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Shortlist for prestigious Tasmanian book prize announced

The shortlist has been announced for the inaugural Dick and Joan Green Family Award for Tasmanian History, one of the State’s newest, most prestigious book prizes.

The award recognises high-quality published works that make a significant contribution to an understanding of Tasmania’s past and seeks to celebrate and promote books on Tasmanian history and cultural heritage.

Revealed today, the shortlist consists of:

A History of Port Davey, South West Tasmania Vol. 1: Fleeting Hopes, by Tony Fenton (Forty South Publishing)

Fenton has written the definitive history of Port Davey in south-west Tasmania, telling a powerful account of industries and personalities in search of resources: whaling, timber, mining and shipping, with Port Davey providing shelter for ships seeking respite along a dangerous coast.

Beneath the Mountain: A History of South Hobart, by Alison Alexander (South Hobart Progress Association)

This is a model local history by an award-winning Tasmanian historian which guides the reader through the changing nature of this heritage-rich suburb, outlining changes in key institutions such as the Cascade Brewery and Female Factory as well as turning points in everyday life.

Into the Heart of Tasmania: A Search for Human Antiquity, by Rebe Taylor (Melbourne University Press)

Based on extensive research in museum archives in Oxford and in Tasmania, this book takes the reader into the heart of debates over Tasmanian Aboriginal antiquity, adding to the growing body of work about Aboriginal lifeways in Tasmania dating back at least 41,000 years

The winner will be announced in June.  

“The Green family is thrilled to see the short list and know that the announcement of the first award in the family’s new initiative is imminent,” Caroline Johnston, a member of the Green family, said today.

About The Dick and Joan Green Family Award

The biennial prize is worth $25,000 and was set up to commemorate and celebrate the contribution Dick and Joan Green made to Tasmania.

The judging panel is chaired by recently retired Head of History and Classics at the University of Tasmania professor Philippa Mein Smith, along with the University’s Head of School of Humanities Professor Tony Simoes da Silva, and Margaret Malpas, Manager, Collection Development at LINC Tasmania.

Both from Launceston, Joan and the late Dick Green were key players in the establishment of the National Trust in Tasmania during the 1960s and remained involved for decades. As well as playing an integral role in the preservation and celebration of Tasmanian-built heritage, the Greens were strong supporters of the arts.

A former alderman and Mayor of Launceston, Dick Green was a co-founder of the National Trust in Tasmania and served on the boards of the State Library of Tasmania, the Tasmanian Theatre Company and the Tasmanian Ballet Company, among others.

Joan Green was a champion golfer, a member and volunteer of the National Trust for 50 years and currently is a contributor to organisations such as The Australiana Fund, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and the Order of Australia Association.

The Green family is partnering with the University of Tasmania to deliver the award. More information can be found here or at

Published on: 01 May 2018 1:41pm