La Trobe historian wins Stella Prize

La Trobe historian Dr Clare Wright has won the prestigious Stella Prize for her book The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka.

It is the second year running that a La Trobe University author has won The Stella Prize – making it two out of two for La Trobe writers in the Prize, which was inaugurated in 2013. 

Dr Wright's 2014 success follows that of Carrie Tiffany, a previous PhD student at La Trobe, who won the inaugural Stella Prize for her novel Mateship with Birds

Dr Wright's work of non-fiction topped an impressive shortlist of works by Australian women writers in this year's prize. 

Chair of The Stella Prize judging panel, Kerryn Goldsworthy, described The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka as 'a rare combination of true scholarship with a warmly engaging narrative voice'. 

Professor Chris Mackie, Head of Humanities and Social Sciences at La Trobe, congratulated Dr Wright on her win. 

'The Stella Prize is a major literary award and we at La Trobe are delighted with the success that Clare has achieved,' Professor Mackie said. 

'Clare's receipt of this award builds on her impressive record as a history writer and as a champion of history, both within and outside the University context.' 

The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka is a revisionist history text that analyses the place of women in the lead-up to the Eureka Rebellion. 

Receiving her prize in Sydney on Tuesday, Dr Wright said she aimed to 'write about iconic events or the nationalist narrative from a feminist perspective without throwing the baby out with the bathwater'. 

On discussing the inspiration for her work, Dr Wright said, 'women have always been close to the epicentre of Australian cultural and political events that we … consider to be quite seminal to who we are as Australians'. 

Dr Wright will donate 5% of the $50,000 prize money to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation and another 5% to Northcote High School to fund a new award, the Eureka Prize for Women's History. 

The Stella Prize is a significant literary award that celebrates books written by Australian women. The other shortlisted authors for the 2014 Stella Prize include Miles Franklin winner Alexis Wright, well-known journalist Anna Krien and best-selling debut novelist Hannah Kent.

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