Terri Janke was born in Cairns, Australia and currently lives in Sydney. Terri is a descendant of the Meriam people in the Torres Strait Islands and the Wuthathi clan from Cape York Peninsula.
Terri recently published her first novel, Butterfly Song (Penguin, 2005). Butterfly Song deals with the themes of family, culture and the things we hold close to hearts. It moves from Sydney, to Thursday Island in the Torres Strait and Cairns, and tells the story of Tarena Shaw, a young Indigenous law graduate, who takes on her first case to reclaim a carved pearl butterfly taken from her family over forty years ago.
Terri also wrote an early children’s reader with her daughter Tamina Pitt, entitle “What makes a Tree smile?” Released in 2003, it is one of Magabala Books top ten bestsellers for August 2005.
Terri’s short stories have been published:-
• “Survival in the Big City” published in Anita Heiss (ed) Life in Gadigal Country, Gadigal Information Service, Sydney, 2002: 48 – 52.
• “Brave and Free”, Southerly, 62.2 (2002): 36 – 39.
• “The Woman and the train”: Island, 2004
• “Exotica” Meanjin 2006 volume 65.1
Terri writes poetry:-
• “Between two Worlds”, “Journey” and “Mentors” – published in untreated, poems by black writers, compiled by Josie Douglas, IAD Press.
• “Fear not my Child”, Sidewalk 9, 2002
• “Home” by Larissa Behrendt, 2004, Messagestick Website
• “Indij Readers”, 2004, Messagestick Website
• “The Diary of Mary Talence”, appeared in Southerly, November 2002.
She has been a participator in national writers’ festivals including the Sydney Writers Festival (2005) and Melbourne Writers Festival (2005), and in September 2006, Brisbane Writer’s Festival.
Terri is currently working on her second novel.