Owen Michael Roe (b 1931), historian, is an original and penetrating analyst of the making of modern Australia, and has helped inspire the recent revival of scholarly and community interest in Tasmanian history. His Quest for Authority in Eastern Australia (1965) identified 'moral enlightenment' as the body of ideas that sustained the transformation of penal colonies into civil societies, while his Nine Australian Progressives (1984) elucidated Progressivism as the dominant paradigm at Federation.
Born in Melbourne, educated at the University of Melbourne, Cambridge and the Australian National University, Roe joined the University of Tasmania in 1960, where he was Professor of History from 1975 to 1996. His scholarship has continued to flourish, with major books on British migration to Australia and Tasmania's experience of Federation. A devotee of the arts and sport, he plays a major role in Tasmania's broader cultural life.