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New South Wales Premier's History Awards

The NSW Premier's History Awards honour distinguished achievement in the interpretation of history, through both the written word and non-print media by Australian citizens and permanent residents of Australia.[1]


The State Government of New South Wales, Australia established the Premier's History Awards in 1997.[2] In 2005 the name of the awards was changed to NSW Premier's History Awards.[3] The awards are presented annually in early September and are managed by the State Library of NSW, in association with Create NSW (former Arts NSW).[4]


The following awards, each of $15,000 are offered:

  • Australian History Prize for a major published book or e-book on Australian history.
  • General History Prize for a major published book or e-book on international history.
  • NSW Community and Regional History Prize for a published book or e-book that makes a significant contribution to the understanding of community. institutional, urban or regional history in New South Wales.
  • Young People's History Prize for a published book or e-book, film, television or radio program, CD-ROM, DVD, or website - fiction or non-fiction - that increases the understanding and appreciation of history by children and young adults.
  • Digital History Prize for an Australian historian's interpretation of an historical subject using non-print media.[5]
  • John and Patricia Ward History prize to encourage the use of archives in the writing of history. (discontinued) [6]

The Australian History PrizeEdit

In 2014, an Australian Military History Prize was announced. Mike Carlton was the winner of this sub-category for his book First Victory (published by Random House).[7]

Year Author Title Publisher
2019 Meredith Lake The Bible in Australia: A Cultural History NewSouth Books[8]
2018 Christina Twomey The Battle Within: POWs in Postwar Australia NewSouth Publishing[9]
2017 Mark McKenna From the Edge: Australia’s Lost Histories Melbourne University Publishing[10]
2016 Stuart Macintyre Australia’s Boldest Experiment: War and Reconstruction in the 1940s NewSouth Books[11]
2015 Alan Atkinson The Europeans in Australia UNSW Press[12]
2014 Joan Beaumont Broken Nation: Australians in the Great War Allen & Unwin[13]
2013 Janet Butler Kitty's War: The remarkable wartime experiences of Kit McNaughton University of Queensland Press[14]
2012 Russell McGregor Indifferent Inclusion: Aboriginal People and the Australian Nation Aboriginal Studies Press[15]
2011 Penny Russell Savage or Civilised?: Manners in Colonial Australia UNSW Press[16]
2010 Bain Attwood Possession: Batman's Treaty and the Matter of History Melbourne University Publishing[17]
2009 Robin Gerster Travels in Atomic Sunshine: Australia and the Occupation of Japan Scribe
2008 Paul Ham Vietnam: The Australian War HarperCollins
2007 Libby Robin How a Continent Created a Nation UNSW Press
2006 Richard Broome Aboriginal Victorians: a History Since 1800 Allen & Unwin
2005 Eileen Chanin and Steven Miller, with an introductory essay by Judith Pugh Degenerates and Perverts: The 1939 Herald Exhibition of French and British Contemporary Art Miegunyah Press at Melbourne University Publishing
2004 Stuart Macintyre and Anna Clark The History Wars Melbourne University Publishing
2003 James Bowen and Margarita Bowen The Great Barrier Reef: History, Science, Heritage Melbourne University Publishing
2002 Nadia Wheatley The Life and Myth of Charmian Clift HarperCollinsPublishers
2001 Tim Bonyhady The Colonial Earth Miegunyah Press at Melbourne University Publishing
2000 Peter Spearrit Sydney's Century: A History UNSW Press
1999 K.S. Inglis Sacred Places: War Memorials in the Australian Landscape Melbourne University Publishing
1998 Anne Whitehead Paradise Mislaid: In Search of the Australian Tribe of Paraguay University of Queensland Press
1997 Heather Goodall Invasion to Embassy: Land in Aboriginal Politics in NSW, 1770-1972 Allen & Unwin

The General History PrizeEdit

Year Author Title Publisher
2019 Christina Thompson Sea People: The Puzzle of Polynesia Harper[8]
2018 Sean Scalmer On the Stump: Campaign Oratory and Democracy in the United States, Britain, and Australia Temple University Press[9]
2017 Sandra Wilson, Robert Cribb, Beatrice Trefalt & Dean Aszkielowicz Japanese War Criminals: The Politics of Justice after the Second World War Columbia University Press[10]
2016 Ann McGrath Illicit Love: Interracial Sex and Marriage in the United States and Australia Nebraska University Press[18]
2015 Warwick Anderson & Ian R Mackay Intolerant Bodies : A Short History of Autoimmunity Johns Hopkins University Press[19]
2014 John Gascoigne Encountering the Pacific in the Age of Enlightenment Cambridge University Press[20]
2013 Saliha Belmessous Assimilation and Empire: Uniformity in the French and British Colonies, 1541-1954 Oxford University Press[14]
2012 Tim Bonyhady Good Living Street: The Fortunes of My Viennese Family Allen & Unwin[21]
2011 Shane White, Stephen Garton, Stephen Robertson and Graham White Playing the Numbers: Gambling in Harlem Between the Wars Harvard University Press[16]
2010 Lisa Ford Settler Sovereignty: Jurisdiction and Indigenous People in America and Australia, 1788-1836 Harvard University Press[17]
2009 Warwick Anderson The Collectors of Lost Souls: Turning Kuru Scientists into Whitemen Johns Hopkins University Press
2008 Michael A. McDonnell The Politics of War: Race, Class and Conflict in Revolutionary Virginia University of North Carolina Press
2007 Christopher Clark Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947 Harvard University Press
2006 R. J. B. Bosworth Mussolini's Italy: Life Under the Dictatorship 1915-1945 Allen Lane/Penguin Books
2005 Sally Neighbour In the Shadow of Swords: on the trail of terrorism from Afghanistan to Australia Harper Collins Publishers
2004 Edward Duyker Citizen Labillardière: A Naturalist's Life in Revolution and Exploration 1755–1834 The Miegunyah Press at Melbourne University Publishing
2003 David Garrioch The Making of Revolutionary Paris University of California Press
2002 Ruth Wajnryb The Silence: How Tragedy Shapes Talk Allen & Unwin
2001 Rowena Lennox Fighting Spirit of East Timor: The Life of Martinho da Costa Lopes Pluto Press Australia
2000 Anna Lanyon Malinche's Conquest Allen & Unwin
1999 Inga Clendinnen Reading the Holocaust The Text Publishing Company
1998 Marsden Hordern King of the Australian Coast: the Work of Phillip Parker King in the Mermaid and Bathurst 1817-1822 Melbourne University Press
1997 Patricia Jalland Death in the Victorian Family Oxford University Press

The NSW Community and Regional History PrizeEdit

Year Author Title Publisher
2019 Jon Rhodes Cage of Ghosts Darkwood[22]
2018 Paul Irish Hidden in Plain View: The Aboriginal People of Coastal Sydney NewSouth Publishing[9]
2017 Peter Hobbins, Ursula K Frederick & Anne Clarke Stories from the Sandstone: Quarantine Inscriptions from Australia’s Immigrant Past Arbon Publishing[10]
2016 Tanya Evans Fractured Families: Life on the Margins in Colonial New South Wales University of New South Wales Press[23]
2015 Babette Smith The Luck of the Irish : How a Shipload of Convicts Survived the Wreck of the Hive to Make a New Life in Australia Allen & Unwin[24]
2014 Ian Hoskins Coast: A History of the New South Wales Edge NewSouth[25]
2013 Patti Miller The Mind of a Thief Queensland University Press[14]
2012 Deborah Beck ''Set in Stone: A History of the Cell Block Theatre UNSW Press
2011 Stephen Gapps Cabrogal to Fairfield City: A History of a Multicultural Community Fairfield City Council[16]
2010 Pauline Curby Randwick Randwick Municipal Council[17]
2009 David Bollen Up on the Hill: A History of St Patrick's College UNSW Press
2008 Dianne Johnson Sacred Waters: the story of the Blue Mountains Gully Traditional Owners Halstead Press
2007 Regina Ganter Mixed Relations: Asian Aboriginal Contact in North Australia University of Western Australia Press
2006 Maria Nugent Botany Bay: Where Histories Meet Allen & Unwin
2005 Joe Hajdu Samurai in the Surf: the arrival of the Japanese on the Gold Coast in the 1980s Pandanus Books
2004 Patricia Crawford and Ian Crawford Contested Country: A History of the Northcliffe Area, Western Australia University of Western Australia Press
2003 Erik Eklund Steel Town: The Making and Breaking of Port Kembla Melbourne University Publishing
2002 John Bailey The White Divers of Broome: the true story of a fatal experiment Pan Macmillan Australia
2001 Carolyn Wadley Dowley Through Silent Country Fremantle Arts Centre Press
2000 Sherry Morris Wagga Wagga: A History Bobby Graham Publishers for Wagga Wagga City Council
1999 Janet McCalman Sex and Suffering: Women's Health and a Women's Hospital: the Royal Women's Hospital, Melbourne, 1856 - 1996 Melbourne University Press[26]
1998 Grace Karskens The Rocks: Life in Early Sydney Melbourne University Press
1997 Christopher Cunningham The Blue Mountains Rediscovered Kangaroo Press

The Young People's History PrizeEdit

(known as the Children's History Prize until 2002)

Year Author Title Publisher
2019 Alison Lloyd and Terry Denton The Upside-down History of Down Under Penguin[8]
2018 Simon Mitchell The Fighting Stingrays Penguin Random House Australia[9]
2017 Christobel Mattingley Maralinga’s Long Shadow: Yvonne’s Story Allen & Unwin[10]
2016 James Roy and Noël Zihabamwe One Thousand Hills Omnibus Books, Scholastic Australia[27]
2015 Ruth Starke and Robert Hannaford My Gallipoli Penguin Books Australia[28]
2014 Nadia Wheatley, illustrated by Ken Searle Australians All Allen & Unwin[29]
2013 Jackie French Pennies for Hitler HarperCollins Publishers[14]
2012 Stephanie Owen Reeder Amazing Grace: An Adventure at Sea National Library of Australia
2011 Kirsty Murray India Dark Allen & Unwin
2010 Jackie French The Night They Stormed Eureka HarperCollins
2009 Anthony Hill Captain Cook's Apprentice Penguin
2008 Robert Lewis and Tim Gurry Australians in the Vietnam War Ryebuck Media
2007 John Nicholson Songlines and Stone Axes Allen & Unwin
2006 Pamela Freeman The Black Dress: Mary MacKillop's Early Years Black Dog Books
2005 Allan Baillie My Story: Riding with Thunderbolt, the diary of Ben Cross, Northern NSW, 1865 Scholastic Press: an imprint of Scholastic Australia Pty Ltd
2004 David Hollinsworth They Took the Children Working Title Press in association with Scholastic Australia
2003 Alan Tucker My Story: The Bombing of Darwin, The Diary of Tom Taylor Scholastic Press, Scholastic Australia
2002 Papunya School Papunya School Book of Country and History Allen & Unwin
2001 No award
2000 Gael Jennings and Roland Harvey (illus.) Sick As: Bloody Moments in the History of Medicine Roland Harvey Books
1999 No award
1998 Bruce Scates and Raelene Frances Women and the Great War Cambridge University Press
1997 Jennifer Lawless, Kate Cameron and Carmel Young Unlocking the Past: Preliminary Studies in the Ancient World Nelson ITP

Digital History PrizeEdit

(known as The Audio/Visual History Prize until 2009 and the Multimedia Prize until 2019)

Year Creator Title Publisher
2019 Guardian Australia The Killing Times Guardian Australia and the University of Newcastle Colonial Massacres Research Team[8]
2018 Warwick Thornton and Brendan Fletcher We Don't Need a Map Barefoot Communications[9]
2017 Adam Clulow The Amboyna Conspiracy Trial Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media[10]
2016 Victoria Midwinter Pitt and Alan Erson Afghanistan: Inside Australia’s War Essential Media & Entertainment[30]
2015 Dan Goldberg and Margie Bryant Brilliant Creatures Mint Pictures & Serendipity Productions[31]
2014 Michelle Arrow, Catherine Freyne and Timothy Nicastri Public Intimacies: The 1974 Royal Commission on Human Relationships ABC Radio National Hindsight[32]
2013 Scott Hill and Jacqui Newling The Cook and the Curator: Eat Your History Sydney Living Museums[14]
2012 Catherine Freyne and Phillip Ulman Tit for Tat: The Story of Sandra Wilson Hindsight, ABC Radio National
2011 Sonia Bible Recipe for Murder Stray Dog Pictures Pty Ltd for Jumping Dog Productions
2009 Rachel Landers and Dylan Bowen A Northern Town Pony Films
2008 Paul Rudd, Matthew Thomason, Wain Fimeri and Anthony Wright Captain Cook: Obsession and Discovery Film Australia, Cook Films, Ferns Productions, South Pacific Films, December Films, ABC
2007 John Hughes The Archive Project: The Realist Film Unit in Cold War Australia Early Works - ABC TV
2006 Rolf de Heer Ten Canoes Vertigo Productions/Adelaide Festival of Arts
2005 Trevor Graham Hula Girls (Electric Pictures Pty Ltd, 2005)
2004 Tom Murray in collaboration with the Dhuruputjpi and Yilpara communities Dhakiyarr vs the King[33] Film Australia
2003 Marée Delofski The Trouble With Merle Film Australia in association with SeeView Pictures
2002 Anita Heiss and Terri McCormack Barani: Sydney's Aboriginal History (website)[34] City of Sydney Web Team and History Program in conjunction with CyberDreaming, 2002
2001 Michael Cummins Thomson of Arnhem Land Film Australia in association with John Moore (director/producer), Martin Thiele (archival researcher) and Michael McMahon (producer)
2000 Martin Thomas This is Jimmy Barker ABC Radio Audio Arts
1999 Michelle Rayner Passes and Pathways ABC Radio National
1998 Trevor Graham (director & co-producer) Mabo: Life of an Island Man Film Australia
1997 Bill Bunbury Unfinished Business, episodes 1-6 Hindsight, ABC Radio

Former CategoriesEdit

State Records - John and Patricia Ward History PrizeEdit

This prize was first awarded in 2002 to encourage the use of archives in the writing of history. The State Record established the prize in recognition of the contribution to history and archives of NSW by John and Patricia Ward.[35]

Year Author Title Publisher
2008 Christina Twomey Australia's Forgotten Prisoners: Civilians Interned by the Japanese in World War Two Cambridge University Press
2007 Klaus Neumann In the Interest of National Security: Civilian Internment in Australia National Archives of Australia
2006 Gwenda Tavan The Long, Slow Death of White Australia Scribe Publications Pty Ltd
2005 Tony Roberts Frontier Justice: a history of the Gulf Country to 1900 UQP
2004 Bain Attwood Rights for Aborigines Allen & Unwin
2003 David Kent and Norma Townsend The Convicts of the Eleanor: Protest in Rural England; New Lives in Australia The Merlin Press Ltd. [UK] and Pluto Press Australia
2002 Thom Blake A Dumping Ground: A History of the Cherbourg Settlement UQP

The Centenary of Federation Prize, 2001Edit

The centenary award was created as a one-off presentation, the prize being sponsored by the NSW Centenary of Federation Committee. This award was for a "major work" relating to the Australian Federation period focussing on the political, social and cultural issues of Australia at that time.[36]


Author Title Publisher
Geoffrey Bolton Edmund Barton Allen & Unwin


Author Title Publisher
Peter Botsman The Great Constitutional Swindle: a citizen's view of the Australian Constitution Pluto Press, Australia
Helen Irving The Centenary Companion to Australian Federation Cambridge University Press

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "NSW Premier's History Awards". History Council NSW. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  2. ^ "Awards". Arts NSW. Archived from the original on 10 July 2007. Retrieved 17 July 2007.
  3. ^ "Past Winners of the NSW History Awards". NSW History Awards 2005. ISSN 1832-9896.
  4. ^ "The NSW Premier's Literary Awards & NSW Premier's History Awards". Retrieved 29 November 2012.
  5. ^ New South Wales Premier's History Awards guidelines
  6. ^ State Records NSW
  7. ^ "2015 - Australian Military History Prize". State Library of NSW. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
  8. ^ a b c d Guardian staff (30 August 2019). "Guardian Australia's The Killing Times wins prize in NSW premier's history awards". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 30 August 2019.
  9. ^ a b c d e "Winners of the 2018 NSW Premier's History Awards announced | Books+Publishing". Retrieved 3 September 2018.
  10. ^ a b c d e "Winners of the 2017 NSW Premier's History Awards announced". Books & Publishing. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  11. ^ "2016 - Australian History Prize". State Library of NSW. 27 July 2016. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  12. ^ "2015 - Australian History Prize". State Library of NSW. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
  13. ^ "2014 - Australian History Prize". State Library of NSW. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
  14. ^ a b c d e "The NSW Premier's History Awards". State Library of New South Wales. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
  15. ^ "2012 NSW Premier's History Awards: Winners". State Library of New South Wales. Archived from the original on 7 December 2012. Retrieved 4 December 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  16. ^ a b c Souris, George. "2011 Premier's History Award Winners - Media Release" (PDF). New South Wales Government. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
  17. ^ a b c "The New South Wales Premier's History Awards - 2010 Winners". Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  18. ^ "NSW Premier's History Awards 2016 winners announced". Booksellers and Publishers. 5 September 2016. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  19. ^ "2015 General History Prize". State Library of NSW. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
  20. ^ "2014 General History Prize". State Library of NSW. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
  21. ^ "2012 NSW Premier's History Awards: Winners". State Library of NSW. Archived from the original on 7 December 2012. Retrieved 13 March 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  22. ^ "Cage of Ghosts by Jon Rhodes".
  23. ^ Deborah, Rice (2 September 2016). "New South Wales Premier's History Awards recognise record of colonial poverty". ABC News. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  24. ^ "2015 - Community and Regional History Prize". State Library of NSW. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
  25. ^ "2014 - Community and Regional History Prize". State Library of NSW. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
  26. ^ "NSW Premiers History Awards - Long message". ASA Council. Archived from the original on 14 September 2007. Retrieved 18 July 2007.
  27. ^ Morris, Linda (17 October 2016). "Roy collaborates with Rwandan refugee to write award-winning book". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  28. ^ "Winners announced for 2015 NSW Premier's History Awards". Booksellers and Publishers. 7 September 2015. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  29. ^ "2014 - Young People's History Prize". State Library of NSW. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
  30. ^ "Afghanistan: Inside Australia's War wins Multimedia History Prize". Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  31. ^ "Brilliant Creatures wins Premier's Award". Mint Productions. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  32. ^ "2014 - Multimedia History Prize". State Library of NSW. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
  33. ^ See Tuckiar v The King.
  34. ^ Indigenous history of Sydney
  35. ^ "Media releases State Records John and Patricia Ward History Prize". NSW Government, Department of Commerce, State Records Authority for NSW. Archived from the original on 29 August 2007. Retrieved 17 July 2007.
  36. ^ "NSW Premier's History Awards 2001". NSW Ministry for the Arts. Archived from the original on 30 August 2007. Retrieved 18 July 2007.

External linksEdit