Page-turning reads sold to help firies

14 January 2020

ANU academics have auctioned off copies of their own books to raise funds for firefighters and organisations assisting the bushfire recovery efforts.

Some of the researchers who have participated, from the ANU School of History, opted to participate in the five-day online Twitter auction #authorsforfireys. More than 500 authors were involved in the auction, which closed on 11 January.

The winning bidder sent their payment for the books directly to one of the fire services. They then sent the author a screenshot of their receipt.

Head of the ANU School of History, Professor Frank Bongiorno, auctioned signed copies of his books The Sex Lives of Australians: A History and The Eighties: The Decade that Transformed Australia as a pair. The winning bid was $300.

"This new reader of The Eighties will be able to read of the Ash Wednesday bushfires in Victoria and South Australia with which the book opens," Professor Bongiorno says. "It is a reminder of the devastation that bushfires have so often brought."

Professor Bongiorno says he was glad to participate.

"When I read about it, it struck me as a useful way in which authors could contribute a little to bushfire relief. There have obviously been a lot of really good fund-raising initiatives, and some spectacular ones."

Professor of History, Ann McGrath, auctioned off copies of books she has authored, including Contested Ground, How to write history, Creating a nation, and Long History, Deep Time. She raised $400.

"Someone tagged me in a post on Twitter saying they would like to bid on my books; another said she couldn't get them in the library as students always had them out," Professor McGrath says.

She plans to sign each copy ahead of sending the winning bidders their new goods.

"It was all in good fun. There are so many similar fundraisers where people are doing what they can to raise money. Every little bit helps!"

Donations are still being accepted through the bushfire appeal that was set up over the Christmas/New Year period. Information on where to donate can be found here.