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Emeritus Professor of History, UNSW Sydney

Grace Karskens is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. She is a leading authority on early colonial Australia and also works in cross-cultural and environmental history.

Grace began her career as a public historian and has a lifelong commitment to bringing good history to wide audiences. She is an active contributor to several significant cultural organisations, including Sydney Living Museums, the State Library of New South Wales and the online Dictionary of Sydney project.

Grace’s books include Inside the Rocks: The Archaeology of a Neighbourhood and the multi-award winning The Rocks: Life in Early Sydney. Her book The Colony: A History of Early Sydney won the 2010 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction and the US Urban History Association’s prize for Best Book 2010. In 2019 she won Australian Book Review's Calibre prize for her essay Nah Doongh's Song. Her latest book, People of the River: Lost Worlds of Early Australia, was published by Allen & Unwin in 2020.


  • –present
    Associate Professor of history, University of New South Wales