On 14 March at the Wheeler Centre, Mary Hoban was announced as the winner of the inaugural Hazel Rowley Memorial Fellowship.
The judging panel comprised Alex Miller, Jim Davidson, Lynn Buchanan and Della Rowley.
Mary’s project is a biography of Julia Arnold (nee Sorrel, 1826-1888). Julia lived through many important moments of early Tasmanian history at the same time as being connected and related to many important literary and political figures including grandsons Aldous and Julian Huxley and her father-in-law Thomas Arnold, famous headmaster of Rugby School.
Mary will use the fellowship to carry out research in Tasmania as well as travelling overseas to spend time researching in the Balliol Library at Oxford and Turnbull Library in Wellington. Mary has published several books in the area of Australian history and hopes her work will “be an addition to the history of Australian colonial women and a tender and lyrical rendition of a life that is savoured by all who read it.”
The announcement of the winner marked the first anniversary of the untimely passing of Hazel Rowley. In the space of just four books, Rowley established herself as one of the world’s leading literary biographers. The Fellowship, set up with the assistance of Writers Victoria, was established to further good practice and promote high standards in biography writing.
“We were thrilled to have a full house for an important event that marks not only the legacy of one of Australia’s most lauded biographers, but looks forward to a bright future in Mary’s work,” said Writers Victoria Director, Roderick Poole after the event.
Writers Victoria would like to congratulate the following shortlisted writers: Patrick Allington, Martin Edmond, Anne Houen, Heather Long, Chris Pash, Loretta Smith, Michelle Scott Tucker and Sally Percival Wood.