Shortlists announced for 2015 NSW Premier’s History Awards

WW1_BarwickDiaries_State Library NSWThe Premier of New South Wales, the Hon Mike Baird MP has announced the shortlist for the 2015 NSW Premier’s History Awards after eight judges have considered 180 entries across the six prize categories.

“These Awards are a celebration of the diversity and excellence in historical practice in Australia and the importance of historians in marking and understanding our nation’s past,” says Mr Baird.

Senior judge Professor Lesley Johnson AM, said “The NSW Premier’s History Awards attracted a large number of entries this year. An exciting range of topics were covered, including a variety of themes associated with World War 1 in this centenary year. With historians from a range of backgrounds, the quality of the entries for these awards indicate the depth of interest in history in the community and the strength and innovation in historical scholarship in Australia.”

2015 NSW Premier’s History Awards shortlist are:

Australian History Prize ($15,000)
The Bush, Don Watson (Penguin Books Australia)
The Europeans in Australia, Volume 3: Nation, Alan Atkinson (NewSouth Books)
Where Song Began: Australia’s Birds and How They Changed the World, Tim Low (Penguin Books Australia)

Australian First World War History Prize (commemorative medallion)
Anzac, the Unauthorised Biography, Carolyn Holbrook (NewSouth Books)
Homefront Hostilities: The First World War and Domestic Violence, Elizabeth Nelson (Australian Scholarly Publishing)
The Lost Legions of Fromelles, The true story of the most dramatic battle in Australia’s history, Peter Barton (Allen & Unwin)

General History Prize ($15,000)
Crisis of the Wasteful Nation: Empire and Conservation in Theodore Roosevelt’s America, Ian Tyrrell (University of Chicago Press)
Intolerant Bodies: A Short History of Autoimmunity, Warwick Anderson & Ian R Mackay (Johns Hopkins University Press)
Wild man from Borneo: A Cultural History of the Orangutan, Robert Cribb, Helen Gilbert & Helen Tiffin (University of Hawai’i Press)

NSW Community and Regional History Prize ($15,000)
Leisure Space: The Transformation of Sydney 1945-1970, Judith O’Callaghan and Paul Hogben (NewSouth Publishing)
The Broken Promise of Agricultural Progress: An Environmental History, Cameron Muir (CSIRO Publishing – Earthscan from Routledge)
The Luck of the Irish: How a shipload of convicts survived the wreck of the Hive to make a new life in Australia, Babette Smith (Allen & Unwin)

Young People’s History Prize ($15,000)
A-Z of Convicts in Van Diemen’s Land, Simon Barnard (Text Publishing)
Lennie the Legend: Solo to Sydney by Pony, Stephanie Owen Reeder (NLA Publishing)
My Gallipoli, Ruth Starke & Robert Hannaford (Penguin Books Australia)

Multimedia History Prize ($15,000)
A History of Forgetting: from Shellshock to PTSD, Lorena Allam & Timothy Nicastri (ABC Radio National)
Brilliant Creatures, Dan Goldberg & Margie Bryant (Mint Pictures)
The Dalfram Dispute 1938: Pig Iron Bob, Sandra Pires (Why Documentaries)

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 2014 and 31 March 2015.

The winners of the 2015 Awards will be announced as part of the launch of NSW History Week at a presentation at the State Library of NSW on Friday 4 September 2014. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: WW1 Barwick Diaries – courtesy State Library of NSW