Twelve experts make up the judging panels for the 2016 Prime Minister's Literary Awards.

The judging panels recommend shortlists and winners across each of the categories. The Prime Minister makes the final decision.

Fiction and Poetry panel

Ms Louise Adler AM (Chair)

Image of Louise Adler

Ms Louise Adler AM is the Chief Executive of Melbourne University Publishing, President of the Australian Publishers Association and a member of the ABC's Arts Reference Panel. In 2015 the Victorian Government appointed her to Chair its Creative Industries taskforce. She recently retired as the Chair of the Methodist Ladies College and served for over a decade on the Monash University Council and the boards of the Melbourne International Arts Festival and the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art.

Mr Jamie Grant

Image of Jamie Grant

Mr Jamie Grant is a poet and has worked across the literary sector as an advertising copywriter, a trainee teacher, a publisher's representative, a bookseller, a proof-reader, and as a freelance editor, journalist and literary critic. He has published eight collections of his own poetry, and has edited five anthologies, including 100 Australian Poems of Love and Loss and 100 Australian Poems you Need to Know (the new edition will be published in 2016). His latest book is Glass on the Chimney (2014).

Dr Robert Gray

Image of Robert Gray.

Dr Robert Gray was born in 1945 and grew up on the North Coast of New South Wales, the landscape of which has been a major subject of his poetry. He has worked in Sydney as a journalist, advertising copywriter, buyer for bookshops and teacher of literature and writing. Eight books of his poetry have been published and six editions of his Selected Poems. His work has for many years been taught for the HSC in New South Wales and Victoria. Among the prizes he has won are the Patrick White Award and the Emeritus Award for Literature from the Australia Council. His memoir, The Land I Came Through Last, won the CAL/Waverley Library prize and earned him a Doctorate of Creative Arts from UTS. He has made reading tours and been a writer in residence in Japan, China, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Ireland and Britain and has had his Selected Poems published in all of these countries, and as the inaugural volume in a series on Australian poetry in the United States.

Mr Des Cowley

Des Cowley

Mr Des Cowley is the manager of the History of the Book collection at State Library Victoria, and has more than twenty years’ experience working with rare books. He was a judge for Vance Palmer Prize for fiction in the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards in 1998, 1999 and 2003; and for the prize for a First Book in History in 2010. He is book reviewer for Rhythms magazine, and publishes occasional pieces in Australian Book Review, IMPRINT and other journals. He previously edited the literary broadside Overland Extra. He is currently an Editorial Advisor for Australian Book Review, and is on the editorial panel of Script & Print. In 2005, he co-curated the State Library of Victoria's permanent exhibition Mirror of the World: Books and Ideas and is co-author of The World of the Book, published by Melbourne University Press in 2007. He recently co-edited Creating and Collecting: Artists' Books in Australia (2015).

Non-fiction and History panel

Gerard Henderson (Chair)

Image of Gerard Henderson, Chair.

Gerard Henderson holds the degrees of BA (Hons), LLB and PhD. He is executive director of The Sydney Institute, a columnist for The Weekend Australian, appears regularly on the ABC 1 Insiders program and writes a weekly Media Watch Dog blog. Gerard Henderson's publications include Mr Santamaria and the Bishops (1982), Australian Answers (1990), Menzies' Child: The Liberal Party of Australia (1994), and Santamaria; A Most Unusual Man (2015). He was appointed by the Keating government to the board of the Australia Foundation for Culture and the Humanities and by the Howard Government to the Foreign Affairs Council.

Dr Ida Lichter MD

Image of Dr Ida Lichter.

Dr Ida Lichter MD, is a medical doctor (and psychiatrist), who has spent most of her working life in Australia and the U.K. She is also an internationally known writer and commentator on Muslim women reformers and women's rights in Islamic countries. Ida writes for The Australian and The Huffington Post, United States, and has participated in writers' festivals and programs on radio and television.

Her book, Muslim Women Reformers: Inspiring Voices Against Oppression, is a standard reference in many American universities, and was described by the American Library Association as 'an excellent and orderly resource for researching international women's studies on the impact of cultural tradition on rule of law'. Her book entitled The Secret Magic of Music: Conversations with Musical Masters, will be published in New York in April 2016.

Mr Peter Coleman AO

Image of Peter Coleman.

Mr Peter Coleman AO is an Australian writer and former politician. A widely published journalist for over 60 years, he was editor of The Bulletin (1964–1967) and of Quadrant for 20 years, and has published 16 books on political, biographical and cultural subjects. While still working as an editor and journalist he followed a political calling and served as a Member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly from 1968–1978 for the Liberal Party of Australia, serving both as a Minister in the State Cabinet and in the final year as Leader of the New South Wales Opposition. From 1981–1986 he was Member for Wentworth in the Australian House of Representatives. He retired from parliament in 1987.

Since leaving politics, Coleman has resumed his career as a full-time writer. His works include a major history of intellectual and cultural freedom during the Cold War, The Liberal Conspiracy, the Congress for Cultural Freedom and the Struggle for the Mind of Postwar Europe; and biographical works on the Australian poet James McAuley, comic artist Barry Humphries, film director Bruce Beresford and economist Heinz Arndt. He has also published an autobiography, Memoirs of a Slow Learner, a selection of poetry, a collection of his Quadrant essays, The Last Intellectuals: Essays on Writers and Politics and The Old Boys' Cookbook, a collection of recipes from thirty-five famous Australian old boys. In 2001 he was awarded the Centenary Medal. In 2008 Coleman assisted his son-in-law, Peter Costello, in writing and editing his account of his career, The Costello Memoirs. In 2008 Coleman was admitted to the degree of Doctor of Letters (honoris causa) at the University of Sydney for services to Australian intellectual life. In 2015 he was awarded Officer of the Order of Australia.

Professor Ross Fitzgerald AM

Image of Professor Ross Fitzgerald.

Professor Ross Fitzgerald AM is Emeritus Professor of History and Politics at Griffith University. Professor Fitzgerald is the author of 39 books, including books about history, philosophy, politics, alcohol and Australian Rules football, as well as a number of satirical novels.

Professor Fitzgerald's memoir My Name Is Ross: An Alcoholic's Journey (New South Books) is available as an eBook and also as a Talking Book from Vision Australia read by Professor Fitzgerald himself.

In 2014 Professor Fitzgerald was made a Member in the general division of the Order of Australia for significant service to education in the field of politics and history as an academic, and to community and public health organisations. Other awards include Australian Centenary Medal, 2001.

Children's and Young Adult fiction panel

Mr Mike Shuttleworth (Chair)

Mike Shuttleworth

Mr Mike Shuttleworth is currently managing the Children's Laureate program for the Australian Children's Literature Alliance. He has been a dedicated mediator of literature in numerous roles, including as a critic, curator and jury member (Prime Minister's Literary Award, Victorian Premier's Award). He was the Centre for Youth Literature program manager from 2002 to 2010. From 2011 to 2015 he was the program Manager of the Melbourne Writers Festival and director of the festival's Schools' Program. He curated the exhibition Look! The art of Australian picture books today for the State Library of Victoria.

Dr Irini Savvides

Dr Irini Savvides

Dr Irini Savvides is a published young adult author. Her first novel Willow Tree and Olive, received several awards including a White Raven in Bologona in 2002, and she was named one of the finalists in the Sydney Morning Herald Young Writer of the Year. Her second novel, Sky Legs won the 2004 Peace Award. Other titles include: A Marathon of Her Own, Aliki Says, and a verse novel Against the Tide. Her picture book Hide and Seek was recently translated into Japanese and sent to child survivors of the tsunami. Irini Savvides was awarded her PhD in 2013 with the Writing and Society Group at the University of Western Sydney.

Ms Kate Colley

Image of Kate Colley, Susanne Gervays blog.

Ms Kate Colley is the owner of Bloomin' Books in Caringbah. Colley has been a recipient of the Pixie O'Haris Award, an Australian Book Industry award for distinguished and dedicated service to the development and reputation of Australian children's books. She has worked consistently in children's literature and developed a reputation for a significant contribution to the bookselling industry. Kate Colley has been a member of the Children's Book Council for over 25 years. She travels the country to promote children's books to schools and libraries.

Dr Mark MacLeod

Mark MacLeod

Dr Mark MacLeod coordinated courses in Children's Literature and Australian Literature at Macquarie University and courses in Australian Literature and Film for Rollins College, Florida for many years before becoming Children's Publishing Director at Random House Australia. He published books for young readers and for adults under his own name imprint at Hodder Headline and was Project Manager of 'My Favourite Book' for ABCTV. Well known as a television and radio presenter, he also writes books for young readers. Mark has been president of the NSW branch of the Children's Book Council of Australia and national president in 2005–2006. He has won the CBCA Lady Cutler Award and the Australian Publishers Association Pixie O'Harris Award for distinguished services to children's literature.