Winners announced

Announcing the winners of the 2023 NSW Premier's History Awards 

The winners of the 2023 NSW Premier's History Awards were announced at a ceremony at the State Library of NSW as a part of NSW History Week.   

NSW Premier Chris Minns MP said: “Tonight, we celebrate the remarkable achievements of our historians whose dedication and meticulous research ignite our curiosity by bringing fresh and nuanced perspectives to stories from our past. As storytellers, historians can give a voice to people and events from the past — particularly those who may have been unable to share their stories — for future generations.   

 “I congratulate this year’s winning historians, writers, creators and producers.”

The 2023 NSW Premier’s History Awards winners are: 

Australian History Prize ($15,000)  

Elizabeth and John: The Macarthurs of Elizabeth Farm by Alan Atkinson (NewSouth)

General History Prize ($15,000) 

Under Empire: Muslim Lives and Loyalties Across the Indian Ocean World, 1775–1945 by Michael Francis Laffan (Columbia University Press) 

NSW Community and Regional History Prize ($15,000) 

He Belonged to Wagga: The Great War, the AIF and returned soldiers in an Australian country town by Ian Hodges (Australian Scholarly Publishing)

Young People’s History Prize ($15,000) 

The Goodbye Year by Emily Gale (Text Publishing)

Digital History Prize ($15,000) 

The Australian Wars, Episode 1 by Rachel Perkins, Darren Dale, Jacob Hickey and Don Watson (Blackfella Films)

The Anzac Memorial Trustees Military History Prize ($10,000)

Soldiers and Aliens: Men in the Australian Army’s employment companies during World War II by June Factor (Melbourne University Publishing)

Senior Judge Professor Kate Fullagar said: “The winners this year represent the full range of talent among contemporary Australian historians, from senior scholars offering the culmination of decades of research to emerging writers demonstrating creativity, nuance, and insight. I congratulate them all, as well as their publishers and producers, for contributing so generously to Australia’s historical knowledge.”

State Librarian John Vallance said: “Humanity and history are inseparable. We cannot live in the moment — we need space, time and context if we are to make sense of our lives. Hardly surprising, then, that the Premier’s History Awards have the importance they do. My warmest congratulations to this year’s winners — and all the shortlisted works.”

The judges' comments can be read in full below. 

The NSW Premier’s History Awards are administered by the State Library of NSW in association with Create NSW. We are pleased to acknowledge the support of the History Council of NSW and in 2023 the Anzac Memorial Trustees for their establishment and sponsorship of the Anzac Memorial Trustees Military History Prize.

2023 Judging Panel

Kate Fullagar

Professor Kate Fullagar

Senior Judge

Kate Fullagar is professor of history at the Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences, Australian Catholic University. Her most recent book is The Warrior, the Voyager, and the Artist: Three Lives in an Age of Empire (New Haven, 2020) which won the 2020 General History Prize at the NSW Premier’s History Awards and the 2020 Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-fiction at the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. 

She is Lead Chief Investigator of an ARC Linkage project with the National Portrait Gallery called Facing New Worlds and currently a co-editor of the AHA’s journal, History Australia. 

Dr Kate Ariotti

Dr Kate Ariotti

Dr Kate Ariotti is an ARC DECRA Senior Research Fellow in the School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry at the University of Queensland. Her research examines the social and cultural impacts of war in Australia. Kate teaches 19th and 20th century Australian history and supervises both Honours and postgraduate students within this rich field. Before commencing her position at the University of Queensland, Kate worked as a Historian in the Military History Section of the Australian War Memorial and as a Senior Lecturer in the School of Humanities and Social Science at the University of Newcastle. 

Placeholder image, portrait size.

Associate Professor Nicholas Scott Baker

Nicholas Scott Baker is a historian of the political and economic cultures of the early modern Mediterranean, with particular interests in Renaissance Italy, connections and exchanges between Italy and the Iberian world in the sixteenth century, and the use of visual sources in historical research. He received his PhD from Northwestern University and teaches at Macquarie University in Sydney. He has been a fellow at Villa I Tatti in Florence and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and writes about the intersections of politics and culture, gambling and financial risk taking, and notions of the future in Renaissance Italy.

Sophie Loy-Wilson

Dr Sophie Loy-Wilson

Sophie Loy-Wilson is a Senior Lecturer in Australian History at the University of Sydney. She is a historian of Chinese Australian communities. Her first book, Australians in Shanghai: Race, Rights and Nation in Treaty Port China, traced the history of Sino-Australian relations from the perspective of Chinese Australian communities in Shanghai. Sophie is currently an ARC DECRA Fellow and is working on her new project, Chinese Business: economic and social survival in white Australia,1870-1940.  

photo of professor lynette russell am

Professor Lynette Russell AM

Professor Lynette Russell AM is one of Australia's leading historians and an internationally recognised expert on Indigenous histories. She has published over twelve books on topics as diverse as museums and museum displays, Aboriginal faunal knowledge, colonial history, and the early Australian whaling industry. She has held fellowships at both Cambridge and Oxford. Her research focus is on developing an anthropological approach to the story of the past, challenging not only what we know but how we know it. Her work is frequently collaborative and interdisciplinary. She is an Australian Research Council Laureate Professor (2020-2025, Global Encounters and First Nations Peoples).

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Professor Hsu-Ming Teo

Hsu-Ming Teo is Professor of Literature and Creative Writing, and the Head of the Department of Media, Communications, Creative Arts, Language, and Literature at Macquarie University, Australia. Her publications include Desert Passions: Orientalism and Romance Novels (2012), The Popular Culture of Romantic Love in Australia (2017), Cultural History in Australia (2003), and The Routledge Research Companion to Popular Romance Fiction (2020). She is currently working on Repairing the Past, Repurposing History: Conflict, Colonialism, and Exoticism in 21st Century Romantic Historical Fiction. She judged the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards in 2007, and the NSW Premier’s History Awards in 2013 and 2017. 

Professor Mark McKenna

Mark McKenna is a writer and historian who holds honorary positions at both the University of Sydney and the ANU. He is the author of several prize-winning books, including From the Edge: Australia’s Lost Histories, Looking for Blackfellas’ Point and An Eye for Eternity: The Life of Manning Clark, which won the Prime Minister’s Literary Award for nonfiction and the Victorian, New South Wales, Queensland and South Australian premiers’ awards. His latest book, Return to Uluru, won the 2022 Northern Territory History Prize and was shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Prize for Australian History and the Ernest Scott Prize for Australian History.

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Professor David Lowe

Professor David Lowe is Director of the Centre for Contemporary History at Deakin University. David is also a co-founder of the Australian Policy and History network. His research centres on cultural aspects of the history of international relations, including Australia’s role in the world; and on remembering the legacies of modern wars and empires in comparative contexts. He is currently researching the history of postwar foreign aid, including the Colombo Plan, and a conceptual history of Australian national security. He was Visiting Professor in Australian Studies at the Centre for Pacific and American Studies, University of Tokyo, in 2019–20.

David’s recent books include, with Carola Lentz, Remembering Independence (Routledge, 2018) and three edited collections: Lessons from History: Leading Historians Tackle Australia’s Greatest Challenges (with Carolyn Holbook and Lyndon Megarrity, NewSouth, 2022); Rising Power and Changing People: The Australian High Commission in New Delhi (with Eric Meadows, ANU Press, 2022); and The Australian Embassy in Tokyo and Australia-Japan Relations (with Kate Darian-Smith, ANU Press, 2023).

photo of peter stanley

Professor Peter Stanley

Military History Prize Judge

Prof. Peter Stanley of UNSW Canberra is one of Australia’s most active and distinguished military historians. He was Principal Historian at the Australian War Memorial, where he worked from 1980 to 2007, and headed the Research Centre at the National Museum of Australia from 2007 to 2013. He joined UNSW Canberra’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences in 2013 as Research Professor, and in February 2023 retired to become Hon. Prof. at the same institution. Peter has published over 45 books, most in the field of Australian military history. They include The Remote Garrison (1986), Tarakan: an Australian Tragedy (1997), Quinn’s Post, Anzac, Gallipoli (2005), Invading Australia (2008), Men of Mont St Quentin (2009), Lost Boys of Anzac (2014), The Crying Years (2017). His Bad Characters (2010) jointly won the Prime Minister’s Prize for Australian History in 2011. Peter has also published on battlefield research (A Stout Pair of Boots, 2008), medical history (For Fear of Pain, 2003) and bushfire (Black Saturday at Steels Creek, 2013), and has published four books on the military history of British India and writes historical novels, including Simpson’s Donkey (2011). He is a frequent contributor to media programs on Australian military history. 


Dr Michael Molkentin

Military History Prize Judge

Dr Michael Molkentin has a PhD in History from UNSW Canberra. The Australian War Memorial awarded his doctoral research the 2013-14 Bryan Gandevia Prize for Military-Medical History which was published in 2014 as Australia and the War in the Air as part of the Oxford Centenary History of Australia and the Great War.  An experienced secondary school History teacher, Michael is currently the Coordinator of Learning and Assessment at Shellharbour Anglican College and an adjunct lecturer at UNSW Canberra. He has written numerous articles and four books on Australian military and aviation history, the most recent of which is Anzac and Aviator: the remarkable story of Sir Ross Smith and the 1919 England to Australia air race. Michael's current book project, under contract with Allen & Unwin, is titled Southern Cloud: the tragedy and mystery of the world's first missing airline.  


Miesje de Vogel

Military History Prize Judge

Miesje de Vogel joined the Sea Power Centre – Australia as Head of History and Heritage in August 2022, following two years as a Historian and Publications Manager for the Australian Army History Unit. She previously spent more than a decade working as a researcher and writer for the Australian Official Histories of peacekeeping and contemporary operations at the Australian National University and the Australian War Memorial. She is co-author of The Limits of Peacekeeping, (2018), volume IV in The Official History of Australian Peacekeeping, Humanitarian and Post-Cold War Operations series, has written on Australian peacekeeping efforts in Mozambique, and contributed to the research on recent operations, specialising in the AFP contributions to Iraq, Afghanistan and East Timor. She has pursued studies in History, Strategy, and Development, and is currently engaged in doctoral studies on the domestic and international aspects of Australian war finance in the Second World War. 


The NSW Premier’s History Awards were first presented in 1997 to honour distinguished achievement in history by Australian citizens and permanent residents. The Awards acknowledge the contribution of historical research to our culture and communities, and to society at large. 

Past winners have included Alan Atkinson, Joan Beaumont, Stuart Macintyre, Ken Inglis, Inga Clendinnen, Bruce Scates, Mark McKenna, Warwick Thornton, Sean Scalmer, Ann McGrath, Nadia Wheatley and Grace Karskens. 

The NSW Premier’s History Awards are administered by the State Library of NSW in association with Create NSW. We are pleased to acknowledge the support of the History Council of NSW and this year the Anzac Memorial Trustees for their establishment and sponsorship of The Anzac Memorial Trustees Military History Prize. 

For more information please read the PDF icon Guidelines contact the Senior Project Officer, Awards: 


Telephone: (02) 9273 1582 or (02) 9273 1767

For further information about The Anzac Memorial Trustees Military History Prize please visit their website.

Related events

2021 NSW Premier’s History Awards

Watch the complete presentation of the 2021 NSW Premier’s History Awards.