On Wednesday 2 March, at the Wheeler Centre Melbourne, Naomi Parry Duncan was announced as the winner of the 2022 Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship, for her proposal telling the story of Gai-mariagal man Musquito, who was hanged in Tasmania in 1825. Musquito, originally from Port Jackson, was a resistance fighter who was exiled to Norfolk Island and taken to Van Dieman’s Land – lutrwita, palawa/pakana country.
“This year we were pleased to be able to increase the Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship to $20,000 and this money will support Naomi Parry Duncan to tell this important and neglected story,” said Della Rowley, sister of the late biographer Hazel Rowley.
“Naomi’s project impressed the judges, particularly with its support from Musquito’s surviving kin. Musquito was an important figure and a biography about him is timely,” said Fellowship Judge Clare Wright.
“Naomi shows a real engagement with Indigenous history and the frontier, and a willingness to work creatively with the available primary sources,” commented Fellowship Judge Jeff Sparrow.
“There was strong competition for this year’s Fellowship,” said Della Rowley, “with ten writers making it to the shortlist. I am pleased to announce that the judges have also awarded a Highly Commended prize of $7,500 to Sylvia Martin for her proposed biography of Australian artists Eirene Mort and Nora Kate Weston, who were both artists and artisans and who were influential in the Arts and Crafts Movement in Australia in the 1920s and 1930s.”
The announcement was preceded by the Hazel Rowley Memorial lecture, which this year was a panel discussion on the dilemmas of biographers ‘writing yourself into the story’, with Jeff Sparrow, Eleanor Hogan and Yves Rees.
This year’s Fellowship was judged by Jeff Sparrow, Clare Wright, Della Rowley and Lynn Buchanan.
Now in its 11th year, the Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship has a significant track record in enabling biographers and writers of memoir to complete and publish their works. Mary Hoban, Maxine Beneba Clarke, Jacqueline Kent, Stephany Stegall, Gabrielle Carey and Eleanor Hogan have been supported by the Fellowship.
The Fellowship is administered in partnership with Writers Victoria and the Australian Communities Foundation.
For more information about the Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship, visit www.hazelrowley.com.