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Projects and Research

This section lists the projects that I am currently working on and any research activity which I am undertaking as part of my writing. My approach is to pursue ideas through research with a view to creating another book.

Colonial Artist S.T. Gill

Launched & Now Avaialble:

I spent many months researching the work and life of colonial artist Samuel Thomas Gill and as a result started writing in 2021 about his contribution to our understanding of 19th C. Australia through his art.  The manuscript was completed last year, then went to an editor. The editor made some very positive comments about the story (a very readable, interesting and carefully researched historical art–biography. I found it fascinating, with all the historical background, and I think it will be a magical read with all the images in it).  The book contains over 130 images as examples of Gill's contribution to our understanding of colonial Australia. Following a successful launch of the book on Thursday 9 November copies are now available from me - $20.00 plus postage (email:, or from Shawline Publishing and bookshops.

A watercolour by S.T. Gill painted in the Flinders Ranges, South Australia. This is one of the 130 images that I have selected for the book. Gill was the first European artist to paint the Flinders Ranges. This painting was made by Gill as part of the tragic Horrocks' Expedition in 1846 looking for new grazing land in the north west of South Australia. The story of the expedition is contained in a chapter in the book.  
Your Ideas for a Book
My main focus is nineteenth-century Australia, people places and events. If you have thoughts about a topic that I should write about send me an email (
Current Research & Writing

I have been undertaking research on Matthew Flinders for several months and have just started the writing process. Although there are many books on the subject of Flinders I believe that there is room for one more. After looking at a number of manuscripts and many other primary and secondary sources at the National Library & State libraries am focussing more on Flinders the man.

The Irish Famine

My Latest Manuscript - Potato Famine Orphans

I have undertaken a considerable amount of research into Irish orphan emigration to the colonies during the Irish famine. There are some sad stories about famine, workhouses, children and emigration but there is also a good story about 4000 teenage orphan girls that were assisted to emigrate to the Australian colonies during the Irish famine. I have recently signed a contract with a publisher to publish the book. This means that it will be available in 6 to 9 months (its unfortunately a long process).

Workhouse Gates.jpg
Starving people trying to get into a workhouse during the Irish famine.
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