Photograph courtesy of Cheryl Taylor
Elizabeth Perkins i(185 works by)
Born: Established: 8 Apr 1933 Brisbane, Queensland, ; Died: Ceased: 17 Feb 2004 Townsville, Townsville area, Marlborough - Mackay - Townsville area, Queensland,
Gender: Female
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Elizabeth Perkins was the eldest child in the family of James Alexander and Ivy Blanche Perkins. After completing her schooling at Clayfield College, Brisbane, Perkins continued her education at the University of Queensland. She later added to her qualifications with a Licentiate of Speech and Drama, an honours degree in English Literature, a Master of Arts (on Charles Harpur) and a Doctor of Philosophy (on Australian drama).

Perkins taught at schools in Queensland and in Melbourne and worked as a research assistant to Cecil Hadgraft. In 1970 she took up a lecturer's position at James Cook University and remained there until her retirement in 1996. In the late 1980s, Perkins served on the Literature Board of the Australia Council and she was the founding editor of the North Queensland journal, LiNQ.

Perkins compiled and edited some major works on Australian literature. A particular focus was the writing of Charles Harpur. In 1984 she published The Poetical Works of Charles Harpur, with Angus & Robertson (as well as a Supplement published by James Cook University). She was also responsible for the extensive bibliography The Poems of Charles Harpur in Manuscript in the Mitchell Library and in Publication in the Nineteenth Century : An Analytical Finding List which she prepared with the assistance of an ARC Grant for the Australian Scholarly Editions Centre. Perkins wrote the valuable study The Plays of Alma De Groen (1994) and collaborated with Pacita Alexander on a study of Alexander's father, Tom Inglis Moore.

Also a creative writer, Perkins devised numerous dramas, particularly musicals for children, although her only published play is A Squeaking of Rats. Perkins was actively involved with the theatrical life of Townsville, including associations with Townsville Little Theatre, New Moon Theatre and Tropic Line Theatre.

(Major source: 'City Loses Literary Light', Cheryl Taylor. Townsville Bulletin, 28 February 2004.)

Personal Awards

2002 Order of Australia Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to the arts, particularly through involvement in theatre projects, the publication of research, reviews and creative writing, and through teaching, especially students from non-English speaking backgrounds
Last amended 11 Jul 2008
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