Shortlists announced for 2023 NSW Premier’s History Awards

AAR-The-2023-NSW-Premier’s-History-Awards-shortlistThe Premier of NSW, The Hon. Chris Minns MP has announced the shortlists for the 2023 NSW Premier’s History Awards.

“These important awards help to continue our long, rich and diverse history of storytelling. And our historians play a critical part in understanding, questioning and generating fresh perspectives on Australia’s past and providing a guide for the future,” said Mr Minns. “I wish to congratulate all the shortlisted authors.”

2023 NSW Premier’s History Awards shortlists (in alphabetical order by author):

Australian History Prize ($15,000)
Elizabeth and John: The Macarthurs of Elizabeth Farm by Alan Atkinson (NewSouth)
Dreamers and Schemers: A Political History of Australia by Frank Bongiorno (La Trobe University Press/Black Inc.)
Political Lives: Australian prime ministers and their biographers by Chris Wallace (NewSouth)

General History Prize ($15,000)
Visions of Nature: How Landscape Photography Shaped Settler Colonialism by Jarrod Hore (University of California Press)
Under Empire: Muslim Lives and Loyalties Across the Indian Ocean World, 1775–1945 by Michael Laffan (Columbia University Press)
Singing the News of Death: Execution Ballads in Europe 1500–1900 by Una McIlvenna (Oxford University Press)

NSW Community & Regional History Prize ($15,000)
The Naturalist: The remarkable life of Allan Riverstone McCulloch by Brendan Atkins (NewSouth, in association with the Lord Howe Island Historical Society and Museum)
He Belonged to Wagga: The Great War, the AIF and returned soldiers in an Australian country town by Ian Hodges (Australian Scholarly Publishing)
Whitefella Way by Jon Rhodes (Self-published)

Young People’s History Prize ($15,000)
The Goodbye Year by Emily Gale (Text Publishing)
Running with Ivan by Suzanne Leal (HarperCollins Publishers)
The Wearing of the Green by Claire Saxby (Walker Books Australia)

Digital History Prize ($15,000)
Still We Rise by Anna Grieve and John Harvey (Tamarind Tree Pictures)
The Australian Wars, Episode 1 by Rachel Perkins, Darren Dale, Jacob Hickey and Don Watson (Blackfella Films)
Ayahs and Amahs: Transcolonial Journeys by Lauren Samuelsson (University of Newcastle, Australia)

The Anzac Memorial Trustees’ Military History Prize ($10,000)
The Scrap Iron Flotilla: Five Valiant Destroyers and the Australian War in the Mediterranean by Mike Carlton (William Heinemann, an imprint of Penguin Random House Australia)
Soldiers and Aliens: Men in the Australian Army’s Employment Companies during World War II by June Factor (Melbourne University Publishing)
He belonged to Wagga: The Great War, the AIF and returned soldiers in an Australian country town by Ian Hodges (Australian Scholarly Publishing)

“The shortlists reveal compelling creativity and rich diversity among history-makers in Australia today. Our expertise in world history, digital history, military and children’s history, as well as in our own local and national histories, is reassuring and inspiring,” said Senior Judge, Professor Kate Fullagar.

“Libraries and archives provide the raw material for historian’s work. The Premier’s History Awards each year show us how rich are the returns on our investment,” said State Librarian, John Vallance.

“This year we are delighted to add the Anzac Memorial Trustees History Prize to what is already a very distinguished group of honours. I encourage you to read the works on the shortlists, and then join us on the 7th of September at the State Library.”

Eleven judges considered 186 entries across the six prize categories. The NSW Premier’s History Awards are administered by the State Library of NSW in association with Create NSW.

The NSW Premier’s History Awards were first presented in 1997 to honour distinguished achievement in history. Works nominated must have been first published, produced or made publicly available between 1 April 2022 and 31 March 2023.

The State Library of NSW acknowledges the support of the History Council of NSW and in 2023 the Anzac Memorial Trustees for their establishment and sponsorship of the Anzac Memorial Trustees Military History Prize.

The winners of the NSW Premier’s History Awards will be announced at an award ceremony at the State Library of NSW on Thursday 7 September 2023. For more information and to book tickets, visit: for details.

Image: The 2023 NSW Premier’s History Awards shortlist – courtesy of State Library of NSW