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The Iremonger Award for Writing on Public Issues



We regret to announce that the Iremonger Award will not be continuing in 2010 or in the foreseeable future. Entries received in 2009 were not of a suitable standard for publication under the award criteria, so the decision was made to discontinue the award. Should Allen & Unwin revise this decision in the future, we will post the details on our website.

Previous winners


Once Were Radicals

by Irfan Yusuf

What happens when a nice Muslim Australian boy considers joining the jihad in Afghanistan? Irfan Yusuf grew up in John Winston Howard's electorate in the leafy suburbs of Sydney. He should have been thinking about girls and cars, but instead became convinced he should die for a Muslim cause. Once Were Radicals is a hilarious, irreverent memoir of cultural confusions, community politics and outright mischief making - with a deeper message.


The End of Charity

by Nic Frances with Maryrose Cuskelly

Winner of the 2006 Iremonger Award is a challenging, thought provoking and inspiring exploration of how we should rethink the idea of charity, arguing that to truly address the problems of poverty, inequality and environmental sustainability the we need to become social entrepreneurs, establishing social businesses with real values at their centre.


Inside Spin

by Bob Burton

A blistering critique of the largely hidden role played by the public relations industry in Australia, Inside Spin reveals how corporate and government spin doctors invisibly influence just about every news story we read, see and hear. Winner of the 2005 Iremonger Award for Writing on Public Issues.


Australian Heartlands

by Brendan Gleeson

The inaugural winner of The Iremonger Award for Writing on Public Issues, this is a provocative exploration of urbanised Australia and a passionate plea for the suburbs to be given their rightful place in Australia's public consciousness.

About John Iremonger

John Iremonger’s outstanding 35 year publishing career helped shape Australia’s perception of its past and spotlighted the challenges of its future.

He published many groundbreaking books and leading Australian writers and was integral to the establishment of Allen & Unwin’s reputation as a leading Australian publisher.

John also founded the independent publishing house Hale & Iremonger and was Director of Melbourne University Press.

2008 winner

Allen & Unwin are thrilled to announce the 2008 Iremonger Award for Writing on Public Issues has been awarded to:

Stephen Gray
for his submission
‘A Sorry State of Affairs’

For more information on the winning entry and judges’ comments, download a PDF of our media release.

2007 runner-up


Seven Seasons in Aurukun

by Paula Shaw

This memoir of a young woman who spends two years teaching at the school at Aurukun in Cape York paints a colourful picture of life in a remote Aboriginal community in the sweltering tropics.