As part of an ongoing series, each month we will be profiling one of our committee members.
We are beginning with our esteemed president: Dr Judith Buckrich
Dr Judith Buckrich was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1950 and emigrated to Melbourne, Australia with her parents in 1958. She has a BEd in Drama and Media Studies from Rusden College (1977) and a PhD from the University of Melbourne (1997). Since 1991 she has written 13 histories and biographies of Melbourne people and places. She won the 2016 Victorian Community History Award for The Village of Ripponlea and the 2018 Fellowship of Australian Writers (Victoria) Award for non-fiction for Acland Street: the Grand Lady of St Kilda.
Judith was international Chair of the PEN Women Writers’ Committee from 2003 to 2009 and President of the Melbourne PEN Centre from 1993 to 2005. In 2018 she was elected President of the PMI Victorian History Library, a role that enables her to ‘give back’ for the tremendous support she has received for her projects from the PMI during the last 15 years. The PMI is at present going through an immense upsurge of activity and Judith is keen to see the library broaden its horizons, and especially to support the staff and volunteers in their endeavours.
Judith is the author of:
- Melbourne’s Grand Boulevard: The Story of St Kilda Road State Library of Victoria 1996
- The Montefiore Homes: 150 Years of Care Melbourne University Press 1998
- George Turner: A Life (the subject of her doctoral dissertation) Melbourne University Press 1999
- The Long and Perilous Journey: A History of the Port of Melbourne Melbourne Books 2002
- Lighthouse on the Boulevard: A History of the Royal Victorian Institute for the Blind Australian Scholarly Publishing 2004
- Collins: Australia’s Premier Street Australian Scholarly Publishing 2005
- Design for Living: A History of Prahran Tech Prahran Mechanics Institute Press 2007
- Well Rowed University: Melbourne University Boat Club The First 150 Years MUBC 2009
- The Making of Us: Rusden Drama, Media and Dance 1966-2002 Lauranton Books 2015
- The Village of Ripponlea Lauranton Books 2015 – Winner of the 2016 Victorian History Prize for a small run publication.
- The Political is Personal: A Twentieth Century Memoir Lauranton Books 2016
- Acland Street: the Grand Lady of St Kilda ATOM 2017 – Winner of the 2018 Fellowship of Writers (Victoria) award for non-fiction
- The World is One Kilometre: Greville Street, Prahran to be published by PMI Publishing in 2019
(all Judith’s books can be found in the PMI Library. Just follow the links above)
Judith returned to Budapest in 1987 and was working for the English language Daily News during the 1989 velvet revolution. She had many articles published about the end of the cold war period in Eastern Europe in The Age Monthly Review, Quadrant and Directions. She returned to Australia at the end of 1989.
In 1995 she co-edited, with Lucy Sussex, the first anthology of Australian women’s science fiction, fantasy and magic realism, She’s Fantastical.
She has edited two collections of Australian poetry translated into Hungarian by Istvan Turczi.
Between 2003 and 2009 she edited the third and fourth volumes of Our Voice/Nuestra Voz/Notre Vois for the International PEN Women Writers’ Committee.
Since 1977, Judith has written works for the theatre, short stories, feature articles and essays and worked as an editor and translator. She has taught writing at Deakin University, the Victorian Writers’ Centre and Melbourne University Union and been an arts administrator. She has spoken about her work on television and radio and given talks at the National Gallery of Victoria, Royal Historical Society of Victoria and for many other organizations. She has curated exhibitions for the Royal Historical Society of Victoria and the Museum of the Port of Melbourne. She has several entries in Remembering Melbourne 1850-1960 and the Encyclopedia of Melbourne for which she was image researcher.