The four-member judging panel consists of two judges from the Hazel Rowley Literary Committee and two guest judges who are established writers. The Hazel Rowley Literary Committee is made up of Della Rowley (Hazel’s sister), Lynn Buchanan, Irene Tomaszewski and John Murphy (all friends of Hazel’s).
The judges for the 2021 Fellowship are Jeff Sparrow, Jenny Hocking, Della Rowley and Lynn Buchanan.
Since the Fellowship was established in 2011, guest judges have been:
Jeff Sparrow is a writer, editor and broadcaster. He lectures in the Centre for Advancing Journalism at the University of Melbourne. He is a columnist for The Guardian Australia, a Breakfaster at Melbourne’s 3RRR, and the immediate past editor of Overland literary journal. His most recent books are Fascists Among Us: Online Hate and the Christchurch Massacre (2019), Trigger Warnings: Political Correctness and the Rise of the Right (2018) and No Way But This: In Search of Paul Robeson (2017). Jeff is the author of Killing: Misadventures in Violence (2009) and Communism: A Love Story (2007), a biography of the radical intellectual Guido Baracchi. He is the co-author, with Jill Sparrow, of Radical Melbourne: A Secret History (2001) and Radical Melbourne 2: The Enemy Within (2004) and the co-editor, with Anthony Loewenstein, of Left Turn: Essays for the New Left (2012).
Emeritus Professor Jenny Hocking is an award-winning biographer, the inaugural Distinguished Whitlam Fellow with the Whitlam Institute at Western Sydney University, Adjunct Professor in Law & Justice at Southern Cross University, and Emeritus Professor at Monash University. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia and the author of several biographies, including of former Attorney-General and High Court justice Lionel Murphy and the Australian author Frank Hardy.
Professor Hocking’s two-volume biography of former Australian Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam – Gough Whitlam: His Time and Gough Whitlam: A Moment in History – won the Fellowship of Australian Writers Barbara Ramsden Award, and was shortlisted for several major literary awards including the National Biography Award, the Age Book of the Year, the Magarey Medal for Biography, the NSW Premier’s Awards, and the Prime Minister’s Awards for Literature. Jenny’s book The Dismissal Dossier: Everything you Were Never Meant to Know about November 1975 was published in 2015, with new edition The Dismissal Dossier – the Palace Connection in 2017.
In 2016, Jenny commenced legal action against the National Archives of Australia, seeking access to the secret ‘Palace letters’ between the Queen and the Governor-General, Sir John Kerr. In May 2020, the High Court of Australia found in Jenny’s favour, overturning the Queen’s embargo over the letters and paving the way for their public release. Her latest book The Palace Letters: The Queen, the Governor-General, and the Plot to Dismiss Gough Whitlam (Scribe 2020) tells the story of this remarkable legal battle to secure the release of the Palace letters, their significance for Kerr’s decision to dismiss the Whitlam government, and their impact on the history of the dismissal.
Arnold Zable is an award-winning writer, storyteller, educator and human rights advocate. His books include Jewels and Ashes (1991), which won five Australian literary awards, and depicts his journey to Poland to trace his ancestry. His best selling novel, Cafe Scheherazade (2001), which was shortlisted for the 2002 NSW Premier’s Award, depicts the lives of former refugees who meet in a coffee shop in a seaside suburb in Melbourne. The Fig Tree (2002) is a book of true stories set in Greece, Eastern Europe, inner Melbourne and outback Australia. Other novels include Scraps of Heaven (2004), set in the Melbourne suburb of Carlton, and Sea of Many Returns (2008). Set on the island of Ithaca, it was longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award. Violin Lessons (2011), which was shortlisted in the 2012 NSW Premier’s Awards, is a collection of stories set in many parts of the globe. In 2016 Arnold published The Fighter, a biography of Henry Nissen, a champion boxer from Carlton, Melbourne. The Fighter was shortlisted for the 2017 Victorian Premier’s Award, and the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards 2017 Multicultural NSW Award. In 2013 Arnold was awarded the Voltaire prize for the advancement of freedom of expression. In 2017 Arnold received an Australia Council Fellowship for Literature.
Janine Burke is an art historian, curator and award-winning novelist. She has published 20 books, including Joy Hester (1983), Australian Gothic: A Life of Albert Tucker (2002) and The Heart Garden: Sunday Reed and Heide (2004). In 2006 she published The Gods of Freud: Sigmund Freud’s Art Collection and she curated Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing for the Freud Museum London (2014). In 1987 she won the Victorian Premier’s Award for her novel Second Sight. In 2012 Janine published Nest: The Art of Birds and curated an exhibition of the same name for McClelland Sculpture Park + Gallery. Janine also curated Human/Animal/Artist: Art Inspired by Animals for McClelland. In 2014, she was awarded an Australia Council for the Arts Established Writers grant. With Helen Hughes, she co-edited Kiffy Rubbo: Curating the 1970s (2016). Dr Burke is Honorary Senior Fellow, Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne.
Jim Davidson has been a professor of history, a magazine editor, and an opera critic. He has held academic posts in England and South Africa and the Australian National University as well as in Melbourne. From 1974 to 1982 he edited Meanjin. Jim’s books include a set of interviews with writers, Sideways from the Page, a history of Australian tourism, but in particular two biographies. These are Lyrebird Rising: Louise Hanson-Dyer of Oiseau-Lyre, the life of a musical expatriate, and A Three-Cornered Life: The Historian WK Hancock. Together they have won six prizes between them. These include the Prime Minister’s Prize for History (2011) and The Age Non-Fiction Book of the Year (twice).
Alex Miller is the award-winning author of 11 novels. He is published internationally and widely in translation. He is twice winner of the Miles Franklin Literary Award, in 1993 for The Ancestor Game and in 2003 for Journey to the Stone Country. He is an overall winner of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize in 1993 for The Ancestor Game. His fifth novel, Conditions of Faith, won the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction in the 2001 NSW Premier’s Awards. In 2011 he won this award for the second time with his novel Lovesong. He was awarded the prestigious Melbourne Prize for Literature in 2012. His most recent novel is Coal Creek, which won the 2014 Victorian Premier’s Award. His collection of essays and short stories, The Simplest Words, was published by Allen and Unwin in 2015. His 12th novel, The Passage of Love, will be published in October 2017. Alex is a fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities.