Robin Gerster was born in Melbourne and educated in Melbourne and Sydney. As the inaugural C.E.W. Bean Scholar at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, he researched his PhD on Australian war literature. This was published in 1987 as 'Big-noting: The Heroic Theme in Australian War Writing', and won The Age 'Book of the Year' in 1988. He has gone to author seven books and numerous scholarly articles. He is a prolific commentator in the press, writing on his major areas of expertise - the cultural histories of war and travel, and Australian relationships with Asia. Among his books are 'Hotel Asia' (1995), 'Legless in Ginza: Orientating Japan' (1999) - the product of a two-year period teaching at Tokyo University as the Visiting Professor in Australian Studies - and 'Travels in Atomic Sunshine: Australia and the Occupation of Japan' (2008). The latter won the NSW Premier's Prize for Australian History. Gerster is currently researching a history of Australian atomic culture, funded by an ARC Discovery Grant.
1988: Age 'Book of the Year' (Non-Fiction category) for 'Big-noting: The Heroic Theme in Australian War Writing'
2009: New South Wales Premiers' Australian History Prize, for 'Travels in Atomic Sunshine: Australia and the Occupation of Japan'