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John Curtin’s legacy celebrated at 2018 Prime Minister Literary Awards

Media release

An Australian biography that documents the nation’s 14th Prime Minister John Curtin’s rise to power and his pivotal role in shaping modern Australia has been named a winner at the 2018 Prime Minister Literary Awards.

Curtin University Adjunct Professor Dr John Edwards, from the John Curtin Institute of Public Policy, won the Australian history category for his book, John Curtin’s War: The coming of war in the Pacific, and reinventing Australia, volume 1.

The Prime Minister Literary Awards recognise Australia’s literary talent across six categories including fiction, non-fiction, Australian history, young adult literature, children’s literature and poetry.

Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry congratulated Dr Edwards on his success at the awards, which recognise prominent authors and illustrators in Australian literature.

“Dr Edward’s book recalls John Curtin’s struggle for power and his use of it when he took office in October 1941, eight weeks before Japan attacked Pearl Harbour and launched its war in the Pacific,” Professor Terry said.

John Curtin’s War is an informing piece of Australian history and I am delighted to acknowledge Dr Edwards for his success in telling the story of one of the country’s most successful leaders and indeed the University’s namesake.”

Dr John Edwards said he was honoured to be recognised at the prestigious literary awards alongside other renowned Australian authors.

“By writing this biography, I had the opportunity to tell the story of one of the most significant Prime Ministers in Australian history, while also educating the Australian public about our previous leaders and how they helped shape the country we live in today,” Dr Edwards said.

“I would also like to acknowledge the John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library and its staff and collection of materials that greatly supported John Curtin’s War.”

Two-time Miles Franklin award-winner Professor Kim Scott, from Curtin’s School of Media, Creative Arts and Social Inquiry, was also named a finalist in the fiction category for his book Taboo, which tells the story of a group of Noongar people who revisit the site of a historic massacre in the rural South-West of Western Australia.

The winners were announced at an award ceremony, hosted by Australian Prime Minister The Honourable Scott Morrison MP.

More information on the awards can be found online here.