Meet the author - Frank Bongiorno

Frank Bongiorno will be in conversation with Jennifer Rayner on A Little History of the Australian Labor Party in which acclaimed historians Nick Dyrenfurth and Frank Bongiorno tell the story of the Australian Labor Party’s rich history of more than 130 years and examine its central role in modern Australia. This is a second, updated and expanded edition.

The Australian Labor Party is one of the oldest labour parties in the world and the first to form a government. From the prime ministerships of Watson and Fisher to the tragedies of Hughes and Scullin, through the 1940s legends Curtin and Chifley to governments of Whitlam, Hawke, Keating, Rudd and Gillard, A Little History of the Australian Labor Party recounts times of triumph and failure, as well as resilience. This updated edition examines Labor’s recent performance in state and territory politics and takes the national story up to the Albanese government.

‘Informative and insightful, the authors shrewdly marshal the key events, policies and personalities in Labor’s long and lively history to tell the compelling story of the party that has shaped Australia more than any other. I enjoyed it immensely.’ — Troy Bramston

‘This enthralling, questing book is not just great Labor history, it is great Australian history.’ — Janet McCalman

Frank Bongiorno AM, Professor of History ANU, is currently President of the Australian Historical Association and the Council for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, the Australian Academy of the Humanities and a Whitlam Institute Distinguished Fellow at Western Sydney University. His most recent book is Dreamers and Schemers: A Political History of Australia.

DrJennifer Rayner is the Climate Council’s Head of Advocacy, leading policy and political engagement across all levels of Australian Government. She has worked as a Chief of Staff and senior policy adviser to leaders across the Australian and ACT parliaments, with a focus on advancing a positive climate agenda across the spectrum of government activity

Nick Dyrenfurth is the Executive Director of the John Curtin Research Centre. A former academic, Labor speechwriter and advisor, Nick is the author or editor of seven books and a regular media commentator

The vote of thanks will be given by Bob McMullan, one of Australia’s pre-eminent Labor politicians. 

This event is in association with Harry Hartog Bookshop. Books will be available for purchase on the evening in the Cultural Centre foyer. Pre-event book signings will be available from 5.30pm, and available again after the event.


Registration is required for this event.

Accessible parking spaces are available around campus should you require them.

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A podcast will be made available after the event.

Symposium by University House Wine bar (Shop 13, 152 University Avenue, Acton, which is just next to the Kambri cultural centre) will now be open for dining after meet the author events. Food and wine details at No bookings necessary.

TEQSA Provider ID: PRV12002 (Australian University) | CRICOS Provider Code: 00120C

Date and Times


Tangney Rd
T2, Cultural Centre Kambri (ANU Building 153)