History professor wins two literary awards 

Emeritus Professor in History Alan Powell wins two awards for “Northern Voyagers”

Charles Darwin University’s Emeritus Professor in History Alan Powell last week scooped two literary awards for “Northern Voyagers”, a book that explores the maritime history of the north Australian coast.

Professor Powell collected both the Adult Non-Fiction Book of the Year and the Chief Minister’s Book of the Year awards in Territory Read, a competition that celebrates contemporary Northern Territory literature.

“I’m delighted, naturally. It’s great to have these awards and the financial recognition that comes with them,” he said.

“Not only was it judged best history read but best overall read, so that comes as a terrific boost as an author.”

Professor Powell said he wrote the book for anyone with a real interest in history.

“I’ve since spoken with two of the three judges and both commented on its extreme readability.”

Last year “Northern Voyagers: Australia's monsoon coast in maritime history” won a $15,000 history book prize at the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards.

Professor Powell, who has sailed extensively along Australia’s monsoon coast over the past 30 years, said he was well advanced with a new book, which examines colonial Britain’s early attempts to establish ports in northern Australia.

“The British attempts on Melville Island and the Cobourg Peninsula were part of a ‘ring fence’ that they tried to establish so no one else could get a look in.

“It was part of a strategy that included settlements at Western Port in Victoria and King Georges Sound, near Albany,” he said.