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. From 2004-2009, she was an Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Research Fellow at La Trobe University. She is an internationally recognised scholar in the fields of 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 liquor industry.
Her best-selling first book, Beyond the Ladies Lounge: Australia's Female Publicans (MUP 2003, 2004) met with both critical and popular acclaim.
In November 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.
Clare has worked as a political speechwriter, university lecturer, historical consultant and radio and television broadcaster. She was the Executive Officer of the History Council of Victoria from 2003-2004, striving to promote the work of history teachers and practitioners in the state.
She is a popular public speaker and has presented numerous keynote addresses at conferences, symposia and AGMs, as well as chairing Writers Festival events and academic symposia. Clare has been a judge of three major literary awards.
Clare's thought-provoking essays and opinion writing have appeared in The Age, Crikey, The Week, 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.
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.
In 2013, Clare developed and co-wrote the four-part documentary series, The War That Changed Us, for Electric Pictures and ABC1. The series will air in late 2014 as part of the ABC’s centenary of WW1 programming.
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).
Clare is currently working as a freelance professional historian. She runs her consultancy practice as Done Gone Productions.
Clare also enjoys an ongoing academic affiliation with La Trobe University as an Honorary Research Associate in History.
Current projects include writing a book called Nedwood: True Adventures in Kelly Country (to be published by NewSouth in 2014) co-written with Alex McDermott as well as developing a two-part docudrama with Screentime based on the book for ABC1. Clare is developing a four-part documentary series about convict history with WTFN, to be co-presented with Tony Robinson, for ABC1. She is will also be starting a new book, Red Dirt Dreaming: A History of Australian Mining, to be published by Text in 2016.
Clare lives in Melbourne with her husband and three children.
Photo by Simon Schluter