Books

  • Tasmania v. British Empire
    Published:
    2022

    A David and Goliath story. Colonists who wanted no more British convicts were up against the might of the British Empire, which was supremely indifferent to the wishes of a group of despised colonists at the far end of the world. Governor Denison used whatever means he could to sience them: threats...

  • A salute to Max Angus
    Published:
    2022

    A biography of Max Angus, much-loved Tasmanian icon, painter and environmentalist. Born in Tasmania of convict stock, Max Angus had to leave school at fourteen to earn a living. He became a commercial artist, then during the Second World War served in the intelligence department of the Australian...

  • Patricia Giles, painter - The waking dream of art
    Published:
    2019

    The biography of much-loved painter Patricia Giles, who from the 1950s brought the wilderness to Tasmanians in her watercolours. Painted from the heart, they show her love for the Tasmanian bush. In 2022 this book won the $25,000 Dick and John Green Award for Tasmanian history.

  • Beneath the Mountain: a history of South Hobart
    Published:
    2015

    South Hobart is a charming suburb with a fascinating history: industrial activity, the Female Factory, developing residential areas amid great scenic beauty.

  • Corruption and Skullduggery: Edward Lord, Maria Riseley and Hobart’s tempestuous beginnings
    Published:
    2015

    Hobart’s first tycoons and how they got there – a story of widespread corruption by almost everyone in early Van Diemen’s Land.

  • A mortal flame: the life of Marie Bjelke-Petersen
    Published:
    2013

    From 1917 to 1939 Marie Bjelke-Petersen published nine heart-throbbing, pulsating romantic novels set mainly in Tasmania – though she herself was a lesbian.

  • The ambitions of Jane Franklin: Victorian lady adventurer
    Published:
    2013

    What a woman! Intelligent, capable if eccentric, interested in everything from ridding Tasmania of snakes to building a Greek museum – and finding her husband’s fate.

  • The Southern Midlands: a history
    Published:
    2012

    Aborigines, bushrangers, convicts, grasping landowners, embezzling town clerk, publicans, sportsmen and women – the Southern Midlands has them all.

  • Tasmania’s convicts: how felons built a free society
    Published:
    2010

    Tasmania started as the society with the most felons: what effect did this have? This book describes the convict system and its results, up to the present.

  • From tiny acorns mighty Oaks grow: the history of Oak Tasmania
    Published:
    2010

    The care of children with handicaps, and attitudes to them, has changed enormously since the 1950s, but the love and devotion at Oak Tasmania remain unaltered.

  • Jane Franklin Hall
    Published:
    2010

    The University of Tasmania’s first residential college, founded in 1950: student life, pranks, work, and changing attitudes.

  • Yours very truly: Dobson Mitchell & Allport 1834–2009
    Published:
    2009

    A legal firm, starting in early colonial days, developing and growing into a modern dynamic firm.

  • Published:
    2006

    Just the history of the council, not the whole city: how the administration and its activities changed over a century and a half.

  • Published:
    2006

    An early agricultural area, now partly urbanised, with many fascinating aspects: Australia’s oldest family farm, Hobart’s first aerodrome, a vibrant modern council.

  • Mary Ogilvy: the evolution of a grand lady: the Mary Ogilvy Homes Society, 1946–2006
    Published:
    2006

    Old age care has changed immensely since the home was opened – a fascinating story of dedicated care and adaptation to change.

  • The companion to Tasmanian History
    Published:
    2005

    A compendium of 1075 articles by 105 covering every aspect of Tasmania’s history.

  • Published:
    2003

    Everything possible about Clarence: city and country, agriculture and industry, sport, schools, big events, the way people have lived, churches, hospitals, wartime …

  • A wealth of women: the extraordinary experiences of ordinary Australian women from 1788 to today
    Published:
    2001

    The lives of Australia’s women, recreated from many stories sent in to the Office of the Status of Women in Canberra.

  • Students first!: Tasmania University Union 1899–1999
    Published:
    2000

    The activities of uni students over a century, from pranks to serious pursuits – and those pranks of the 1920s were pretty exciting.

  • Putting people first
    Published:
    2000

    In fact the story of many Tasmanian credit unions which united to form Island State, now part of MyState.

  • State of the Union: Tasmania University Union 1899–1999
    Published:
    1999

    A photographic collection illustrating the activities of students over a century.

  • Glenorchy 1804-1964
    Published:
    1998

    This was my first commissioned history. Glenorchy is the northern half of Hobart, and has always had a distinct personality of its own, less public service and government than Hobart, more industrial and working-class. I grew up there and have a fond spot for it. In 1983 the Glenorchy City Council...

  • Charles Davis: 150 years
    Published:
    1998

    From convict to tinsmith to industrialist/shopkeeper, developing one of Tasmania’s biggest businesses which remained in the family for three generations, but is now gone.

  • Blue, Black and White
    Published:
    1996

    The oldest continuing school in Australia, Launceston Grammar has a great story: different educational styles, headmasters, varied students and background situations.

  • You’re in Roo country: the history of the Clarence District Football Club, 1884–1996
    Published:
    1996

    What a wonderful time I had writing this book, the story of a marvellous community club, its highs and lows, premierships and wooden spoons.

  • The history of the Australian Maritime College
    Published:
    1994

    A short history of only twelve years, but a fascinating story of training all sorts of people for maritime activity.

  • Published:
    1992

    The Zinc Works has a fascinating story: from the pioneer activity of 1916 to the huge giant, Hobart’s largest employer, of the 1950s, then change under different owners.

  • A heritage of welfare and caring: the EZ Community Council, 1918–1991
    Published:
    1991

    The Zinc Works bosses combatted unionism by employer-worker united action. They set up a community council to organise welfare schemes, and this is its story.

  • Glenorchy 1964–1998
    Published:
    1986

    The second volume of Glenorchy’s history, as it develops in size, population and activities from 1964 to 1998 ,when it was threatened with amalgamation with Hobart.

  • Published:
    1986

    A school text book for primary schools, now out of print.

  • Governors’ ladies: the wives and mistresses of Van Diemen’s Land’s governors
    Published:
    1986

    What stories of immorality and corruption I uncovered researching and writing this book! The most popular book I have written

  • Billabong’s daughter: the life of Mary Grant Bruce
    Published:
    1979

    From 1910 to 1942 Mary Grant Bruce wrote 38 children’s books, notably the Billabong series, much-loved classics of Australia station life.