar Series on India, University of Wollongong, October.
  • Gonsalves, R 2010, ‘Curry Munchers, Cricket and Crime: Invited presentation at UTS IOSARN Talking India Series, Sydney, November 11.


  • Gonsalves, R 2016, ‘Selfie of a Country: A Reading of Michelle De Kretser’s Questions of Travel’. Paper presented at the Association for the Study of Australian Literature conference, UNSW Canberra, July.
  • Gonsalves, R 2015, ‘The Survival of the Friendliest: Learning to become a writer in contemporary India’. Paper presented at the Literary Networks Convention, University of Wollongong, 7 July, 2015.
  • Gonsalves, R 2014, ‘A “Literary” Literary Review’. Paper presented at The Idea of a Literary Review Symposium, Centre for Modernism Studies in Australia, UNSW, Australia, 2 October.
  • Gonsalves, R 2014, ‘A Trail of Breadcrumbs: Tales of the Indian Australian Spatial Imaginary’. Conference paper presented at the conference of the Indian Association for the Study of Australia, Thiruvananthapuram, India, 23-25 January.
  • Gonsalves, R 2013, ‘What is the Capital of Frankfurt? Indian Publishing at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2012’. Conference paper at the Journey of the Book Conference, University of Pune, India, Sep 23-25.
  • Gonsalves, R 2013, ‘What is the Capital of Frankfurt? Indian Publishing at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2012’, Conference paper at the European Sociological Association conference, Torino, Aug 28-31.
  • Gonsalves, R 2012, ‘All’s Fair at the Frankfurt Book Fair: An ethnography of a literary space’. Conference paper presented at the Cultural Studies Association of Australia conference, University of Sydney, December 4-6.
  • Gonsalves, R 2012, ‘Creating the Creators’. Conference presentation about the literary world at the Scenes of Reading Conference, University of Sydney, May 25-26.
  • Gonsalves, R 2008, ‘The Writer as Igneous or Sedimentary Rock: An exploration of the varied creative processes of novelists’. Conference paper at the Australian Association of Writing Programs Conference, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, November 27-29.
  • Gonsalves, R 2007, ‘Creating Fiction: Bourdieu’s Theory and Writing Practice: Conference paper at the Australian Association of Writing Programs Conference, University of Canberra, Canberra, November


  • Australia Council for the Arts, Literature Board, Arts Grants for Individuals & Groups, May 2017
  • Dean’s Award for Programs that Enhance Learning (team award led by Christopher Kremmer for UniPollWatch at UNSW) 2017
  • School of the Arts & Media UNSW Research Grant 2016-17
  • Australian Prime Minister’s Australia Asia Endeavour Postgraduate (Outgoing) Award 2013
  • Dean’s Student Leadership Award, Community category, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of New South Wales, Australia 2012
  • Scholarship to attend Minor Cosmopolitanisms, Summer School, University of Potsdam, Germany, July 2012
  • Australian Writers Guild Award, Best Script, Community and Youth Theatre, 2011
  • Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) to undertake a PhD at UNSW. 2011
  • Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Faculty Top Up Award for top-ranked applicants, to undertake a PhD, 2011
  • Varuna Writers Centre Fellowship 2011
  • Longlisted for the Australian/Vogel Literary Awards 2009
  • Vermont Studio Centre Artist’s Grant to attend 4 week writing residency at Vermont Studio Centre, USA (did not take up) 2010
  • Australia Council for the Arts Literature Board New Work Emerging Writer Grant: October 2008
  • Shortlisted for Varuna-Harper Collins Awards for Manuscript Development 2006
  • Varuna Writers Centre mentorship with Charlotte Wood: 2003
  • Varuna Writers Centre writing workshop with Charlotte Wood: 2002


  • Australian Society of Authors (ASA)
  • Australasian Association of Writing Programs (AAWP)
  • Association for the Study of Australian Literature (ASAL)
  • Indian Association for the Study of Australia (IASA)
  • European Sociological Association
  • European Sociological Association: Sociology of the Arts Research Network
  • European Sociological Association: Sociology of Communications and Media Research Network
  • Postcolonial Studies Association
  • Varuna, The Writers’ House Alumni Association
  • South Asian Australian Writing Network


  • Co-founder, Co-editor: Southern Crossings: Reimagining Australia, South Asia, the world
  • Founder and moderator: South Asian Australian Writing Network (SAAWN)
  • Founder and Convenor: UNSWriting ‘Shut Up and Write
  • Rewilding the PhD: Invited presentation for the UNSW Graduate Research School’s induction for new HDR students, Semester 2, 2014.
  • Rewilding the PhD: Invited presentation for the UNSW Graduate Research School’s induction for new HDR students, Semester 1, 2014.
  • Organising Committee member of Gondwanalandings, the first scholarly and creative symposium of the Indian diaspora in Australia, 2013
  • Member of the Higher Degree Research Students Committee, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, UNSW, Australia, 2012
  • Served on the Organising Committee of Making Tracks, the annual postgraduate symposium of the School of the Arts and Media, FASS, UNSW, 2012
  • Member of the advisory group for Diversity in Australian Theater Alliance, 2010
  • Member of the Family Advisory Council, Children’s Hospital at Westmead, NSW, Australia, 2010


  • Keynote / Opening address, Young Writers’ Showcase, Presbyterian Ladies College (PLC), Sydney, 22 August 2016


  • Chair / In Conversation, Foreignness with Michelle Cahill and Ouyang Yu, UNSWriting, School of the Arts and Media, UNSW, 21 Sep, 2016
  • Panelist, Post-show discussion, Disgraced, Riverside Theatre, Parramatta, June 18, 2016
  • Panel moderator, and Roundtable participant, Literary Commons!, Melbourne, April 1-3, 2016
  • Panelist, Roundtable discussion, Lotus Program, Play Writing Australia, Jan 29, 2016
  • Panelist, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Gandhi Jayanti,  Sep 30, 2015
  • Chair of Keeping Languages Alive, Sydney Writers’ Festival, May 24, 2015
  • Chair of A Pack of Lies: Narration in Fiction, Sydney Writers’ Festival, May 21, 2015
  • ‘Joyful Strains’ panel, Sydney Writers Festival, Varuna, Katoomba, 18 May 2013
  • Moderator of the panel discussion held after the screening of the opening night film Sunshine and Shade, Parramasala, , 2012
  • Panelist, Forum on Displacement, Parramasala 2011
  • Indian Perspectives on Australia: Roanna Gonsalves in conversation with Sarah MacDonald, Australian Festival of Travel Writing, Melbourne, October 30, 2010
  • Bollywood Stories and Contemporary Indian Cool: Chair of the session, Australian Festival of Travel Writing, Melbourne, October 29, 2010


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