Prime Minister's Literary Awards 2015 judging panels

Twelve experts make up the judging panels for the 2015 Prime Minister's Literary Awards.

The judging panels are responsible for making recommendations to the Prime Minister for the shortlists and winners across each of the categories. The Prime Minister makes the final decision.

Fiction and Poetry panel

Image of Louise AdlerMs Louise Adler AM (Chair)

Ms Louise Adler AM is the CEO of Melbourne University Publishing; President of the Australian Publishers Association; Chair of the Methodist Ladies College Board; and a board member of the Melbourne International Arts Festival. In 1988, after an academic career that included teaching roles at Columbia University and the University of Melbourne, Ms Adler became the editor of Australian Book Review. From 1989 until 1994 Ms Adler was Publishing Director of Reed Books Australia. In 1994 she became the Arts & Entertainment Editor for The Age. In 1996 Ms Adler joined the ABC's Radio National as the presenter of Arts Today. In 1999 she was appointed the inaugural Deputy Director (Academic & Research) at the Victorian College of the Arts. At the end of 2013 Ms Adler retired after 14 years of service at Monash University as a Council member and Deputy Chancellor. Ms Adler also served as a director on the board of the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art for more than a decade.

Image of Jamie GrantMr Jamie Grant

Mr Jamie Grant is a poet and has worked across the literary sector including as a freelance editor, journalist and literary critic. Mr Grant began publishing poetry in Australian literary journals in the early 1970s. His first poetry collection was a joint publication with Graeme Kinross-Smith, Turn Left at Any Time with Care (1975). His work has appeared in a number of literary magazines, most frequently in Quadrant. He has published eight collections of his own poetry, and has edited five anthologies, including 100 Australian Poems you need to Know and 100 Australian Poems of Love and Loss. His latest book is Glass on the Chimney (2014).

Image of Robert Gray.Mr Robert Gray

Robert Gray is an Australian poet whose work has for many years been taught for the Higher School Certificate. Robert Gray trained as a journalist and worked in Sydney as an editor, advertising copywriter, reviewer, buyer for bookshops and teacher of creative writing. He has been a writer-in-residence at several universities throughout Australia and across the world. Robert Gray has won numerous awards including the Adelaide Arts Festival award and NSW and the Victorian Premier's awards. In 1990 he received the Patrick White Award; in 2011 he was the Australia Council Emeritus Award winner for literature; and in 2012 he won the Philip Hodgins Memorial Prize. His memoir, The Land I Came Through Last, received the Copyright Agency Limited/Waverley Library prize and earned him a Doctorate of Creative Arts from the University of Technology Sydney.

Image of Des CowleyMr Des Cowley

Mr Des Cowley is the manager of the State Library of Victoria's History of the Book collection, and has more than twenty years' experience working with rare books.  He was a judge for Vance Palmer Prize for fiction in the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards in 1998, 1999 and 2003; and for the prize for a First Book in History in 2010. He is book reviewer for Rhythms magazine, and publishes occasional pieces in Australian Book Review, IMPRINT and other journals. He previously edited the literary broadside Overland Extra, and is on the editorial panel of Script & Print. In 2005, he co-curated the State Library of Victoria's permanent exhibition Mirror of the World: Books and Ideas and is co-author of The World of the Book, published by Melbourne University Press in 2007. He recently co-edited Creating and Collecting: Artists' Books in Australia (2015).

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Non-fiction and History panel

Image of Dr Ida Lichter.Dr Ida Lichter (2015 Chair)

Dr Ida Lichter is a medical doctor and psychiatrist and is an internationally known writer and commentator on Muslim women reformers and women's rights in Islamic countries. Dr Lichter writes for The Australian newspaper and The Huffington Post and has participated in writers' festivals and on radio and television. Her book, Muslim Women Reformers: Inspiring Voices Against Oppression, is a standard reference in many American universities and was described by the American Library Association as 'an excellent and orderly resource for researching international women's studies or the impact of cultural tradition on rule of law'.

Image of Peter Coleman.Mr Peter Coleman AO

Mr Peter Coleman is an Australian writer and former politician. A widely published journalist for more than 60 years, he was editor of The Bulletin (1964 to 1967) and Quadrant for 20 years. Mr Coleman has published 16 books on political, biographical and cultural subjects. He was a Member of the NSW Legislative Assembly from 1968 to1978 for the Liberal Party of Australia, serving both as a Minister in the State Cabinet and in the final year as Leader of the NSW Opposition. From 1981 to 1986 Mr Coleman was the Member for Wentworth in the Australian House of Representatives. He retired from parliament in 1987. Since leaving politics, Mr Coleman resumed his career as a full-time writer. His works include a major history of intellectualism during the Cold War: The Liberal Conspiracy: the Congress for Cultural Freedom and the Struggle for the Mind of Postwar Europe; and biographical works on the Australian poet James McAuley, comic artist Barry Humphries, film director Bruce Beresford and economist Heinz Arndt. He has also published an autobiography, Memoirs of a Slow Learner, a selection of poetry, a collection of his Quadrant essays—The Last Intellectuals: Essays on Writers and Politics and The Old Boys' Cookbook, a collection of recipes from 35 famous Australian old boys. In 2008 Mr Coleman assisted his son-in-law, Peter Costello, in writing and editing his account of his career, The Costello Memoirs. In 2008 Coleman was admitted to the degree of Doctor of Letters (honoris causa) at the University of Sydney for services to Australian intellectual life.

Image credit: CC BY-SA 3.0.

Image of Professor Ross Fitzgerald.Professor Ross Fitzgerald

Emeritus Professor of History and Politics at Griffith University, Ross Fitzgerald is a writer, broadcaster, academic and political commentator. Professor Fitzgerald is a regular columnist for The Weekend Australian newspaper, and regularly reviews books for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Weekend Australian. He is the author of 36 books—about history, philosophy, politics, alcohol and sport. These include his memoir My Name is Ross: An Alcoholic's Journey; The Pope's Battalions: Santamaria, Catholicism and the Labor Split; and the co-authored biographies Alan ('The Red Fox') Reid (with Stephen Holt) and Austen Tayshus: Merchant of Menace (with Rick Murphy). He has also co-edited Growing Old (Dis) Gracefully: 35 Australians Reflect on Life over 50 with his wife Lyndal Moor.

Image of Gerard Henderson, Chair.Mr Gerard Henderson (Chair—Leave of absence for 2015)

Mr Gerard Henderson holds the degrees of BA (Hons), LLB and PhD. He is Executive Director of The Sydney Institute, a columnist for The Weekend Australian, appears regularly on ABC TV's Insiders program and writes a weekly Media Watch Dog blog. Mr Henderson's publications include Mr Santamaria and the Bishops (1982), Australian Answers (1990) and Menzies' Child: The Liberal Party of Australia (1994). He was appointed by the Keating Government to the board of the Australia Foundation for Culture and the Humanities and by the Howard Government to the Foreign Affairs Council.

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Children's and Young Adult fiction panel

Image of Mike Shuttleworth.Mr Mike Shuttleworth (Chair)

Mr Mike Shuttleworth has been reading, writing about and working in the children's and youth literature sector for more than two decades. From 2011 to 2015 he was senior literary program manager at the Melbourne Writers Festival. He was also Director of the Festival's highly successful Schools' Program. Mr Shuttleworth is also a literary critic, librarian and curator. He was program manager for the Centre for Youth Literature, State Library of Victoria, for eight years. He curated the exhibition Look! The Art of Australian Picture Books Today for the State Library of Victoria. Mr Shuttleworth reviews young adult fiction regularly for Australian Book Review and works as a bookseller at Readings Books.

Image of Dr Belle Alderman AMDr Belle Alderman AM (Emeritus Professor)

Dr Belle Alderman is Emeritus Professor of Children's Literature at the University of Canberra. Dr Alderman is Australia's first Professor of Children's Literature, and was a tertiary lecturer at the University of Canberra from the mid-1970s until her retirement in 2006. Dr Alderman taught children's literature, creative writing for young people, and archival theory and practice. Dr Alderman is also known for her current role as the Director of the Lu Rees Archives, a national collection of Australian children's literature located at the University of Canberra. Dr Alderman is responsible for building this internationally known research collection of books, manuscripts, artwork and associated material. Dr Alderman is also on the Editorial Board of AustLit, which provides web-based access to scholarly literature and on the national Board of The Children's Book Council of Australia. Dr Alderman has twice served as a national judge for The Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Awards, reviewed children's books for ABC radio, The Canberra Times, and Reading Time, and served as a consultant on numerous projects relating to children's literature. For distinguished services to children's literature, Dr Alderman was awarded the Dromkeen Medal in 1996 and the Nan Chauncy Award in 2000. In 2007 Dr Alderman was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for services to Australian children's literature.

Image credit: Christian West.

Image of Kate Colley, Susanne Gervays blog.Ms Kate Colley

Ms Kate Colley is the owner of Bloomin' Books in Caringbah, NSW. Ms Colley has been a recipient of the Pixie O'Harris Award—an Australian Book Industry award for distinguished and dedicated service to the development and reputation of Australian children's books and the Lady Cutler Award presented for Distinguished Service to Children's Literature. Ms Colley has worked consistently in children's literature and developed a reputation for her significant contribution to the bookselling industry. Ms Colley has been a member of the Children's Book Council for more than 25 years and travels widely to promote children's books to schools and libraries.

Image credit: Susanne Gervay, Susanne Gervay's blog.

Image of Dr Mark MacLeod.Dr Mark MacLeod

Dr Mark MacLeod is a writer of children's books. He has coordinated courses in Children's Literature and Australian Literature at Macquarie University as well as courses in Australian Literature and Film for Rollins College, Florida for many years before becoming Children's Publishing Director at Random House Australia. Dr MacLeod published books for young readers and for adults under his own name imprint at Hodder Headline and was project manager of My Favourite Book for ABC TV. He is well-known as a television and radio presenter. He has been president of the NSW branch of the Children's Book Council of Australia (CBCA) and was national president in 2005 to 2006. Dr MacLeod has won the CBCA Lady Cutler Award and the Australian Publishers Association Pixie O'Harris Award for distinguished services to children's literature.

Dr Irini SavvidesDr Irini Savvides

Dr Irini Savvides is a published young adult author. Dr Savvides first novel, Willow Tree and Olive, received several awards including a White Raven in Bologona in 2002 and was named one of the finalists in the Sydney Morning Herald Young Writer of the Year. Her second novel, Sky Legs, won the 2004 Peace Award. Other titles include A Marathon of Her Own, Aliki Says and a verse novel Against the Tide. Her picture book Hide and Seek was recently translated into Japanese and sent to child survivors of the 2011 tsunami. Dr Savvides was awarded her PhD in 2013 with the Writing and Society Group at the University of Western Sydney.

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