University of Southern Queensland History Book Award shortlist

The Tim Carmody Affair cover

The Tim Carmody Affair: Australia's Greatest Judicial Crisis

Rebecca Ananian-Welsh, Gabrielle Appleby, Andrew Lynch

NewSouth Books

About the book

When Tim Carmody was appointed Chief Justice of Queensland by Premier Campbell Newman in 2014, he had been Chief Magistrate for only nine months. It proved to be the most controversial judicial appointment in Australia’s history. Carmody’s elevation plunged the Supreme Court and the legal profession into a bitter conflict with the government and with Carmody himself. How did he come to be appointed to such a significant position? What can we learn from this saga about the fragile relationships between politics and the courts? The Tim Carmody Affair places the full story of Carmody’s damaging and divisive tenure in context, and identifies key reforms that could prevent this kind of controversy in the future.

About the authors

Rebecca Ananian-Welsh is a lecturer at the TC Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland. She has published widely on the separation of powers in Australia, with a particular focus on controversial anti-bikie laws. She has also undertaken major research projects for the Judicial Conference on Australia and has provided media comment on matters of Queensland law and justice.

Gabrielle Appleby is an associate professor in law at the University of New South Wales, and previously worked for the Queensland Crown Solicitor and the Victorian Government Solicitor s Office. She teaches in public and constitutional law, has published widely in her field and has co-authored several books, including Australian Public Law (2014) and Government Accountability: Australian Administrative Law (2014). She is currently the Chief Investigator on an Australian Research Grant on the separation of powers in the States.

Andrew Lynch is a professor of law at the University of New South Wales, has written on judicial decision-making on the High Court for many years, and has recently been researching and publishing in the area of judicial appointments reform. He has co-authored several books, including Inside Australia s Anti-Terrorism Laws and Trials (2015) and What Price Security? Taking Stock of Australia s Anti-Terrorism Laws (2006), and has written extensively on the Carmody affair in the media.

Judges' comments

This is a significant piece of contemporary history, a genre too often overlooked by historians.The lively writing style brings readily to consciousness the significance of the separation of powers in a system of governance based on the Westminster model and emphasises the importance of the rule of law. This work is particularly pertinent in the Queensland context.

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Hidden in Plain View cover

Hidden in Plain View: The Aboriginal People of Coastal Sydney

Paul Irish

NewSouth Books

About the book

Contrary to what you may think, local Aboriginal people did not lose their culture and die out within decades of Governor Phillip’s arrival in Sydney in 1788. Aboriginal people are prominent in accounts of early colonial Sydney, yet we seem to skip a century as they disappear from the historical record, re-emerging early in the twentieth century. What happened to Sydney’s indigenous people between the devastating impact of white settlement and increased government intervention a century later? Hidden in Plain View shows that Aboriginal people did not disappear. They may have been ignored in colonial narratives but maintained a strong bond with the coast and its resources and tried to live on their own terms. This original and important book tells this powerful story through individuals, and brings a poorly understood period of Sydney’s shared history back into view. Its readers will never look at Sydney in the same way.

About the author

Paul Irish is a historian specialising in the history and heritage of Aboriginal Australia, with a longstanding interest in the Aboriginal history of the Sydney region.

Judges' comments

This is a well-researched, well-written authoritative work. Irish’s exhaustive research proves the continuity of Aboriginal place and kinship into the 1870s in the Sydney area. Irish’s work looks past the tragedy of bureaucratic control, back to an inspiring Aboriginal-centred colonial history, a history not only of survival but also of creative engagement.

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Evatt: A Life cover

Evatt: A Life

John Murphy

NewSouth Books

About the book

John Murphy’s Evatt: A life is a biography of Australian parliamentarian and jurist HV Evatt. Remembered as the first foreign minister to argue for an independent Australian policy in the 1940s and for his central role in the formation of the UN, Evatt went on to be the leader of the Labor party in the 1950s, the time of the split that resulted in the party being out of power for a generation. Evatt traces the course of Evatt’s life and places him in the context of a long period of conservatism in Australia. It treats Evatt’s inner, personal life as being just as important as his spectacular, controversial and eventual tragic public career. Murphy looks closely at Evatt’s previously unexamined private life and unravels some of the puzzles that have lead Evatt to be considered erratic, even mad.

About the author

John Murphy is a professor of politics at the University of Melbourne.

Judges' comments

H V Evatt’s brilliance and his failings have become a persistent thread in Australian political mythology. This biography avoids the faults of other biographies which tend to defend and eulogise Evatt. By balancing the personal with the political, this biography leads us to an understanding of how Evatt worked and thereby answers many of the questions which have circulated around Evatt’s public life.

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Into the Heart of Tasmania cover

Into the Heart of Tasmania

Rebe Taylor

MUP

About the book

Into the Heart of Tasmania tells a story of discovery and realisation. One man's ambition to rewrite the history of human culture inspires an exploration of the controversy stirred by Tasmanian Aboriginal history. It brings to life how Australian and British national identities have been fashioned by shame and triumph over the supposed destruction of an entire race. To reveal the beating heart of Aboriginal Tasmania is to be confronted with a history that has never ended.

About the author

Dr Rebe Taylor is a historian specialising in Tasmanian anthropology and archaeology. She first encountered Tasmanian Aboriginal history on a beach on Kangaroo Island, South Australia, hearing stories about the women who had been taken there by sealers. She has been trying to understand the history of Tasmanian Aboriginal diaspora, loss, rediscovery and endurance ever since.

Judges' comments

This is an excellent work revising the anthropology and history of Tasmania and, indeed, Australia showing how these histories have been written to suit imperial, political and professional objectives. It successfully weaves contemporary relevance, anthropology and history to tell a moving story. The story of Ernest Westlake and the evidence he collected is extraordinary and brought vividly to life by Taylor’s competent handling of the material. This work is far more than Westlake’s biography; it is an exploration of the intersection of curiosity with human history and the artefacts of culture to reveal the beating heart of Aboriginal Tasmania.

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