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Essay Prize
Subcategory of The Fair Australia Prize
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Winners

2019 winner Amy Thomas for 'Apocalypse now – striking to save the world'.
2019 winner Fiona Murphy for 'Reasonable Adjustments'.
2017 winner Aussie Albert Julian Bull , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: Overland , Summer no. 229 2017; (p. 66-71)

'Alice Springs, 28 September 1958: Albert Namatjira, first Australia’s first citizen, enjoying a quiet drink with his mates down at the local. That’s Albert on the left of the photo, hand in pocket standing alone appearing bemused – the man whom fellow painter Charles Blackman said had the saddest eyes he’d ever seen – looking through the crowded room into the distance. For over a year now Albert has been permitted to slip into the front bar for a coldie or two, but his wife Rubina, also a citizen – First Australia’s second citizen – can’t because she’s a woman, and his five grown-up sons, Enos, Oscar, Ewald, Keith and Maurice, can’t because they’re still wards under the protectorate of the Northern Territory government. It shouldn’t matter though, there are plenty of chaps to chat to here on this spring afternoon, including the couple of blokes from Sydney who have come up to the Alice to do a story on him for the newspaper down there. Albert’s back in the news, though since meeting his Queen Elizabeth a few years back his huge popularity amongst Australians hasn’t waned. Now that he’s been summoned to appear on 6 October – in just over a week’s time – to defend charges arising out of supplying alcohol to his cousin Henoch Raberaba, who as a ward also can’t have a drink with him in the bar today, the newspaper’s editor has deemed him worthy of another feature article. It’s kind of funny then, or so the journalist and his photographer mate may think, to take Albert to the pub as part of their shoot. Perhaps they’re just thirsty after traipsing around town for a few hours under the outback sun, or maybe they’re thinking of showing their Sydney readers that Albert is really one of us; after all, they’ve previously seen him hanging out with bronzed beach babes aboard a private cruiser in Sydney harbour and surrounded by a bevy of Olympic golden girls. Our Aussie Albert, Australian as Vegemite.' (Introduction)

2015 joint winner Lessons in Class and Casualisation Erima Dall , 2015 single work essay
— Appears in: Overland , Spring no. 220 2015; (p. 91-97)

'It is not fashionable to write about ‘class’ in universities, unless accompanied by words like ‘transcend’, ‘post-industrial’ or ‘knowledge-economy’. And yet, academics should have a great deal to say about class, not least because they work in one of Australia’s most insecure work environments.' (Author's introduction)

2015 joint winner ‘The Most Fucking Intense, Crazy, Rock ’n’ Roll Thing You Could Be Writing about’ Stephen Wright , 2015 single work essay
— Appears in: Overland , Spring no. 220 2015; (p. 85-90)

'In the summer of 2013 I had a nightmare. At that time the cities of Australia were scorching in temperatures in the forties and immense bushfires had come to ravage the southern part of the continent year after year. For months I had been plagued by dreams of pursuit and murder, and in the unbearable summer heat my mind drifted in and out of sleep like flotsam near a desolate shore. I had thrown off the thin sheet covering me and in the midst of a dream in which I was haunted by a fear that I could not place, I heard someone outside of it say the word halal in a sinister tone and I woke up. The room was empty of course, but I was convinced that there had been someone standing over my bed.' (85)

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