Fourteen experts make up the judging panels for the 2020 Prime Minister's Literary Awards. The judging panels recommend shortlists and winners across each of the categories. The Prime Minister makes the final decision.

Non-fiction and Australian history panel

Emeritus Professor Richard Waterhouse FRSN FAHA FASSA (Chair)

Emeritus Professor Richard Waterhouse

Richard Waterhouse is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Sydney. He was formerly Bicentennial Professor of Australian History and Head of the School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry at the same institution. Emeritus Professor Waterhouse has held visiting professorships at Ludwig Maximilian University (Munich) and the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill). He holds a First Class honours degree in History from the University of Sydney and MA and PhD degrees from Johns Hopkins University. He was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities in 2005 and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences in 2006. He is the author of five books and more than 70 chapters and articles on aspects of United States and Australian social and cultural history.

Dr Sally Warhaft

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Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer and the host of the Wheeler Centre's live journalism series, 'The Fifth Estate'. She is a former editor of 'The Monthly' magazine and the author of the bestselling book 'Well May We Say: The Speeches that Made Australia' (2004). Dr Warhaft is a regular host and commentator on ABC radio and has a PhD in Anthropology. She did her fieldwork in Mumbai, India, living by the seashore with the local fishing community.

Emeritus Professor John Fitzgerald AM

Professor John Fitzgerald

John Fitzgerald AM is Emeritus Professor in the Centre for Social Impact at Swinburne University of Technology. From 2008 to 2013 he was China Representative of The Ford Foundation in Beijing where he directed the Foundation's China operations. Before that he was Head of the School of Social Sciences at La Trobe University.

Emeritus Professor Fitzgerald has served as elected President of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and as President by rotation of the Australian Council of Learned Academies. His published research focuses on the history of nationalism, philanthropy and public administration in China, and on Chinese diaspora communities in Australia and the Pacific region. He graduated from the University of Sydney, was awarded a Ph.D. by the Australian National University, and held a Fulbright postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Professor John Maynard

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John Maynard is a Worimi Aboriginal scholar, who is Director of the Purai Global Indigenous History Centre at the University of Newcastle. A former Australian Research Council (ARC) Australian Research Fellow and former Deputy Chair of the Council of Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS).

Professor Maynard is acknowledged as a leader of the Indigenous academic community nationwide. His main field of research interest is Australian Aboriginal history with a concentration on Aboriginal political, social, sporting, health, oral history and traditional/contemporary Aboriginal history.

Fiction and poetry panel

Ms Suzanne Leal (Chair)

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Suzanne Leal is the author of novels 'The Deceptions',' The Teacher's Secret' and 'Border Street'. A regular interviewer, facilitator and presenter at literary events and festivals, she was the senior judge for the NSW Premier's Literary Awards from 2017 to 2019. Formerly a solicitor specialising in criminal law, Suzanne is now a senior member of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Ms Susan Wyndham

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Susan Wyndham is a journalist and writer with a long involvement in the Australian literary world. She has been editor of 'Good Weekend' magazine, New York correspondent for 'The Australian', a deputy editor of 'The Sydney Morning Herald', and the 'Herald's' literary editor. Currently she is journalist in residence at the Sydney Social Sciences and Humanities Advanced Research Centre at the University of Sydney. Her books include 'Life in His Hands: The True Story of a Neurosurgeon and a Pianist', and the anthology 'My Mother, My Father: On Losing a Parent'.

Dr Kerryn Goldsworthy

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Kerryn Goldsworthy spent the first half her working life as a literary academic and is spending the second half as a freelance writer and critic. A former editor of 'Australian Book Review', she is the author of three books of fiction and nonfiction, including 'Adelaide' (2011) in the NewSouth 'City' series. Dr Goldsworthy was the inaugural chair of the Stella Prize judging panel, and has also served as a judge for other major prizes including the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and the Miles Franklin Literary Award. She won the 2013 Pascall Prize for cultural criticism and the 2017 Horne Prize for an essay on Australian society.

Professor Philip Mead

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Philip Mead was poetry editor of 'Meanjin Quarterly' from 1987 to 1994 and has edited, with John Tranter, the 'Penguin Book of Modern Australian Poetry' (1992) and a collection of essays about Kenneth Slessor: 'Kenneth Slessor: Critical Readings' (1997). Professor Mead has also edited selections of poetry by Frank Wilmot, 'Selected Poetry and Prose' (1997) and David Campbell, 'Hardening of the Light' (2007). In 2010 his critical and historical study of Australian poetry, 'Networked Language: History & Culture in Australian Poetry' won the New South Wales Premier's Prize for Literary Scholarship. From 2009 to 2018 Professor Mead was inaugural Chair of Australian Literature at the University of Western Australia, and in 2015-2016 he was Gough Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser Visiting Professor of Australian Studies at Harvard University. Professor Mead has also published books about Shakespearean commemoration in Australia and about the cultural imaginary and human rights.

Ms Lucy Neave

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Lucy Neave is the author of 'Who We Were', which was shortlisted for the ACT Book of the Year Award in 2014. She has published in 'Best Australian Stories 2009 & 2014', and in Australian and American literary journals, including 'Overland 'and 'Antipodes. 'Her scholarly essays are on fiction writing process, writers' practices, and animals in contemporary literature. The recipient of an Australia Council for the Arts grant, a 2018 'Griffith Review 'novella prize and a former Fulbright scholar, Ms Neave teaches in the English Program at the Australian National University.

Children's and young adult literature panel

Professor Margot Hillel OAM (Chair)

Image of Professor Margot Hillel OAM

Margot Hillel is Chair of the Academic Board at Australian Catholic University and has had a wide and varied involvement in the field of children's literature over many years. She is a former President of the Australasian Children's Literature Association for Research and is currently Chair of the Board of the Children's Book Council of Australia. Professor Hillel has judged many literary awards, is the joint editor of four collections of short stories, has co-written several books on using books with children and published regularly in scholarly journals on various aspects of children's literature. She is on the editorial boards of a number of international journals, and has presented at conferences in many countries as well as in Australia.

Professor Hillel holds a Bachelor of Arts, a Master of Arts and a PhD and in 2000 she was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for her services to children's literature through teaching, research and community service.

Ms Margrete Lamond

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Margrete Lamond is the founder and publisher of the publishing house, Dirt Lane Press. She began her trade-publishing career at Scholastic Press in 2002, where she built an award-winning list, and followed as publisher at Little Hare Books and Hardie Grant Egmont. Ms Lamond's focus is quality picture-books, for which her internationally acclaimed authors and illustrators continue to win awards. She has expertise in producing quality picture books and an understanding of the neurobiology of visual processing.

Ms Lamond is also a published author, most notably of 'Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Tatterhood and Other Feisty Folktales', a re-imagined 'Nutcracker' and, most recently, 'The Sorry Tale of Fox and 'Bear, which was short-listed for the NSW Premier's Literary Award. Her special interests include visual literacy, emotion in illustration, and evolutionary approaches to the aesthetics of picture-book illustration.

Ms Kirli Saunders

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Kirli Saunders is a proud Gunai Woman and award-winning international Children's Author, Poet, Teacher, and emerging Artist. She leads Poetry in First Languages, delivered by Red Room Poetry. Her debut picture book 'The Incredible Freedom Machines 'was shortlisted for the Prime Ministers Literary Awards and CBCA notables. Her poetry collection, 'Kindred' was shortlisted for the ABIA 2020 Book Awards and FAB Booktopia Awards. She is the inaugural winner of the Daisy Utemorrah Award and University of Canberra ATSI Poetry prize (2019). Ms Saunders is the 2020 NSW Aboriginal Woman of the Year. She was guest writer for the Embassy in Jakarta and Bali (2019).

Mr James Roy

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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

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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'. Demet appears as a panellist, guest speaker and workshop leader at literary festivals, universities and schools across Melbourne.