Winners of the 2020 NSW Premier’s History Awards – Noëlle Janaczewska, James Dunk, Kate Fullagar, Callum Clayton-Dixon and Pierre-Jacques Ober – gather to reveal their inspirations, the impact they hope their work will have, and the ways in which their writing explores the themes of mayhem and margins. Hosted by Kiera Lindsey.
Presented with the History Council of NSW.
James Dunk (Australian)
James Dunk lives and writes in Wangal country in Sydney’s inner west. He works as a historian at the University of Sydney, where he lectures in Australian history and the history of medicine, and he is a conjoint fellow at the University of Newcastle. His first book, Bedlam at Botany Bay, won the Australian History Prize at the New South Wales Premier's History Awards 2020 and was also shortlisted for the University of Queensland Non-Fiction Book Award, Ernest Scott Prize and the Kay Daniels Award. His research has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Rethinking History, History Australia, and Health and History and his literary reviews and essays have appeared in various magazines and journals.
Noëlle Janaczewska (Australian)
Noëlle Janaczewska is a playwright, poet, essayist and the author of The Book of Thistles —part environmental history, part poetry, part unconventional memoir. She is the recipient of multiple awards, fellowships and residencies, including the 2020 NSW Premier’s Digital History Prize, a Queensland Premier’s Literary Award, the Griffin Award, ten AWGIE (Australian Writers’ Guild Industry Excellence) Awards and a Windham-Campbell Prize from Yale University for her body of work as a dramatist. Noëlle’s recent productions and publications include: Experiment Street (ABC Radio National, 2019); Yellow Yellow Sometimes Blue (Q Theatre /Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, Sydney, 2018); Seoul City Sue (ABC Radio National, 2018) and audio scripts for the National Museum of Australia and the British Museum’s Rome: City and Empire exhibition. In 2018 Currency Press published Good With Maps and Teacup in a Storm in a two-play edition. Noëlle’s latest book is Scratchland.
Kate Fullagar (Australian)
Kate Fullagar is professor of history at the Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences, Australian Catholic University. She is also honorary professor of history at Macquarie University and currently co-editor of the Australian Historical Association’s journal, History Australia. Kate specializes in the history of the eighteenth-century world, particularly the British Empire and the many indigenous societies it encountered. She is the author of The Warrior, the Voyager, and the Artist: Three Lives in an Age of Empire and The Savage Visit; the editor of The Atlantic World in the Antipodes: Effects and Transformations since the Eighteenth Century; and co-editor with Michael McDonnell of Facing Empire: Indigenous Experiences in a Revolutionary Age. She is Lead Chief Investigator of an ARC Linkage project with the National Portrait Gallery called Facing New Worlds.
Callum Clayton-Dixon (Australian)
Callum Clayton-Dixon is an Aboriginal linguist and historian whose people come from the southern end of the New England Tableland, New South Wales, around Walcha, Woolbrook, and the Ingleba Aboriginal Reserve—Ambēyang country. He lives in Armidale, on Anēwan country, and is spearheading efforts to revive the long-dormant local language. Callum is currently undertaking a PhD project to develop a dictionary and grammar for his ancestral tongue. He is the author of Surviving New England: a history of Aboriginal resistance and resilience through the first forty years of the colonial apocalypse.
Pierre-Jacques Ober (Australian)
Independent filmmaker, adverting and fashion director, and consummate storyteller Pierre-Jacques Ober finds inspiration in his family traditions, deeply rooted in military history. In partnership with photographer Jules Ober, he’s turned his creative energy to books. His first, The Good Son, has been hailed as “having the power of a timeless fable” by The New York Times and in Australia has been shortlisted for the CBCA Picture Book of the Year. It was also the winner of the NSW Premier's Young People's History Prize. Their second children’s book Jacqueline - Memoirs of a Soldier’s Daughter is forthcoming.
Kiera Lindsey (Australian)
Dr Kiera Lindsey is an award-winning historian based at UTS where she is a Senior Research Fellow conducting an ARC DECRA on speculative biography and historical craft. Kiera has published national and international academic book chapters and journal articles on nineteenth-century history, historical craft and biography. In 2016 she published her first speculative biography, The Convict’s Daughter, which has been described as ‘fearlessly blazing a new path through history and fiction’. Kiera is working on a second speculative biography concerned with colonial artist and republican, Adelaide Ironside, and she is also working on an edited collection on Speculative Biography, both will be published in 2021. She has presented masterclasses nationally and internationally, been a consultant and on-camera historian on television, a regular guest on ABC Radio National and is currently an executive member of the History Council of New South Wales.