Wiradjuri author Tara June Winch has taken out major Australian literary award the Miles Franklin for her novel The Yield.

Ms Winch joins a group of distinguished and revered alumni of Indigenous Miles Franklin prize winners, including last year’s winner Melissa Lucashenko, Kim Scott and Alexis Wright.

The book was chosen from a shortlist of strong contenders including four previously Miles Franklin-shortlisted authors.

The Yield explores the legacies of colonial violence, shame, intergenerational trauma and environmental destruction.

Ms Winch will receive $60,000 in prize money for The Yield, which was described as “haunting and accomplished” by the judging panel.

On winning the award, Ms Winch said she was “honoured” to be amongst brilliant colleagues on the list and hoped the event would encourage the next generation of Indigenous voices.

“The historical presence of both Tony Birch and myself on the shortlist signals to the publishing industry that we can write our own stories, and that we don’t want to be spoken for. I hope this event also encourages the next generation of Indigenous voices, to know there is a space here for you in the industry, and in the minds and hearts of a new era of readers. We need to hear voices from across the nation to truly immerse ourselves in the song of Australia.”

For the first time in the award’s history the winner was announced via a live YouTube presentation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.