Queensland Premier's Award for a work of State Significance shortlist

Remotely Fashionable cover

Remotely Fashionable: A Story of Subtropical Style

Nadia Buick & Madeleine King

The Fashion Archives

About the book

Original, eclectic, and occasionally eccentric, Remotely Fashionable: A Story of Subtropical Style is the refreshing sartorial history of a place that fashion forgot: Queensland, Australia. This anthology weaves together 150 years of style in the 'Sunshine State', where flapper frocks were unfashionably long but mid-century beachwear was scandalously brief. Featuring new essays and profiles that are richly illustrated with archival images curated from public and private collections, this unique fashion book proves that Paris, London, and Milan aren't the world's only style capitals.

About the authors

Dr Nadia Buick and Madeleine King, curators and researchers based in Brisbane, Australia. Their collaborative research and cultural projects make new connections between fashion, time, and place. They established the online journal and curatorial outfit The Fashion Archives in 2012, examining the past and present of fashion in their home state of Queensland. Buick and King were awarded the Queensland Business Leaders Hall of Fame Fellowship in 2014 for their project High Street Histories.

Judges' Comments

Remotely Fashionable was a genuine pleasure for all judges. The book works as a corrective, recovering a sense of Queensland fashions long forgotten.


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All Fall Down

All Fall Down

Matthew Condon

UQP

About the book

All Fall Down is the gripping finale to Matthew Condon’s epic true-crime trilogy about crooked cops, bagmen and blackmail, and the monumental saga of greed that infiltrated the Queensland police force. Here also ends Police Commissioner Terry Lewis’ story and the demise of the Rat Pack and their corrupt system of graft payments known as ‘The Joke’. As layer upon layer of bribes and deception ricochet throughout the state, the nature of complicity in prostitution, illegal gambling, drugs and paedophilia escalates to a whole new level, leading to the all-encompassing Fitzgerald Inquiry. Lewis remains at the heart of the story — the cool, calculated enigma, the paper-pushing bureaucrat, who continues to protest his innocence today, despite being charged with 15 counts of official corruption.

About the author

Matthew Condon is a prize-winning Australian novelist and journalist. He is currently on staff with the Courier-Mail’s Qweekend magazine. He began his journalism career with the Gold Coast Bulletin in 1982 and subsequently worked for leading newspapers and journals including the Sydney Morning Herald, the Daily Telegraph and Melbourne's Sunday Age. He is also the author of ten books of fiction, most recently The Trout Opera (Random House, 2008) and the non-fiction book Brisbane (New South Books, 2010).

Judges' Comments

This meticulously researched work is a compelling account of the Lewis epoch of police corruption in Queensland, and its exposure under the spotlight of the Fitzgerald Inquiry. It is an excellent example of investigative reportage. The third volume of Condon’s trilogy will endure as a testament to the courage of those people who spoke out against corruption, and a reminder of the need for vigilance in ensuring that our institutions of government operate transparently and remain properly accountable to those they serve.

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Wasted cover

Wasted

Elspeth Muir

Text Publishing

About the book

In 2009 Elspeth Muir’s youngest brother, Alexander, finished his last university exam and went out with some mates on the town. Later that night he wandered to the Story Bridge. He put his phone, wallet, T-shirt and thongs on the walkway, climbed over the railing, and jumped thirty metres into the Brisbane River below. Three days passed before police divers pulled his body out of the water. When Alexander had drowned, his blood-alcohol reading was almost five times the legal limit for driving. Why do some of us drink so much, and what happens when we do? Fewer young Australians are drinking heavily, but the rates of alcohol abuse and associated problems—from blackouts to sexual assaults and one-punch killings—are undiminished. Intimate and beautifully told, Wasted illuminates the sorrows, and the joys, of drinking.

About the author

Elspeth Muir is a Brisbane author whose writing has appeared in The Lifted Brow, The Best of the Lifted Brow: Volume One, Griffith Review, Voiceworks and Bumf. She is a postgraduate student at the University of Queensland.

Judges' Comments

This book bravely confronts the issue of binge drinking in Australia through a beautifully written blend of memoir and social commentary. Muir is an acute observer and presents a portrait of childhood in Queensland that is visceral and memorable.

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The Long Goodbye cover

The Long Goodbye

P.J. Parker

Hardie Grant Books

About the book

"On 13th October my father killed my mother". And so begins this extraordinarily moving and powerful memoir of an Australian family, revealing the grit and resilience which has always driven them, as well as the love that binds them together through the years. At times hilariously funny, at times tragic and shocking, The Long Goodbye is ultimately a grand story of love and the unbreakable bonds of marriage and family set against the harsh and unforgiving realities of life on the land. Spanning three generations of a rural Queensland farming family, The Long Goodbye is an unforgettable story of love and loss by an outstanding new writer of originality and remarkable skill.

About the author

Pamela J. Parker was born and raised in the once famous gold-mining town of Charters Towers in rural Queensland, Australia. She was educated locally before attending James Cook University in Townsville and later Queensland University in Cairns where she studied to become a teacher. Pamela has taught at schools throughout Northern Queensland, but now devotes her time to writing and raising cattle and training horses on her farm in Tenterfield, New South Wales. Pamela has been awarded Runner Up in the 2015 Olga Masters Short Story Award.

Judges' Comments

A lively and entertaining account of growing up in Charters Towers, which reminds us of the strength and importance of family. The challenges of ageing and dementia are recounted with honesty and tenderness, and will resonate with many readers.

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Not Just Black and White cover

Not Just Black and White

Lesley and Tammy Williams

UQP

About the book

Lesley Williams was forced to leave the Cherbourg Aboriginal Settlement and her family at a young age to work as a domestic servant. Apart from pocket money, Lesley never saw her wages – they were kept ‘safe’ for her and for countless others just like her. She was taught not to question her life, until desperation made her start to wonder, where is all that money she earned? And so began a nine-year journey for answers. Inspired by her mother’s quest, a teenage Tammy Williams entered a national writing competition with an essay about injustice. The winning prize took Tammy and Lesley to Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch and ultimately to the United Nations in Geneva. Along the way, they found courage they never thought they had and friendship in the most unexpected places.

About the authors

Lesley Williams is a respected Murri Elder. She is best known for instigating the domestic and international Justice for Aboriginal Workers campaign. In 2002 this campaign resulted in the Queensland State Government delivering an historic reparation package of $55.4 million to all Indigenous workers who had their wages and savings controlled by past governments. In 2003 she was awarded the Centenary Medal for her distinguished services to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. Lesley has co-produced and consulted on a number of documentary films including The Ration Shed and For Their Own Good, and co-wrote On The Banks of the Barambah: A History of Cherbourg. She is a proud and devoted ‘Nana’ to six grandchildren.

Tammy Williams is a Murri woman and was admitted as a barrister in 2002. Her legal career includes Commonwealth prosecutor and appointments to quasi-judicial bodies. She has been a member of the National Human Rights Consultative Committee and in 2003 was named the Queensland Women Lawyers Association Emergent Lawyer of the Year. Tammy was profiled in the documentary Black Chicks Talking and in 2011 was included in the International Women’s Day ‘Power of 100’ – a list of one hundred women who have helped to shape Australia.

Judges' Comments

This inspirational memoir captures one woman’s tenacious struggle for justice for a generation of Indigenous workers in Queensland who were denied full payment of their wages. Told through the interlaced voices of mother and daughter, it evokes a tradition of oral storytelling that draws the reader into the intimacy of the authors’ personal stories, while revealing the importance of the book’s social and political narratives.

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