JOHN HIRST is a historian and Scholar Emeritus of La Trobe University and honorary professor of history at the University of Sydney.
He was founding Convenor of the Australian Republican Movement in Victoria and a member of the Prime Minister Keating’s Republic Advisory Committee.
For the Howard government, he was the chair of the Civics Education Group which oversaw the preparation of materials for the ‘Discovering Democracy’ programme in schools.
He has written books on convicts, the origins of democracy in New South Wales, Albert Facey, federation and the republic. He was co-editor of the Oxford Companion to Australian History. His most recent books are Sense and Nonsense in Australian History and The Australians; insiders and outsiders on the national character since 1770 . His latest book The Shortest History of Europe will be published by Black Inc next month.