Dr Clare Wright is an award-winning historian, author and public commentator who has worked in politics, academia and the media. Clare holds a PhD in Australian Studies from the University of Melbourne and an MA in Public History from Monash University and is currently an Associate Professor in History at La Trobe University. She is an internationally recognised scholar in the social history of alcohol and women’s political activism. Her expertise in Australian History covers the gold rush period, 19th and 20th century women’s history, democracy movements, mining history, bushrangers and the hotel industry.
Her best-selling first book, Beyond the Ladies Lounge: Australia’s Female Publicans (MUP 2003, Text Publishing 2014) met with both critical and popular acclaim. In October 2013, Clare released her much-anticipated second book, The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka (Text Publishing), based on a decade of archival research into women’s role in the Eureka Stockade. The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka won the 2014 Stella Prize and was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards, the NSW Premier’s History Awards, the WA Premier’s Literary Awards, the Victorian Community History Awards the Waverley NIB Awards and longlisted for a Walkely Award. We Are the Rebels, a Young Adult version of The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka, was published by Text in 2015 and has been shortlisted for the Australian Children’s Book Council Awards..
Clare has worked as a political speechwriter, university lecturer, historical consultant and as a broadcaster in both radio and television. She was the Executive Officer of the History Council of Victoria from 2003-2004, promoting the work of history teachers and practitioners in the state. She is a popular public speaker and has presented numerous keynote addresses and dinner talks at academic conferences, AGMs, Writers Festivals, book stores and community events. Clare has been a judge of three major literary awards and is a Director on the Board of the The Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas.
Clare’s thought-provoking essays, reviews and opinion writing have appeared in The Age, Crikey, The Guardian, The Conversation, Overland, Women’s Agenda and Meanjin as well as leading national and international scholarly journals. In 2005, Clare was named as one of Australia’s top 20 public intellectuals by The Age. Clare appeared as a member of ‘The Brains Trust’ in over 40 episodes of the long-running ABC quiz show, The Einstein Factor. She has presented regular history segments for 774 ABC Melbourne and 702 ABC Sydney and her research has been the topic of several radio and online documentaries and podcasts. Clare researched, co-wrote and presented the acclaimed television documentary, Utopia Girls: How Women Won the Vote, which first screened on ABC1 in June 2012. Utopia Girls was short-listed for the 2013 NSW Premier’s History Prize for Multimedia. Clare created and co-wrote the four-part documentary series, The War That Changed Us, for Electric Pictures and ABC1. The series premiered on 23 August 2014 as part of the ABC’s centenary of WW1 programming. The War That Changed Us won an ATOM Award for Best Documentary and was nominated for a Logie for Most Outstanding Factual Program.
Clare has appeared as an expert interviewee in many television documentaries including The Years That Made Us (ABC1), Dirty Business: How Mining Made Australia (SBS), The Royal Wreck of Gold (Foxtel), The Stamp of Australia (Foxtel) and Bodyline: The Ultimate Test (ABC1). As a freelance historical consultant, Clare’s clients include Sovereign Hill Museums Association, the Museum of Australian Democracy @ Eureka and Chemical Media. She runs her consultancy practice as Done Gone Productions. Clare is currently a Principal Research Fellow in History at La Trobe University. She holds an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship for the project Red Dirt Dreaming: A New History of Australian Mining.