Tom Griffiths Essay wins Alfred Deakin Prize

Tom Griffiths essay ‘We Still Have Not Lived Long Enough’ has won the Alfred Deakin Prize for an Essay Advancing Public Debate in The Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards. This prize is offered for a published essay by an Australian author that contributes to the national debate by the quality of its writing. The essay can be published in a print or electronic journal, newspaper or book form.
Written in the immediate aftermath of the 2009 Victorian fires (first published 16 February, Inside Story), this lucid, elegant essay responds intelligently and with compassion to the tragedy. In economical and engaging prose, Griffiths brings fine scholarship to bear on our human relationship to a very particular physical landscape, while also deftly locating the Victorian fires in their historical, environmental, climatic and geographic context. Ever dispassionate, Griffiths is able to draw clear policy lessons without acrimony or finger pointing. This is the essay all Australians should read if they wish to understand a particular catastrophe, learn about the precedents, and grasp both the particular circumstances of one Australian region and the general environmental responsibilities of all citizens. (Abstract from State Library of Victoria website).