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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 2023 Croker Prize for Biography is 'A Family Myth'. Submissions close on 31 May 2023. Please email any questions regarding the competition to or telephone the office on (02) 9247 3953.


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 for the 2023 prize 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 Autumn/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 2022: Where Did I Come From?.

Click on the links below to read all 29 entries.

2201: The Black Sheep Oh Well by Anne McEnroe

2202: A Sensitive Subject by Glen Martin

2203: The Untold Story of ‘Queenie’ Foulds by Jade Manly

2204: From the Ashes of Lost Chastity by Nereda Shute

2205: Shipwreck, Survival and Shady Deals by Sharyn Merkley

2206: The Gadigal Hawker by Jo Callaghan

2207: Nature or Nurture? by Kerry Close

2208: There’s No Other Way by Roland Bannister

2209: William Parsdons Meeker by Terry Hope

2210: Terror in the Hull Skies by Lesley New

2211: A Miner’s Ancestry by Claire Williams

2212: I Am an Australian by Joan Lewis

2213: A Canine Tale by Lee Mckerracher

2214: Collits Inn by Bob Wright

2215: I Am Australian by Barbara Reen

2216: What Say You, Amelia by Sharyn Parker

2217: The Force of Charles Higgs by Emily Purser

2218: Not Royal but Gentrified by Louise Parker

2219: The Very Artistic Genealogist by Andrew Palmer

2220: Frances Reed Pioneer of Burke by Jim Fleming

2221: The Price of Love by Kathryn Taylor

2222: What Mary Kate Said by Sue Bulbrook

2223: If You’re Lucky Enough by Andrew Redfern

2224: Resilience, Bravery and Love by Jody Taylor

2225: Finding Anne Jane, Finding Myself by Rosalie O'Neale

2226: Silent Partner- The Life of Mrs E. R. Symes by Eleanor Snibson

2227: A Coal Miner and Leading Orchardist by Karen Lonsdale

2228: North and South by Gordon Hughes

2229: A Legacy of Resilience and Love – Annie May by Lynette Weir

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



Previous Themes and Winners

2022 – 'Where Did I Come From?' – Winner: Bob Wright - Collits Inn

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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