Non-fiction 1 ­ Susan Steggall

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TURNING WARRINGAH TURQUOISE. Memories of a Grassroots Campaign

TURNING WARRINGAH TURQUOISE. Memories of a Grassroots Campaign

On the Monday following the 18 May 2019 election, after the final ‘Dance at The Spit’, there was a groundswell of enthusiasm for keeping the party going with some kind of permanent record of the campaign, from the volunteers’ personal perspectives. And so, Turning Warringah Turquoise was born – a collection of the experiences of many of Zali’s supporters and volunteers. Responses for the project arrived regularly in my inbox: from a few lines to several paragraphs; from the personal to the political, across all ages. Some cast a humorous light over incidents at pre-polling and election-day booths; some describe concerns for the political landscape in contemporary Australia and a determination to see Zali elected. 

I have gathered them under chapter headings such as: Encounters; Dressing up & Dancing up a Storm; Generations & Gender; With a Smile; Baking & Running for Victory; Camaraderie & Connectivity; Ethics, and of course, Election Day. I have included photographs where I could. I thank Kate Zarifeh for providing many of the photographs. It has not been possible to give them all captions, with names of people and places – so many! However, you all know who you are, where you were on so many memorable occasions and what you achieved.

All stories vividly bring to life those amazing few weeks. I, for one, would do it all over again in spite of the frustration of the weasel posters, the low-life smears against Zali, the physical labour of making corflutes and the long hours (not to mention the sore feet) at pre-polling stations, and the nervous optimism on polling day. But most of all for the extraordinary spirit that grew throughout Zali’s campaign and the reaching out to each other, from all corners of our communities.  


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A Most Generous Scholar

A Most Generous Scholar

Joan Kerr, art and Architectural Historian

Joan Kerr (1938-2004) was the author of two major, ground-breaking publications, The Dictionary of Australian Artists: Painters, Sketchers, Photographers and Engravers to 1870, and Heritage: the National Women's Art Book: 500 Works by 500 Australian Women Artists from Colonial Times to 1955.  In both works she insisted on including the work of women, Aboriginal artists and minor genres. Her democratic approach to Australian art history taught us how to value the entirety of Australia’s visual culture.

A charismatic speaker with a popular touch, Joan Kerr used her considerable theatrical talents to great effect. A careful and rigorous academic, she was also a larrikin intellectual who relished a good argument. There were many of them and the telling of her life makes grand reading.

Art historian Susan Steggall looks at Joan Kerr’s life and her considerable achievements in setting out new parameters for art and architectural history. Original, entertaining and often controversial, Joan Kerr was a one of a kind scholar.

This biography is essential reading for all those interested in the women’s lives, cultural studies and the intimate histories of art and architecture.

LhR Press

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Other Work

  • 2013 Moonlight and the Man, Family History Series, No.1 (created in 2009), ISSN 2201-6031
  • 2013 An Invitation, Family History Series, No.2, ISSN 2201-6031
  • 2016  Goodnight Son. Phemie Vera Mallaby, Family History Series, No.3, ISSN 2201-6031.
  • 2021  MEMOIR FOR MY PARENTS. Phemie Faith Gilmour & Robert Rex Wallis, No.4 Family History Series, ISSN: 2201-6031.


2021  ‘Homes & Hearths: Growing Up in Maitland in the 1950s & 1960s’, presentation to the Maitland & District Historical Society,  7 December 2021.


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