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In Conversation with Meredith Lake, Lyndall Ryan, Alison Lloyd and Christina Thompson

2019 NSW Premier’s History Award Winners Panel

Tuesday 21 July at 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Please join us on as we host the winners of the 2019 NSW Premier’s History Awards – Dr Meredith Lake, Prof Lyndall Ryan, Alison Lloyd and Dr Christina Thompson in a discussion that will reveal how and why they wrote their transformational histories.

Each of their studies makes the familiar strange and challenges previous understandings of Australian history. The writers will speak with session Chair, A/Prof Nancy Cushing about their inspirations, their writing practice and the impact they hope their work will have, followed by an opportunity for questions from the audience.

(Rescheduled from the cancelled Sydney Writers Festival event in April).

A/Prof Nancy Cushing is an environmental historian based at the University of Newcastle where she is Associate Professor and Assistant Dean (Research Training) in the Faculty of Education and Arts. She is also the Vice-President of the HCNSW.  Nancy has had a long interest in the history of Newcastle and is co-author of Smoky City: A History of Air Pollution in Newcastle(with Howard Bridgman, Hunter Press, 2015) and co-editor of Radical Newcastle (NewSouth, 2015). Her latest book is Animals Count, co-edited with Jodi Frawley (Routledge, 2018).


Dr Christina Thompson is the author of Sea People: The Puzzle of Polynesia, winner of the 2019 NSW Premier’s General History Award, and a memoir, Come on Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All, which was shortlisted for the 2009 NSW Premier’s Award for Nonfiction. A dual citizen of the US and Australia, she is a former editor of Meanjin and the current editor of Harvard Review. She lives outside of Boston, USA, with her family.



Alison Lloyd is the author of ten books for children, both fiction and non-fiction, all about history. She loves finding the drama and the humour in stories of the past. Besides the prize-winning Upside-Down History of Downunder, Alison also wrote the Meet Letty books, set in Sydney in 1841, for the popular Our Australian Girl series, and Wicked Warriors and Evil Emperors, the story of China’s first Emperor.

Dr Meredith Lake is a writer and broadcaster interested in how Australians explore the big questions of faith and meaning. Her most recent book, The Bible In Australia: a cultural history (NewSouth Publishing), won the Australian History prize at the 2019 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards and the 2019 NSW Premier’s History Awards. She currently hosts Soul Search on ABC Radio National, a weekly show about the lived experience of religion and spirituality.


Professor Lyndall Ryan is a pioneering and highly influential Australian historian, whose work has recast and reconceptualised the historical experiences of Aboriginal people in colonial and post-colonial contexts and on Australian history from a feminist perspective. She is recognised internationally as a leading scholar in massacre studies. Her major works include her ground-breaking book, Aboriginal Tasmanians (1981), Tasmanian Aborigines: A History since 1803 (2012) and her collaborative  research on the Killing Times (2019), an interactive massacre map of Australia.