1960 Westerly Magazine special prize for short story.

1964 ACSPA short story competition (White Collar Unions)

1964 Banjo Paterson Short Story Prize, 1964.

1965 Anys Hollander Short Story Prize, 1965 (Bridge Magazine)

1970 State of Victoria Short Story Award.

1970 Henry Lawson Short Story Prize.

1975 National Award for Fiction, The Electrical Experience.

1976 Braille Book of the Year, The Electrical Experience.

1984 AWGIE for excellence in script writing, Conference-ville.

1988 Age Book of Year, Forty-Seventeen.

1989 Australian Literature Society Gold Medal, Forty-Seventeen.

1994 Adelaide Festival, National Prize for Fiction, Grand Days. 

1994 Grand Days, nominated for Irish Times International Fiction Award.

2002 Dark Palace,  Miles Franklin Prize,

Nominated for Irish Times International Fiction Award.

2007 PEN Keneally Prize for Essay on Freedom of Expression for ‘The Writer in a Time of Terror’, Griffith Review

2007 Alfred Deakin Prize for Best Essay contributing to public discussion, Victorian Premier’s Awards for ‘The Writer in a Time of Terror’, Griffith Review.

2007 Walkley Award for Equity Journalism for ‘The Writer in a Time of Terror’, Griffith Review)


1977  Queen’s  Silver Jubilee Medal for Services to Literature

1989 Australian Literature Society Gold Medal, Forty-Seventeen

1985 Member of the Order of Australian for services to literature.

1988 Cultural Ambassador for Leichhart Council, to State of Illinois

1997 Doctor of the University, Griffith University. DUniv

2003 Centenary Medal for Services to Literature.


1970 New South Wales Literary Fellowship.

1972 Literary Fellowship, Commonwealth Literary Fund.

1973 Australia Council Senior Literary Fellowship (three years)

1980 Visiting Writer, East-West Centre, Honolulu, USA.

1985 Sir Harold White Fellowship, Australian National Library.

1990-93 Creative Arts Fellow, Australia Council.

1994 Woodrow Wilson Scholar, Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington.

1994/95 Senior Fulbright Fellow, United States.

1995/96 Colonel Johnson Fellow, Department of History, University of Sydney.

1999 King’s College, Cambridge, writer-in-residence

2002  Visiting Professor, Department of English, University of Texas, Austin, USA.

2006  Frederick Watson Fellowship, National Archives of Australia

2007  Fellowship National Museum of Australia

2007  NSW Government Fellowship 

2008 Fellowship Prime Ministers’

2008 Coombs Fellow ANU

2009  Inaugural CAL Fellow UTS

2009  Senior Fellow, University of Konstanz, Germany