BA MA PhD Sydney
Grace Karskens is Emeritus Professor of History in the School of Humanities and Languages at the University of New South Wales. Her research areas include Australian colonial and cross-cultural history, Aboriginal history and environmental history. Grace is interested in promoting historical understandings and awareness to wide audiences. She began her career as a public historian, served as a Trustee of the Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales and is a founding member of the online Dictionary of Sydney. Her books include Inside the Rocks: The Archaeology of a Neighbourhood, the multi-award winning The Rocks: Life in Early Sydney and The Colony: A History of Early Sydney, which won the 2010 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for non-fiction. Grace's latest book People of the River: Lost Worlds of Early Australia was published by Allen & Unwin in 2020. She was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 2010 and a Fellow of the Royal Society of New South Wales in 2019. At present she is working with Darug people on the collaborative Dyarubbin: The Real Secret River project, funded by the State Library of New South Wales' Coral Thomas Fellowship.
2029 Calibre Prize, Australian Book Review, for the essay 'Nah Doongh's Song'
2018 Coral Thomas Fellowship, State Library of New South Wales, for The Real Secret River: Dyarubbin Project
2011 Best Book 2009-2010 (non-North American), Urban History Association (US) for The Colony: A History of Early Sydney
2010 Prime Minister’s Literary Award – Non-Fiction, for The Colony: A History of Early Sydney
2006 Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, University of New South Wales
2000 National Trust Heritage 2000 Award: Category E – Print. Joint winner with Godden Mackay Logan for Cumberland/Gloucester Street Site Archaeological Project Publications, including Inside the Rocks: The Archaeology of a Neighbourhood and four academic articles
2000 National Trust Heritage 2000 Award: Category A - Conservation- Built/Cultural Heritage. Joint winner with Siobhan Lavelle for 'Stage 1 Conservation Plan for the Great North Road'
1998 National Christina Smith Award for Community History, for The Rocks: Life in Early Sydney
1998 NSW Premier's Award (Community and Regional History) for The Rocks: Life in Early Sydney
Fellow, Australian Academy for the Humanities
Carson Fellow, Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society
Member, Australian Historical Association
Member, Royal Australian HIstorical Society
Member, HIstory Council of New South Wales
Member, National Trust of Australia (NSW)
Visiting Fellow, National Museum of Australia
Trustee, Sydney Living Museums (Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales (NSW state government appointment, 2008-2016)
Chair, Curatorial and Public Engagement Advisory Committee, Sydney Living Museums
Deputy Chair, The Dictionary of Sydney Inc. (member since 2006)
Member, Editorial Board, Australian Historical Studies
Judge, Coral Thomas Research Award (State Library of New South Wales) 2015
Member, Editorial Board, Recollections: a journal of Museums and Collections, National Museum of Australia (2008-2011)
Member, Editorial Board, Journal of Post Medieval Archaeology 2003-2008.
Chair, Environmental City Panel, State of Australian Cities Conference, Brisbane, 2005.
Expert Advisor, Museum of Sydney, Hyde Park Barracks Museum and Susannah Place Museum
Celebrity Speaker, Art Gallery of New South Wales
TBA and by appointment.