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Annual Croker Prize for Biography

The Croker Prize for Biography is a great way to hone your writing skills and share your family history stories

The theme for the 2022 Croker Prize for Biography is 'Where Did I Come From?' 

Submissions will close 31 May 2022. Please email any questions regarding the competition to membership@sag.org.au or telephone the office.


The Croker Prize for Biography is a wonderful opportunity for you to hone your writing skills, share your family history stories and demonstrate your research. It also enables the Society to showcase your work to assist other members with their research and writing.

Entrants are to write a 800-1000 word biography on an individual, based on original research, which must be related to the selected annual theme. 

Entries are judged according to the following criteria:

·       Entries must relate to the identified theme and be about the entrant's relative.

·       Entries should be well written, informative and entertaining.

·       Entries must be logically organised with an introduction and conclusion, using good grammar and spelling.

·       Entries should demonstrate good genealogical research skills, as evidenced by referenced sources.

Full terms and conditions are available here: CONDITIONS


The annual Croker Prize for Biography was established in 2014 in memory of Colin and Loas Croker, who thoroughly enjoyed visiting the Society to research their family trees. Through this annual prize, we acknowledge the very generous benefaction they left to us after their deaths.

A different theme for the competition is set each year, which is announced in the March journal and on the website. Members can submit one entry each on that theme, with the winner chosen by a committee of former recipients and Society representatives. A cash prize of $1000 is awarded to the winner and their entry is published in the Spring/September issue of Descent.

All entries remain on the website for the current and previous year and are then transferred to the Society's digital archive system, where they will be found through the MIDAS catalogue.

The theme for 2021 was: My Most Unexpected Research Finding.

The winning entry was 2106 by Michele Bomford.

Click on the links below to read all 29 entries.

2101: The Curious Case of Raymond Moulton O'Brien by Dean O’Brien

2102: Thank You George by Marianne Young

2103: Why Did Stefano Haskitt Change his Name to John Stanton? by Lynette Stanton

2104: A Shattered Life by Bob Wright

2105: Selective Memory by Alison Ferguson

2106: Conduct Unbecoming: Matthew Burnside and the 'Providence' Scandal, 1826 by Michele Bomford

2107: My Kingdom for a Crown by Patricia Braden

2108: The Prisoner Haynes, Said Nothing in her Defence by Denise Cameron

2109: Oh Brother by Jo Callaghan

2110: The Long Lost Brother and his Heirs by Toni Glasson

2111: My Most Unexpected Research Finding by Stephen Payne

2112: Carving the Future by Kerry Close

2113: The First Wife of George Moss by Louise Briffa

2114: The Day the Spanish Raiders went out the Window by Vicki Hetherington

2115: Nun on the Run by Michelle Goldsmith

2116: Fraudster or Upright Banker? By Anne Ridley

2117: I Now Pronounce You Man and Wife by Mandy Gwan

2118: Where the Coolabahs Grow by Jim Fleming

2119: A Connection to the Sea-Faring Cat, Trim! By Rhonda Kroehnert

2120: My Most Unexpected Research Finding by Gordon Sanson

2121: Mrs Bebtzen's Walnut Workbox by Sue Bulbrook

2122: Fifteen Words by Sarah Hewitt

2123: Mary's Ordeal by Jacqueline White

2124: Elenor McGuinn - A Long Journey Home by Andrew Redfern

2125: The Coffey Connection by Sharon Greene

2126: Arthur by Holly Fitzgerald

2127: Phantom - Richard Henry Thompson by Allison Peters

2128: Where the Dickens is Prince Albert? by Elizabeth Michell

2129: A Voice Immortalised in Fiction - Nurse Mary Ellen Warmington by Sonya Russell

Use the link below to download and read entries for the previous two years.



Previous Themes and Winners

2021 – 'My Most Unexpected Research Finding' – Winner: Michele Bomford - Conduct Unbecoming: Matthew Burnside and the 'Providence' Scandal, 1826 

2020 – ‘My Most Elusive Ancestor'  – Winner: Bill Dudley - The Sad Tale of Lieutenant Philip Connor

2019 – ‘A Woman of influence’ – Winner: Wendy Pryor - The Indomitable Miss Jane Skillicorn

2018 - 'A life-changing experience' – Winner: Patricia Smith - A double-edged sword

2017 - 'A Tough Life' - Winner: Kim Hatherly – A Boy from Shoreditch

2016 - 'The Ancestor I most admire is ... ' – Winner: Christine Collins - Dan's Legacy

2015 - 'My immigrant's story' - Winner: Bob Wright – Granny Greenhalgh (2015 Board Prize & 2015 Members' Choice Prize)

2014 - 'The blackest sheep in my family's flock was ...' – Winners: Elizabeth Adams - Sailing Uncharted Waters - the wreck of Master Mariner William Whitfield (2014 Board Prize) & Bob Wright - Old Brine: Terror of the Richmond River (Brian O'Neil) (2014  Members's Choice Prize) 

Image: Narrabeen Newport bus 1919, SAG Manuscript and Image Collection, Item 6/1338

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