Sara M. Saleh is a daughter of migrants from Egypt, Lebanon, and Palestine living and
learning on Gadigal land. A long-time human rights activist, community organiser, and
campaigner for refugee rights and racial justice, she has spent over a decade in grassroots
and non-governmental organisations in Australia and the Middle East. As part of her
roles, Sara has appeared on ABC News 24, The Drum, SBS (Arabic and English), Al
Jazeera English, and has written for The Guardian, Fairfax, news.com.au, ABC, and New
An award-winning poet and writer, Sara’s first poetry collection was released in August
2016 followed by a chapbook, bil 3arabi, with Cordite Poetry Review in 2019. Her pieces
have been published in English and Arabic in SBS Life, Australian Poetry Journal,
Meanjin, Cordite, Bankstown Poetry Collections, and the Sweatshop Women’s
Anthology: Volume II, and global anthologies Making Mirrors, Solid Air: Australian and
New Zealand Spoken Word, and A Blade of Grass. She also co-edited the 2019
anthology, Arab-Australian-Other: Stories on Race and Identity, which brings together 23
writers of Arab-Australian backgrounds. Sara has also facilitated poetry workshops in
countless schools and festivals across the country, and she has been invited to speak and
perform nationally and internationally.
Most recently, Sara was awarded the 2021 Australian Book Review (ABR) Peter Porter
Poetry Prize, and she is the first Arab and Muslim to do so since its inception. She is
currently developing her debut novel as a recipient of the inaugural Affirm Press
Mentorship for Sweatshop writers from Western Sydney.
Sara is completing her Juris Doctor, her research concentrating on human rights and the
incarceration/detention of marginalised populations. Within the Palestinian diaspora, Sara
has worked to help elevate youth and build communities grounded in the
interconnectedness of Indigenous struggles for self-determination.
Sara sits on the board of Australian advocacy organisation GetUp! and is a proud
Bankstown Poetry Slam 'Slambassador’.