Peter Temple on becoming an Australian author

MILES FRANKLIN ORATION: Crime writer Peter Temple this week gave the inaugural Miles Franklin Oration at Melbourne University.
[This is archived content and may not display in the originally intended format.]

Delivering the inaugural Miles Franklin Oration on Tuesday night, 7 June, entitled ‘Reading the Country and thoughts on becoming an Australian author,’ South African born author Peter Temple, spoke with great humour of his experiences coming to understand Australians and his gradual confidence in writing about them. If you want to write about a place he says, you have to learn to read the country.’

‘Australia has a long history of new comers failing to read the country,’ he said reflecting on the exploits of Australia’s many disastrous explorers, such as, Edmund Kennedy who ‘blundered around Queensland’ with his servant ‘Jackey Jackey in a fruitless attempt to find an overland route from the Gulf of Carpentaria to Sydney. ‘How pointless it must all have seemed to Jackey Jackey. Rather like being the sober escort on a night out with Brendan Fevola. Why you think to yourself did I come? And who is this idiot? And where is he going?’

Unlock Padlock Icon

Like this content?

Become a Member and unlock unlimited Access today

Fiona Mackrell
About the Author
Fiona Mackrell is a Melbourne based freelancer. You can follow her at @McFifi or check out
Unlock Padlock Icon

Support us to keep providing
Arts news and jobs

Become a member and unlock access to jobs and all premium articles and news content