The Magarey Medal for biography is a biennial prize of at least $10,000. The prize is awarded to the female author who has published the work judged to be the best biographical writing on an Australian subject in the preceding two years. The awarding of the prize is administered and judged by a panel set up by the Association for the Study of Australian Literature and the Australian Historical Association. The prize is very generously donated by Professor Emerita Susan Magarey.


$10,000 in the first year and thereafter indexed to inflation. The prize will be presented at the Australian Historical Association and Association for the Study of Australian Literature conferences. If two winners are chosen, the cash prize will be shared between them.

Magarey Medal Shortlist 2014

Janet Butler, Kitty’s War, UQP
Patricia Clarke, Eilean Giblin: A feminist between the wars, Monash University Publishing
Evelyn Juers, The Recluse, Giramondo
Fiona Paisley, The Lone Protestor: AM Fernando in Australia and Europe, Aboriginal Studies Press

The winner of the 2014 Magarey Medal for Biography will be announced at the annual Awards ceremony of ASAL – the Association for the Study of Australian Literature on July 9 2014, John Woolley Building, University of Sydney. For details please contact ASAL President: Associate Professor Brigitta Olubas (

Call for nominations

Nominations are invited for a published biography in the form of a book on an Australian subject published in 2012 or 2013 by a female author. Nominations may be made either by the author or, with the nominee’s permission, by the book’s publishers or by any member of the Australian Historical Association or the Association for the Study of Australian Literature.

Send entries to Magarey Medal for Biography c/o- Dr Sue Martin, Department of Arts Communication and Enquiry, HU 2, La Trobe University Vic 3086 ( as soon as possible, but no later than 1 December 2013.

Entries must be accompanied by a letter of nomination, giving author’s full name and postal address (where applicable, institutional address preferred). Nominations should be sent with three (3) copies of the nominated book. Note that books will not be returned.

Previous Winners

2010  Jill Roe, Stella Miles Franklin: A Biography, Fourth Estate
2008 Slyvia Martin, Ida Leeson: A Life, Allen and Unwin
2006 Prue Torney-Parlicki, Behind the News: A Biography of Peter Russo, UWA Press
2004 Heather Goodall and Isabel Flick Isabel Flick: The Many Lives of an Extraordinary Aboriginal Woman, Allen and Unwin