Shortlists announced for 2014 NSW Premier’s History Awards

Interior of Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts Library ca. 1920-1936, Sam Hood, courtesy of the State Library of New South WalesThe Premier of NSW, the Honourable Mike Baird MP has announced the shortlist for the 2014 NSW Premier’s History Awards, after eight judges considered almost 150 entries across the five prize categories.

First presented in 1997, the NSW Premier’s History Awards honour distinguished achievement in history by Australian citizens and permanent residents. They assist in establishing values and standards in historical research and publication, and encourage everyone to appreciate and learn from the work of our historians. Nominated works must have been first published, produced or made publicly available between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2014.

This year, the Australian Military History Prize has been introduced to commemorate the centenary of World War One. The winner will be chosen from a major published work submitted for the Australian History Prize.

“This year’s World War One commemorations are a time to reflect upon our nation’s involvement in the war and a reminder of the importance of the work of historians in marking and understanding our nation’s past, said Mr Baird.

Senior judge and President of the NSW History Council, Professor Richard Waterhouse, said: “The quality of the books submitted was extremely high and the judges faced a formidable task in determining the shortlist.”

“The shortlisted books will all, in their own different ways, make significant and long lasting contributions to our understandings about the past. These books provide clear evidence that Australian historians are producing history that matches the very best international standards.”

2014 NSW Premier’s History Awards shortlist are:

Australian History Prize:
Broken Nation: Australians in the Great War, Joan Beaumont (Allen & Unwin)
The Aboriginal Story of Burke and Wills: Forgotten Narratives, edited by Ian Clark and Fred Cahir (CSIRO Publishing)
The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka, Clare Wright (Text Publishing)

General History Prize:
Encountering the Pacific in the Age of Enlightenment, John Gascoigne (Cambridge University Press)
Antipodean America: Australasia and the Constitution of U.S. Literature, Paul Giles (Oxford University Press)
Lamaze: An International History, Paula Michaels (Oxford University Press)

NSW Community and Regional History Prize:
The Wallpapered Manse: The Rescue of an Endangered House, Peter Freeman (The Watermark Press)
Coast: A History of the New South Wales Edge, Ian Hoskins (New South)
Sydney Mechanic School of Arts: A History, Garry Wotherspoon (Sydney Mechanic School of Arts)

Young People’s History Prize:
The Road to Gundagai, Jackie French (Harper Collins Publishers)
Yoko’s Diary, Edited by Paul Ham, translated by Debbie Edwards (Harper Collins Publishers)
Australians All, Nadia Wheatley, illustrated by Ken Searle (Allen & Unwin)

The winners of the 2014 Awards will be announced as part of the launch of NSW History Week at a presentation at the State Library of NSW on Friday 5 September 2014. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Interior of Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts Library ca. 1920-1936, Sam Hood – courtesy of the State Library of New South Wales