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Biography Workshop ANU
28 June @ 12.00 pm - 1.30 pm
Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC
Different Strokes for Different Folks:
Writing a Diary v Memoir v Autobiography
ANU Chancellor since 2010, Gareth Evans was previously a cabinet minister throughout the 1983-96 Hawke
and Keating Labor Governments in the posts of Attorney General, Minister for Resources and Energy,
Minister for Transport and Communications and – from 1988-96 – Foreign Minister. During his 21 years in
Australian politics he was both Leader of the Government in the Senate and Deputy Leader of the
Opposition in the House of Representatives. From 2000-09 he was President and CEO of the Brussels-based
International Crisis Group, and has played other major international policymaking roles on mass atrocity
crimes, nuclear weapons, and conflict prevention. He has written or edited thirteen books and published –
along with innumerable newspaper pieces – nearly 150 journal articles, chapters and reports on foreign
relations, human rights, and legal and constitutional reform.
Gareth Evans has published both a political diary, Inside the Hawke-Keating Government: A Cabinet Diary
(2014), and a comprehensive political memoir, Incorrigible Optimist: A Political Memoir (2017), but – while
the subject of a biography (Keith Scott, 1999) – has made clear that he ‘would not wish to inflict on
anyone’ a complete autobiography. He will bring that experience to this discussion of the differences
between the kinds of life writing genres and the challenges each poses for an author.