Stephen Orr is the 2017 ABR Eucalypt Fellow


Adelaide novelist and essayist Stephen Orr is the third ABR Eucalypt Fellow. The Fellowship – supported by Eucalypt Australia and the ABR Patrons – is worth $7,500. Stephen Orr’s essay will appear in the 2017 Environment issue of ABR.

ABR Editor Peter Rose commented: ‘Of the fifteen ABR Fellows named to date, six have come from South Australia, a continuation of that state’s proud contribution to ABR, which was founded there in 1961.’

Stephen Orr wrote: ‘As a family, Myrtaceae contains most of the classic Australian trees. As a genus, Eucalyptus defines at least some of what it means to be Australian. That’s why I was so interested in applying for, and writing, a long essay on Myrtaceae’s favourite daughter: the way this tree flourishes from Tasmania to the Philippines, how it has colonised poor soils, provided food for the First Australians, images for May Gibbs’s garden sketches, but also informed a sense of isolation about lost children, and terror in the burnt-out cars left in the wake of Ash Friday.

Dr Bram Mason, CEO of Eucalypt Australia, welcomed the appointment: ‘Eucalypt Australia is delighted and proud to be a sponsor of the ABR Eucalypt Fellowship. We are thrilled that Stephen Orr has been selected as this year’s Fellow and look forward to reading his essay in the Environment Issue later in 2017.’ Stephen Orr has a fascination with Australian landscapes of all kinds. He has published six novels to date, including Time’s Long Ruin (2010) and The Hands (2015). He lives in Adelaide.

About the winner ABR Fellowships are intended to reward outstanding Australian writers, to enhance ABR through the publication of long-form journalism, and to advance the magazine’s commitment to ideas and critical debate. Danielle Clode (2014) and Ashley Hay (2015) were the original ABR Eucalypt Fellows.

About the ABR Fellowship Program (photograph by Philip Martin)
Eucalypt Australia is a not-for-profit charitable trust dedicated to promoting the Australian eucalypt as an icon of Australia’s history, natural environment, and biodiversity.

The Trust was set up to honour and fulfil the wishes and legacy of Forester Bjarne Klaus Dahl.

About Eucalypt Australia: The ABR Patrons Program has transformed the magazine and greatly benefited Australian writers and reviewers. Our many generous Patrons have enabled us to substantially increase our payments to writers, to diversify our programs, and to foster brilliant new writing.

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