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Robyn Annear - Castlemaine

Robyn Annear is author of five books of history, including Bearbrass: Imagining Early Melbourne, winner of a Victorian Premier’s Literary Award in 1995 and still in print today. Her other books are: Nothing But Gold: The diggers of 1852, The Man Who Lost Himself, Fly a Rebel Flag, and A City Lost & Found: Whelan the Wrecker’s Melbourne.

As a curator, Robyn has explored aspects of Melbourne and Victoria’s history in exhibitions at the State Library of Victoria and the City Gallery (‘Up’, ‘Royal Melbourne’, & ‘Special’), besides writing exhibition text for the blockbuster A Day in Pompeii show at Melbourne Museum in 2009, and for the Museum’s permanent exhibition, The Melbourne Story.

Robyn has appeared on TV, talking about goldfields history, in Victoria Wood’s BBC documentary series, Victoria’s Empire (Episode 3), and on Tony Robinson Explores Australia (Episode 4: Eureka). In 2014, storyteller Jan Wositzky interviewed Robyn about pre-Eureka strife on the goldfields in his video series on the 1851 Monster Meeting at Forest Creek. Her most recent TV appearance was in The Crown and Us, a two-part series which aired on ABC-TV in March 2019.

Robyn won the Civic Choice award in the 2015 Melbourne Prize for Literature with her essay, ‘Places Without Poetry’. She is a past member of the Library Board of Victoria and was one of the State Library’s inaugural Creative Fellows.

In 2018, Robyn launched her monthly podcast, Nothing on TV, in which she ransacks Trove Newspapers, the National Library of Australia’s digital repository of historical newsprint, to present stories from a time when there was, literally, nothing on TV.

Her book, Nothing New, tracing the history of second-hand – including the origins of the op shop.


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