Geoffrey Bolton

Geoffrey Bolton

Geoffrey Curgenven Bolton AO is an Australian historian born on 5th November 1931 in Claremont, Perth, Western Australia. He attended Wesley College, Perth from 1943 to 1947. He has been publishing works on Australian history since 1952, and has authored 13 books, most recently "Edmund Barton: The One Man for the Job" (a biography of Australia's first Prime Minister), which was awarded the NSW History Award, Centenary of Federation Prize in 2001. He is still engaged in preparation of further works and has been a frequent contributor to radio in Western Australia and has done much to bring Western Australian history and socio-political development to life. He currently acts as Chairperson of the Western Australian Maritime Museum's Archaeology Advisory Committee.

Professor Bolton is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (London), Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, Fellow of the Australian Humanities Academy, and Fellow of the Royal Western Australian Historical Society.

In 2005, Bolton was named Western Australia's 2006 Australian of the Year. He is married to Carol Grattan and has two sons and three grandchildren.


[] "But can it be that the original Federation parents that you had, the founding fathers, that they're all there in their portraits . . . most of them have got beards and most of them are wearing suits? They look like boring old farts and that's the reason why it's hard to sell the Federation story. .......We are writing books.....which will prove that they're a very lively, interesting bunch. For a long time, that image has killed the idea of excitement, though."


* "Alexander Forrest : his life and times". 1958
* "Dick Boyer, an Australian humanist". 1967
* "A fine country to starve in". 1972 ISBN 0-85564-061-8 (reprinted 1994, ISBN 1-875560-36-X)
* "Britain's Legacy Overseas". 1973 ISBN 0-19-888076-6
* "Spoils and spoilers : Australians make their environment 1788-1980". 1981 ISBN 0-86861-218-9 (second edition 1992, ISBN 1-86373-094-X)
* "History of Royal Perth Hospital". 1982 ISBN 0-9597039-1-8
* "It had better be a good one : the first ten years of Murdoch University". 1985 ISBN 0-86905-082-6
* "John Ramsden Wollaston : the making of a pioneer priest". 1985 ISBN 0-9588841-0-2
* "The Oxford history of Australia. Volume 5, 1942-1988 : the middle way". 1990 ISBN 0-19-554613-X
* "Who owns Australia's past?". 1993 ISBN 0-7022-2578-9
* "Daphne Street". 1996 ISBN 1-86368-167-1
* "Claremont: a history". 1999 ISBN 1-876268-38-7
* "Edmund Barton". 2000 ISBN 1-86508-409-3
* "The Fuss That Never Ended: The Life and Work of Geoffrey Blainey". 2003 ISBN 0-522-85034-0 (joint author with Stuart Macintyre, Deborah Gare and Tom Stannage)
* "May it please Your Honour : a history of the Supreme Court of Western Australia 1861-2005". 2005 ISBN 0-9590067-7-X (with Geraldine Byrne)

Academic career

* Educated at the University of Western Australia and Oxford University
* Research Fellow at the Australian National University in 1957
* Senior Lecturer at Monash University in 1962
* Professor of Modern History at the University of Western Australia in 1966
* Foundation Professor of History at Murdoch University in 1973
* Pro Vice-Chancellor of Murdoch University from 1973 to 1975
* Dean of the School of Social Inquiry at Murdoch University from 1976 to 1978
* Visiting Commonwealth Fellow at St John's College, Cambridge 1978 and 1979.
* Professor and head of the Australian Studies Centre at the University of London from 1982 until 1985
* Professor of Australian History at the University of Queensland in 1989
* Professor of History at Edith Cowan University, Western Australia
* Retired from academia in 1996
* Chancellor of Murdoch University from July 2002 to November 2006.


* "Citation for Fellowship: Geoffrey Curgenven Bolton" in "Early Days" 11(3), 1997.

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