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 long-listed for a Walkely Award. The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka has been optioned by Ruby Entertainment who successfully produced Kate Grenville’s The Secret River. 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 is currently researching and writing two new books inspired by The Women’s Suffrage Banner and the Yirrkala Bark Petition of 1963, which together with The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka, will form her “Material Heritage Trilogy”.
In 2020, Clare was awarded the Order of Australia medal ‘for service to literature, and to historical research.’