Robert Duncan Drewe grew up in Perth. He worked as a journalist for the West Australian in 1961, was Columnist and Literary Editor at the Australian from 1970-1974, and Bureau Chief at the Age from 1965-1970. He was a Special Correspondent in 1976-1976, and from 1980-1982, and a Foreign Correspondent from 1973-1980 for the Bulletin. He has won a number of awards for his journalism work.
Drewe was an Australian Creative Fellow from 1992-1996, and Writer-in-Residence at the University of Western Australia in 1976, and at La Trobe University in 1986.
Drewe writes novels, short stories, drama and critical material. His tone has been described as bleak, and his style frequently ventures into black comedy. His thematic interests include the clash between Aboriginal and white culture; the different roles available to individuals in Australian society; cultural mythology and the moral and social responsibilities of the media.
His work has been adapted for film, radio, theatre and television and has won national and international awards.
Montebello : A Memoir2012single work autobiography 'Montebello continues where Robert Drewe's much-loved memoir The Shark Net left off, taking us into his mature years. In the aftermath of events, both man-made and natural, that have left a permanent mark on the landscape and psyche of Western Australia - the British nuclear tests in the Montebello Islands, the mining boom, and shark attacks along the coast - Drewe examines how comfortable and familiar terrain can quickly become a site of danger, and how regeneration and renewal can emerge from chaos and loss.
'With humility, wit and a clear-eyed view of himself, he intertwines these stories with the events of his own life. His passion for islands - which began with Rottnest Island in his youth and continues to this day - frames the narrative; in the near-solitude of these remote places, he is free to reflect. This is a moving story of what it means to see and survive destruction, to love and to grow old.' (From the publisher's website.)