The Battle of Brisbane: Australia and the Yanks at War

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Robert Macklin has carved out a unique place among Australia’s literary biographers and historians. His Dark Paradise swept aside the curtain of euphemism to expose the horror of colonial sadism on the penal colony of Norfolk Island. His monumental history of Australia’s Special Forces – Warrior Elite – is required reading in the fields of Military Security and Intelligence. His best-selling biography, SAS Sniper revealed as never before the battles against Islamist fanatics. And these are just a few of the highlights among his 28 respected and popular works of fiction and non-fiction.

He has won numerous literary prizes including the 2009 Blake Dawson award for business literature with Peter Thompson for their classic THE BIG FELLA – the Rise and Rise of BHP Billiton. His Kevin Rudd: The Biography was shortlisted for the ACT Book of the Year; and he has won three Critics Circle Awards for his military biographies and histories. He has completed a lecture tour of three Chinese universities based on his works and is presently writing a history of Australia/China relations over the last 200 years.

Queensland born, he has been a journalist at the highest level, a confidant and biographer of two Australian prime ministers; a documentary filmmaker in 32 countries of Asia and the Pacific; and is also political columnist and commentator in the nation’s capital.
He presently divides his writing time on fiction, non-fiction and screenplays between Canberra and Tuross Head on the NSW South Coast.



Robert has written nineteen books including three other novels The Paper Castle (1978), Juryman (1981) and Fire in the Blood (2005).

His major non-fiction works include The Secret Life of Jesus (1990), War Babies – a memoir (2005), Jacka VC – Australian Hero (2006), and Kevin Rudd: The Biography (2008).

With his frequent co-author Peter Thompson he has written The Battle of Brisbane (2000), Morrison of China (2002), and The Big Fella – the rise and rise of BHP Billiton (2009).

His most recent works are the No1 bestseller, SAS Sniper, the life story of one of Australia’s top Special Forces marksmen, Rob Maylor; and the hugely popular My Favourite Teacher.


Robert is a graduate of the screenwriting faculty of the Australian Film Television and Radio School.

In 1994, Juryman was made into a major Hollywood film, Storyville (MGM) starring James Spader and Jason Robards.

His screenplays include:
2003: Origin; 2004: The Irish Rose; 2005:MORRISON OF CHINA; 2007: Barefoot


2004: Pilot of six-part series, Bushranger Country filmed on location and screened at the National Museum of Australia.

2009: The Trial of William Shakespeare: The Bard and his contemporaries are ‘retrieved’ from the past to reveal who really wrote the plays and sonnets.

2010: The Silver Queens, the true story of two penniless maids suddenly overwhelmed with unlimited riches. One rises, one falls.


Robert writes a regular column for CityNews as ‘The Gadfly’

See Robert interviewed on ABC’s One Plus One program