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Alumni author wins prestigious literary award

Dick and Green family award 2020

An art catalogue co-authored by University of Tasmania Pro Vice-Chancellor, Aboriginal Leadership and alumnus Professor Greg Lehman has won one of the State's most significant literary awards.

The National Picture: The Art of Tasmania's Black War (The National Gallery of Australia) won the $25,000 Dick and Joan Green Family Award for Tasmanian History.

Co-authors Australian National University Professor Tim Bonyhady and Prof Lehman interrogate the visual record of colonial artists created during a brutal period in Tasmania's history, the Black War.

The book was published to accompany an exhibition of the same name presented by the National Gallery of Australia (NGA) and the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG).

It examines the depiction in art of the conflict between Tasmanian Aboriginal people and colonists, and two figures in Australian history: artist Benjamin Duterrau and the controversial 'Conciliator' George Augustus Robinson.

Professor Bonyhady is an environmental lawyer and cultural historian, while Professor Lehman is an art historian, curator and writer.

Chair of the judging panel, Executive Dean of the College of Arts, Law and Education at the University of Tasmania, Professor Kate Darian-Smith said The National Picture stood alone as a book of impressive scholarship.

"The National Picture combines extensive historical research with an uncompromising quality of design and reproduction, and polished and engaging writing," Professor Darian-Smith said.

The biennial award recognises works that make a significant contribution to our understanding of Tasmania's past and celebrates books on the island's history and cultural heritage.

It was established to commemorate and celebrate the contribution Joan Green and her late husband Dick made to Tasmania, the arts and community organisations.

Speaking on behalf of the Green family, Caroline Johnston, one of Dick and Joan's daughters, said they were thrilled at the diversity of books and authors nominated for the second award.

"It is very exciting to see The National Picture announced as the winner of the 2020 Green Family Award for Tasmanian History and all the family warmly congratulate the authors Tim Bonyhady and Greg Lehman on such an interesting book," Ms Johnston said.

Watch the Writing Tasmania's History: 2020 Green Family Award Forum with the authors of the three shortlisted books. Or, to find more books by our alumni authors visit our living booklist.

Published on: 15 Jul 2020 3:31pm