Winners of the 2018 New South Wales Premier’s History Awards – Christina Twomey, Paul Irish and Sean Scalmer – reveal to Caroline Butler-Bowdon how they found their subjects, how they write engaging historical narratives, and the consequences of their work.

Presented with the History Council of NSW.

More in the Desert Island Books series:

Christina Twomey (Australian)

Christina Twomey

Christina Twomey is a Professor of History at Monash University. She is the author of four books, including Australia's Forgotten Prisoners: Civilians Interned by the Japanese in World War Two and A History of Australia (with co-author Mark Peel). Her most recent book, The Battle Within: POWs in Postwar Australia won the 2018 NSW Premiers Prize for Australian History.

Paul Irish (Australian)

Paul Irish

Paul Irish is a historian, archaeologist and Director of Coast History and Heritage. For over ten years he has been piecing together the Aboriginal history of coastal Sydney with researchers from the La Perouse Aboriginal community, including the NSW History Fellowship exhibition This Is Where They Travelled: Historical Aboriginal Lives in Sydney, and his book Hidden In Plain View: The Aboriginal People of Coastal Sydney, which won the NSW Premier’s History Award for Community and Regional History in 2018.

Sean Scalmer (Australian)

Sean Scalmer

Sean Scalmer is an Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne and is the author of several books on the history of social movements including Dissent Events, Activist Wisdom (with Sarah Maddison), The Little History of Australian Unionism, Gandhi in the West: The Mahatma and the Rise of Radical Protest, and most recently On the Stump: Campaign Oratory and Democracy in the United States, Britain and Australia for which he won the NSW Premiers History Awards General History Prize in 2018.

Caroline Butler-Bowdon (Australian)

Caroline Butler-Bowdon

Dr Caroline Butler-Bowdon is Director of Strategy & Engagement at Sydney Living Museums. Spanning 20 years, her career has been dedicated to cultural leadership that connects diverse audiences to history, arts and heritage through a broad range of public engagement programs, including festivals, exhibitions and books. She is also a 2017 Churchill Fellowship recipient.