John Harvey is a multidisciplinary artist of Torres Strait Island (Saibai Island) and English descent. A writer, director and producer, he works in theatre, visual art and film. Harvey is a board member for Bangarra Dance Theatre (2020–present) and Creative Director of Brown Cabs Productions, which he founded in 2008.

His theatre work includes The Return (Malthouse Theatre, 2022); Heart is a Wasteland (Malthouse Theatre, 2017, and Ilbijerri Theatre, 2022); Black Ties (Sydney Festival, 2020); and A Little piece of Heaven (Orana Arts, 2018).

Selected film and television projects include Katele (2023); Still We Rise (2022); Kutcha’s Koorioke (2022); Off Country (2021); Out of Range (2018); Water (2017); Menny and the Bundaroos (2013) and Light from the Shadows (2013).

Harvey has produced ABC TV series The Warriors (2017); Spear (2015) (Toronto International Film Festival and Adelaide Film Festival); and the chapter Sand for the omnibus feature film The Turning (2013) (Berlinale, Melbourne International Film Festival). He has also produced seven short films by Indigenous filmmakers.

He was commissioned to create CANOPY, a multi-channel video installation, for the newly refurbished Australian Centre for Moving Image (ACMI), Melbourne (2019). Harvey collaborated with Torres Strait Islander visual artist, Ricardo Idagi to create the video element of Idagi’s 2011 New Media Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art award-winning work, titled Upi mop le – Tail end man.

Harvey is the recipient of several awards, including the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Drama for The Return (2023); Best Australian Short Film (Academy Accredited), FlickerFest for Katele (2023); Australian Director Guild Award for Best Direction for Off Country (2022); Ignite Playwriting Award (2020); Best Indigenous Short, St Kilda Film Festival; Best Short, Vision Splendid Outback Film Festival for Out of Range (2019); Green Room Award: New Work for the Australian stage for Heart is a Wasteland (nomination, 2018); Sidney Myer Tower Residency (2018); Malcolm Robertson Playwright-in-Residence (2015); Special Mention: Asia Pacific Screen Awards - UNESCO Award for Spear (2015); and AV Myer Award for Exceptional Indigenous Talent (2011).

He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Griffith University and a Graduate Diploma in Screenwriting and Producing from the Australian Film, Television & Radio School.

Born in 1975 in Brisbane, Australia, Harvey lives and works in Sunshine Coast, Australia.

SAF participation:
March Meeting 2023

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March Meeting 2023: The Postcolonial Constellation: Art, Culture, Politics after 1960