Nadia Wheatley

BA(History)(Hons), MA, DLitt (honoris causa)
Honorary Associate
1800 937 896 737
+61 2 9351 2606
Education Building A35 / 307
The University of Sydney

Nadia Wheatley is an Australian writer, whose work includes picture books, novels, biography and history. In 2014 The University of Sydney awarded her an Honorary Doctorate of Letters, in recognition of 'her exceptional creative achievements in the field of children's and adult literature, her work as an historian and her contribution to our understanding of Indigenous issues, cultural diversity, equity and social justice and the environment through story'. 

While many of the author's books for children and young adults have been honoured in the annual awards of the Children’s Book Council of Australia, in 2014 Nadia was nominated by IBBY Australia Inc for the prestigious 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Award for Writing — the highest international recognition given to a living author whose complete works have made a lasting contribution to children’s literature.
The author’s first book, Five Times Dizzy, has been described as the first multicultural children's book to be published in Australia. Of the author’s picture books, the best known is the classic My Place, produced in collaboration with illustrator, Donna Rawlins. Nadia was also history consultant and script consultant for the 26-part television adaptation of My Place, released on the ABC in 2009 and 2011 and acknowledged as Most Outstanding Children’s Series in the 2012 Logie Awards.
Over the years 2000 to 2016, Nadia Wheatley collaborated with artist Ken Searle to produce a set of ground-breaking non-fiction books that exemplify and celebrate Indigenous principles of education — a way of learning that puts the Country at the centre of learning. 
This journey began during the period 1998 to 2001, when Nadia and Ken worked as consultants at the school at Papunya (an Aboriginal community in the Western Desert, Northern Territory). While assisting the Anangu staff and students to develop resources for the Indigenous curriculum that the school had developed, the two consultants helped produce the multi-award-winning Papunya School Book of Country and History — a collaborative account of the history of this internationally-famous Western Desert community, told from an Indigenous perspective.
With a background in history at The University of Sydney and Macquarie University, Nadia has published a number of chapters in academic history books (particularly in her specialist area of 1930s Australia).   
Published in 2000, The Life and Myth of Charmian Clift was the Age Non-Fiction Book of the Year, 2001, and is the only biography to have won the NSW Premier’s History Awards Australian History Prize. The author is also the editor of Charmian Clift’s Selected Essays, to be re-published in 2022. 
The memoir, Her Mother’s Daughter, was awarded the 2019 Nib Award), in recognition of the intensive research conducted in international archives.  
With Radicals — Remembering the Sixties, Nadia Wheatley worked with long-term friend and fellow-activist Meredith Burgmann to create a collective biography of twenty well-known Australians, whose political awakening in the transformative decade of the 1960s changed their lives — and Australian society. 

Mark and Evette Moran Nib Award for Literature, Waverley Council (National Prize)
Picture Book of the Year Award, three times, Children's Book Council of Australia (CBCA)
History for Young People prize winner, NSW Premier’s History Awards
Australian Awards for Excellence in Educational Publishing three-time prize winner
Book of the Year, Non Fiction, The Age  
Australian History Prize, NSW Premier's History Awards
Honour Book, twice, CBCA Book of the Year for Older Readers
Honour Book, twice, CBCA Book of the Year for Younger Readers
Children’s Book Award, NSW Premier’ Literary Awards
Eve Pownall Award for Non-fiction, CBCA

  • Member, (including Executive member and Deputy Chair), Committee of Management, Australian Society of Authors 
  • Member, (later Chair), Educational Lending Right committee of Australian Society of Authors and Australian Book Publishers’ Association
  • Member, Council of Australian Society of Authors
  • Executive Member and Secretary, Cooks River Valley Association
  • Judge, Inner West Young Creative Awards

Selected books
  • Wheatley, N.C., and Burgmann, M. (2021) Radicals — Remembering the Sixties, NewSouth: Sydney, Australia.
  • Wheatley, N.C., (2018) Her Mother’s Daughter, Text Publishing: Melbourne, Australia.
  • Wheatley, N.C., (2016) Flight [illustrated Greder, A.], Windy Hollow Books: Melbourne, Australia.
  • Wheatley, N.C., (2013) Australians All [illustrated Searle, K.], Allen & Unwin: Sydney, Australia.
  • Wheatley, N.C. Ed., (2011) Playground [illustrated Searle, K.], Allen & Unwin: Sydney, Australia.
  • Wheatley, N.C., (2001) The Life and Myth of Charmian Clift, HarperCollins: New York, USA.
  • Wheatley, N.C., (1987) My Place [illustrated Rawlins, D.], Walker Books Australia: Sydney, Australia.
  • Wheatley, N.C., (1986) The House that Was Eureka, Viking Kestrel: New York, USA.
  • Wheatley, N.C., (1982) Five Times Dizzy, Oxford University Press: Oxford, UK.

The delivery of medical relief services in Belsen Displaced Persons Camp, Germany, April 1945–April 1946