2022 Prime Minister's Literary Awards Judging panels
Non-fiction and Australian history panel
Professor Chris Dixon (Chair)
Professor Chris Dixon is Professor of History and Dean of Macquarie University's School of Social Sciences. After completing his BA (Hons) and MA at the University of Western Australia, he completed his PhD at the University of New South Wales. His first two books focused on nineteenth-century American history. Subsequently, Professor Dixon has published widely on the social and cultural dimensions of war; his current projects focus on the Korean War, and on American servicemen on R&R in Australia during the Vietnam War. Prior to arriving at Macquarie in 2016, Professor Dixon held appointments at the University of Sydney, Massey University, the University of Newcastle, and the University of Queensland. Professor Dixon has served two terms as President of the Australian and New Zealand American Studies Association, as well as President of the International Society for Cultural History. He has been the recipient of grants from the Australian Research Council and the Australian Learning and Teaching Council Grant, and in 2016 he held the Fulbright Scholarship in Australian-U.S. Alliance Studies.
Mr Chris Mitchell AO
Chris Mitchell is a media writer for 'The Australian' and retired newspaper editor. He received an AO in 2019 for services to journalism, the media industry and to Aboriginal education. He is an ambassador for the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation. He has served on several academic business and journalism boards, the Queensland Events Corporation Board, the Queensland Police Community Liaison Board and was Chairman of Media Team Australia, a community liaison business for NGOs wanting to learn media skills.
Mr Mitchell began his career in 1973 at 'The Telegraph' in Brisbane and worked at 'The Daily Telegraph' and 'The Australian Financial Review' before being appointed editor of 'The Australian' in 1992. He became editor in chief of Queensland Newspapers in 1995 where he edited 'The Courier-Mail' and oversaw the 'Sunday-Mail', the 'Gold Coast Bulletin', 'The Cairns Post' and 'The Townsville Daily Bulletin'. He returned to Sydney in 2002 as editor in chief of 'The Australian', 'The Weekend Australian' and all the paper's colour magazines. He retired in December 2015.
Mr Troy Bramston
Troy Bramston is a senior writer and columnist with 'The Australian' newspaper. He is a best-selling author or editor of 11 books, including 'Bob Hawke: Demons and Destiny' (2022), 'Robert Menzies: The Art of Politics' (2019) and 'Paul Keating: The Big-Picture Leader' (2016). Mr Bramston co-authored 'The Truth of the Palace Letters' (2020) and 'The Dismissal' (2015) with Paul Kelly. He is currently writing a biography of Bob Hawke . He was a co-winner of the Australian Book Industry Award, finalist for the Walkley Award and shortlisted for the National Biography Award. Mr Bramston was awarded the Centenary Medal in 2001 for services to the centenary of federation commemorations.
Dr Deborah Hope
Dr Deborah Hope is an Honorary Postdoctoral Associate at Macquarie University, Sydney. She has a PhD in Ancient History, a Master of Arts (Ancient History) and a Bachelor of Arts (Communication). Dr Hope is a former literary editor of 'The Australian', former editor of 'The Weekend Australian's Review' (dedicated to the arts, books and ideas), and was founding editor of 'Editor' ('The Australian's' weekly digest of international affairs). In her earlier journalism career, Dr Hope worked for 'The Sydney Morning Herald', 'The Bulletin' and 'The Australian' in Sydney, Canberra and Washington DC as a reporter, senior feature writer, commentator and columnist.
Professor Gail Pearson
Professor Gail Pearson is an academic lawyer and historian. She writes on commercial law, financial services law and the nineteenth century. Her publishers include Cambridge University Press and Oxford University Press. Before teaching law, she taught Australian and Asian history. As a Commonwealth scholar she moved from Brisbane to New Delhi where she wrote on women and nationalism in Mumbai. She has founded academic associations, been president of the International Association of Consumer Law, a member of various advisory and compliance bodies, and is a board member of Consumers' Federation of Australia. She consults nationally and internationally. Professor Pearson is currently reading 'Kolyma Stories.'
Fiction and poetry panel
Mr Geoffrey Lehmann (Chair)
Photo credit: Piers Laverty
Geoffrey Lehmann received the Prime Minister's Literary Award for Poetry in 2015 for his 'PoeMs 1957–2014' published by UWAP. He was the first Australian poet published by Faber & Faber, with his book, 'Spring Forest' being short-listed for the T S Eliot Prize in 1994. His first book of poetry, 'The Ilex Tree', a joint book with Les Murray, was published by ANU Press in 1965. He co-edited with Robert Gray three anthologies of Australian poetry, including the 1090 page 'Australian Poetry Since 1788' published by UNSW Press and one of the 'Economist's' best books of 2011. Starting in the early 1960s he was a reviewer of novels and poetry for 'The Bulletin', then for other Australian newspapers. He has been a partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers, chairman of The Australian Tax Research Foundation and a member of various federal government bodies.
Mr Peter Craven
Peter Craven is a literary and culture critic. He writes extensively for the 'Murdoch', 'Fairfax Press' and the 'Saturday Paper' on the widest range of matters, sometimes writing op-ed as well as writing about literature, theatre, film and television. He began the literary magazine 'Scripsi' with Michael Heyward and was subsequently the founding editor of 'Quarterly Essay' and of the Black Inc. annual 'Best of Anthologies' (essays, fiction and poetry). He was on the Board of Australian Book Review, has appeared in lists of public intellectuals and won the Geraldine Pascall Award for Criticism. He probably writes more journalism on literary and related matter than anyone else in the country and will sometimes review political and historical books. He also regularly writes pieces about Christmas and Easter. He describes himself as a highbrow hack. His work has occasionally appeared in the 'Times Literary Supplement' and 'London Review of Books'.
Mr Stephen Romei
Stephen Romei is a journalist, writer, editor and critic. He is a former literary editor of The Australian and is a film critic on that newspaper.
Associate Professor Sandra Phillips
Associate Professor Sandra Phillips is Wakka Wakka and Gooreng Gooreng. She is Associate Dean (Indigenous Engagement) at The University of Queensland in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and is an internationally-recognised scholar of Indigenous literature. Prior to her career as an academic, she trained and worked editorially with Magabala Books and the University of Queensland Press, later managing Aboriginal Studies Press. Associate Professor Phillips is published in peer-reviewed and diverse outlets and is a sought-after public speaker.
Ms Caroline Overington
Caroline Overington is 'The Weekend Australian's' Literary Editor. She is a two-time winner of the Walkley Award for Investigative Journalism, a winner of the Sir Keith Murdoch Award for Excellence in Journalism, and the author of fifteen books. Her examination of the Australian Wheat Board's oil-for-food scandal, 'Kickback', won the Blake Dawson Prize for Literature, and her study of the execution of a mother of seven, Louisa Collins, at Sydney's Darlinghurst Goal, 'Last Woman Hanged', won the Davitt Prize. She is also a judge of the Vogel prize for fiction.
Children's and young adult literature panel
Mr James Roy (Chair)
Photo credit: Michelle Gibbons
James Roy has served as a judge on both the young adult and children's category panels for the NSW Premier's Literary Awards. Mr Roy is an author who has written a number of critically acclaimed works of fiction and non-fiction for young people, including two Children's Book Council of Australia Honour Books and six Children's Book Council of Australia Notable Books. He has twice won the Ethel Turner Prize for Young People's Literature in the NSW Premier's Literary Awards, as well as the Golden Inky in Australia's only teenage choice awards and the 2010 Western Australian Premier's Book Award for young adult literature.
Ms Demet Divaroren
Demet Divaroren was born in Adana, Turkey, and migrated to Australia with her family when she was six months old. She is the author of 'Living on Hope Street', which won the 2018 Victorian Premier's Literary Awards Prize for Writing for Young Adults and was shortlisted for the 2018 Prime Minister's Literary Awards in the Young Adult Literature category. Ms Divaroren is the co-editor of the CBCA shortlisted 'Coming of Age: Growing up Muslim in Australia anthology'. Her writing has appeared in 'Griffith Review', 'The Age Epicure', 'The Big Issue', 'Island Magazine', 'From the Outer' and 'Best Summer Stories'. Ms Divaroren appears as a panellist, guest speaker and workshop leader at literary festivals, universities and schools across Melbourne.
Ms Erica Wagner
Erica Wagner is an artist, publisher and creative consultant to storytellers. She has edited many ground-breaking and award-winning books for children and young adults for over thirty years, starting out with Penguin Books Australia in 1988, establishing a children's list for Duffy & Snellgrove in 1999, and working at Allen & Unwin from 2000–2020. The first children's book editor to receive the Beatrice Davis Editorial Fellowship in 1999, she was awarded the Dromkeen Medal in 2017 and the Australian Book Industry's Pixie O'Harris Award in 2021. A co-director of Twelve Panels Press, Ms Wagner mentors writers and artists developing picture books and works as a publishing project manager and consultant for a number of Australian publishers.
Ms Paula Kelly Paull
Paula Kelly Paull has a background in education, community development, reading and literacy promotion, as well as library service leadership, development and management. She has worked in local, state and national government, including the State Library of Victoria where she managed the Centre for Youth Literature and life-wide reading and learning projects. In 2018–2020 Ms Paull was a Board Director of the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA). Holding senior Library and Community development roles Ms Paull has championed a range of highly innovative and impactful reading, library and literacy projects. She is a passionate advocate of the power of reading in people's lives and helped establish both the National Year of Reading in 2012, and the Australian Children's Laureate program. She is a Churchill Fellow; a Barrett Reid Scholarship recipient furthering her work in early literacy with vulnerable parents; and was highly commended for the Dromkeen Librarian's Award for strategic engagement of young people in libraries. Ms Paull has been involved in the development of numerous award-winning libraries that focus on sustainability, community engagement and lifelong reading and learning. Ms Paull is currently Leader Growth and Development with Raeco—Australia's leading Library and Learning spaces supplier.
Dr Anthony Eaton
Dr Anthony Eaton is associate professor of Creative Writing at the University of Canberra. He has been writing for a wide range of audiences since the late 1990s. He has published eleven novels, has twice won the Western Australian Premier's Literary Award for young adult fiction, and twice been awarded an Honour Book award by the Children's Book Council of Australia. His 'Darklands Trilogy' were shortlisted and awarded in the Aurealis Awards for Australian Speculative Fiction. His works have also featured on the International Youth Library's annual 'White Ravens' catalogue of significant international children's books.
In addition to writing, during the last few years Dr Eaton has been concentrating on applied research on the positive impact of creativity and creative practice upon trauma recovery and resilience building.