Chief Minister's Northern Territory History Book Award

This annual award is for the most significant historical book about the Northern Territory (NT) published in the last 12 months.

The winner will receive $1,000.

Who can enter

You must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident to enter the NT History Book Award.

You may nominate yourself or enter on behalf of another author if you have their permission to do so.

Books that are allowed

To apply for this award, your book must be all of the following:

  • a work on NT history
  • written in English
  • offered for general sale
  • published between 1 January and 31 December in the year before you entered the award.

Key dates for 2018

Entries will open on Thursday 1 February and must be submitted by midnight on Wednesday 21 March. Late entries will not be considered.

The shortlist is announced in June each year.

Winners will be announced at a ceremony at the Northern Territory Library, Parliament House, in July.

How to enter

Entries are now open and close on Wednesday 21 March 2018.

You can submit your entry online.

Your entry will be disqualified if you breach any of the award rules outlined in the submission forms.

After you enter

You will get an email acknowledging your entry - allow up to seven days.

You will get an email in June if your book has been shortlisted, and you will be advised in July if you have won.

If you are shortlisted or win an award, your contact details may be provided to the Northern Territory Writers' Centre and media organisations.


All of the following applies with the judging process:

  • the award will go to the book judged the most significant historical work on the NT
  • judges shall declare any conflict of interest
  • prize money is awarded to the winning entry at the discretion of the judges.

The judging panel is nominated and overseen by the Northern Territory Library, and is made up of three representatives of the academic community with knowledge and understanding of NT history.

The prize will be awarded to the book judged the most significant historical work in the NT.

You will not get any feedback about your entry and the judges' decision is final.


For more information about the Chief Minister's Norther Territory History Book Award email

Previous winners and finalists




2017 Winner: Stuart Traynor
Alice Springs: From Singing Wire to Iconic Outback Town


  • Deborah Bisa - Remember Me Kindly: A History of the Holtze Family in the Northern Territory
  • Claire Lowrie - Masters and Servants: Cultures of Empire in the Tropics
  • Charlie Ward - A Handful of Sand: The Gurindji Struggle, After the Walk-Off


Julia Martinez and Adrian Vickers -
The Pearl Frontier: Indonesian Labor and Indigenous Encounters in Australia's Northern Trading Network

Honourable mention

  • Karin Riederer, Yanyuwa, Marra, Garrwa and Gudanji families -  Gulf Country Songbook: Yanyuwa (YAN-you-wah), Marra, Garrwa and Gudanji (Goo-DUN-gee)


Dick Dakeyne -  Radar Gunner

  • Sophie Cunningham -  Warning
  • Stephen Farram -  A History written in metal: commemorative plaques at Charles Darwin University’s Casuarina Campus 1972-2013.


Helen Bond Sharp - Maningrida : a history of the Aboriginal Township in Arnhem Land

  • Dr Tom Lewis and Peter Ingham - Carrier Attack Darwin 1942 : the complete guide to Australia’s own Pearl Harbour
  • Dr Robyn Smith - Antecedents : the history of Ward Keller


Joint Winners:

  • Jennifer Isaacs -  Tiwi: art, history, culture
  • Darrell Lewis -  A Wild History: life and death on the Victoria River frontier
  • Jane Lydon - The Flash of Recognition: photography and the emergence of Indigenous rights
  • Noah Riseman - Defending Whose Country? : Indigenous soldiers in the Pacific War


Joint Winners:

  • Jack Cross  -  Great Central State: The Foundation of Northern Territory
  • Anthony Cooper - Darwin Spitfires: the Real Battle for Australia
  • Murray Seiffert -  Gumbuli of Ngukurr: Aboriginal Elder in Arnhem Land


Dr Mickey Dewar -  No Place Like Home

  • Alan Powell - Northern Voyagers: Australia’s Monsoon Coast in Maritime History
  • Matthew Stephen -  Contact Zones: Sport and Race in the Northern Territory, 1869-1953


Peter Grose -  An Awkward Truth

No finalists


Joint Winners

  • Vivien Johnson - Lives of the Papunya Tula Artists
  • Banduk Marika and the Rirratjingu clan, edited by Margie West - Yalangbara: art of the Djang’kawu

No finalists


Philip Jones -  Ochre and Rust

  • Alex Kruger & Gerrard Waterford - Alone on the Soaks
  • Philip Jones & Anna Kenny  - Australia's Muslim Cameleers
  • Baiba Berzins -  Australia's Northern Secret: Tourism in the Northern Territory
  • Robert Foster & Amanda Nettlebeck  - In the Name of the Law
  • Andrew McMillan - An Intruder's Guide to East Arnhem Land
  • Darrel Lewis - The Murranji Track


Dr Pam Oliver - Empty North: The Japanese Presence and Australian Reactions 1860s to 1942

  • Glenice Yee - Through Chinese eyes: the Chinese experience in the Northern Territory 1874-2004
  • Liam Campbell: Darby: one hundred years in a changing culture


Tony Roberts - Frontier Justice: A History of the Gulf Country to 1900

  • Marge Duminski - Southport Northern Territory 1869-2002
  • Claire Henty-Gebert - Paint Me Black
  • Pearl Ogden - People of the Victoria River Region: An Album


John Mulvaney - Paddy Cahill of Oenpelli

  • Kathy de la Rue - The Evolution of Darwin 1869-1911
  • Peter Monteath (ed) - The Diary of Emily Caroline Creaghe, Explorer


David Bridgman -  Acclimatisation: Architecture at the Top End of Australia

  • Geraldine Byrne - Tom and Jack: A Frontier Story
  • Ivan Jordan - Their way: Towards an Indigenous Warlpiri Christianity
  • Brian Reid - The Menzies School of Health Research: Establishment, 1978-1997

Last updated: 26 March 2018