Noongar writer Claire Coleman, one of the guest speakers at this weekend’s Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival, says art has the power to inspire people to change the world.

Coleman, whose novel Terra Nullius won the black&write! Indigenous Writing Fellowship and was listed for eight awards including a shortlisting for The Stella Prize, will be speaking at Women’s Business alongside Cindy Solonec and Aunty Di O’Brien on Saturday afternoon, and Lies, Damned Lies on Sunday afternoon at the Festival.

Lies, Damned Lies is a personal journey through the past, present and future of Australia, blending the personal with the political and sharing insight into the stark reality of the ongoing trauma of Australia’s violent colonisation.

Coleman said her journey as a writer and artist began when she returned to her ancestral Country near Ravensthorpe and Hopetoun, in WA’s South West in 2015.

“I was invited to the opening of a memorial to a massacre that had happened on that country,” she said.

“While I was there, stories that I had been told about the massacre that had been distant to me suddenly, viscerally became very close.

“The people massacred were close relatives of my immediate ancestors.

“Although these stories are a part of the history of this country they are too often ignored,” she said.

Ms Coleman’s experience and a drive to expose the history of Australia inspired her writing.

She believes a well-spoken or written artform can be powerful in encouraging people to change the world by opening minds and hearts.

Direct action helps too, and in that Coleman is an active participant, but she believes “the right story to tell” can have a big impact.

“What I have tried to do with my work over the years is encourage non-Indigenous Australians to de-colonise this colony they have created,” Coleman said.

“A lot of the bad things that happen to First Nations people in this country is not only the product of colonialism but also the colonial mindset.

“What I can do is add some knowledge and information and ways of thinking to the discourse so people can learn enough about what is happening in the colony to want to change it.”

The three-day Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival features events today, Saturday and Sunday.