AustLit logo
John Mulvaney Book Award
Subcategory of Awards Australian Awards
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.


The John Mulvaney Book Award recognises significant contributions to the publication of Australian archaeology. Established in 2004, the annual award honours the ‘father of Australian archaeology’ John Mulvaney and recognises academic and public interest archaeology books.

Latest Winners / Recipients

Year: 2018

winner y separately published work icon Deep Time Dreaming : Uncovering Ancient Australia Billy Griffiths , Carlton : Black Inc. , 2018 12791018 2018 single work autobiography

'Soon after Billy Griffiths joins his first archaeological dig as camp manager and cook, he is hooked. Equipped with a historian’s inquiring mind, he embarks on a journey through time, seeking to understand the extraordinary deep history of the Australian continent.

'Deep Time Dreaming is the passionate product of that journey. It investigates a twin revolution: the reassertion of Aboriginal identity in the second half of the twentieth century, and the uncovering of the traces of ancient Australia.

'It explores what it means to live in a place of great antiquity, with its complex questions of ownership and belonging. It is about a slow shift in national consciousness: the deep time dreaming that has changed the way many of us relate to this continent and its enduring, dynamic human history.' (Publication summary)

Year: 2016

winner y separately published work icon Kakutungutanta to Warrie Outcamp : 40,000 years in Nyiyaparli country Caroline Bird , Nyiyaparki Community , Edward McDonald , Fremantle : Archae-aus , 2015 8745634 2015 single work criticism

'Kakutungutanta to Warrie Outcamp; 40,000 years in Nyiyaparli Country tells the story of Nyiyaparli people in the eastern Chichester Range and around the Fortescue Marsh, in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. The book brings together Nyiyaparli traditional knowledge with information from archaeology and history. Stories about some of the special places in Nyiyaparli country explain how Nyiyaparli people have lived and looked after their country for thousands of years.'

' In 2010, Nyiyaparli people working with archaeologists found Kakutungutanta in the eastern Chichester Range. They were excited to discover that people first camped in this small rockshelter more than 40,000 years ago. Kakutungutanta is one of thousands of archaeological sites which have been recorded in the area. These help tell the story of Nyiyaparli country and people. Places like Warrie Outcamp, where Nyiyaparli families working in the pastoral industry lived, bring the story to the present.

Today, Nyiyaparli people work with mining companies, and with anthropologists and archaeologists, to look after special places like these.' (Source: website)

Year: 2012

winner Nina Kavunenko for Experimental and Archaeological Studies of Use-Wear and Residues on Obsidian Artefacts from Papua New Guinea

Year: 2010

winner Jane Lydon for Fantastic Dreaming: The Archaeology of an Aboriginal Mission

Year: 2009

winner Denis Byrne for Surface Collection: Archaeological Travels in Southeast Asia.