McKernan, Michael 1945-
McKERNAN, Michael 1945-
Agent—c/o Author Mail, University of Queensland Press, University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Queensland 4067, Australia.
Historian, editor, and author. Australian War Memorial, Sydney, Australia, deputy director, until 1994; also worked as a broadcaster for Australian Broadcasting Company.
Frederick Watson fellowship, National Archives of Australia, 1999.
Australian Churches at War: Attitudes and Activity of the Major Churches, 1914-1918, Catholic Theological Faculty and Australian War Memorial (Sydney, Australia), 1980.
The Australian People and the Great War, Nelson (West Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1980.
All In!: Australia during the Second World War, Nelson (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1983, published as All In!: Fighting the War at Home, Allen & Unwin (St. Leonards, New South Wales, Australia), 1995.
Here Is Their Spirit: A History of the Australian War Memorial, 1917-1990, University of Queensland Press and Australian War Memorial (St. Lucia, Queensland, Australia), 1991.
Beryl Beaurepaire, University of Queensland Press (St. Lucia, Queensland, Australia), 1999.
This War Never Ends: The Pain of Separation and Return, University of Queensland Press (St. Lucia, Queensland, Australia), 2001.
(With Richard Cashman) Sport in History: The Making of Modern Sporting History, University of Queensland Press (St. Lucia, Queensland, Australia), 1979.
(With Richard Cashman) Sport: Money, Morality, and the Media, New South Wales University Press (Kensington, New South Wales, Australia), c. 1981.
(Selector, with Peter Stanley, and author of introduction) Australians at War, 1885-1972: Photographs from the Collection of the Australian War Memorial, Collins (Sydney, Australia), 1984.
(With Graeme Aplin and S. G. Foster) Australians: A Historical Dictionary, Fairfax, Syme, and Weldon (Broadway, New South Wales, Australia), 1987.
(With Graeme Aplin and S. G. Foster) Australians, Events, and Places, Fairfax, Syme, and Weldon (Broadway, New South Wales, Australia), 1987.
(And selector) The Makers of Australia's Sporting Traditions: Lives from the Australian Dictionary of Biography, Melbourne University Press (Carlton, Victoria, Australia), 1993.
Author, editor, and historian Michael McKernan has worked as an academic, public servant, and consultant. His experience includes being a former broadcaster for the Australian Broadcasting Company and a deputy director of the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. In 1999 he was awarded the inaugural Frederick Watson fellowship by the National Archives of Australia, a prize designed to encourage the use of the archives for scholarly research. McKernan's writing and research interests focus on Australia and Australians; his books touch on subjects ranging from the impact of various wars on Australia to the role of religion to general overviews of that nation's history.
Several of McKernan's early works address war in Australia, including Australian Churches at War: Attitudes and Activity of the Major Churches, 1914-1918, a volume that explores the power of the Australian churches. The book, which began as McKernan's doctoral dissertation, examines how Anglican and Catholic religious leaders encouraged the nation's participation in World War I in hopes of improving the Australian economy. McKernan commented on the clergy in an interview with Stephen Crittenden for the Australian Broadcasting Company Online Religion Report that "the meaning that they gave the war and that sustained so much of Australian thought about the war, was this was an event that was pre-ordained, possibly by God, to call … the Australian people, to a higher path, to a more moral type of living, and to regenerate the world. In other words, in an almost complete confusion of Christianity, these clergymen … were looking at war as a redemptive factor, as a means of purging and making clean a society that might slightly have lost its way."
McKernan also wrote the biography Beryl Beaurepaire, which is about the woman who was a founding member of Australia's Liberal Party and who devoted her life to promoting opportunities for women in all arenas. McKernan and Beaurepaire met while working together on the Council for the Australian War Memorial. As a result, McKernan was given unrestricted access to Beaurepaire's personal papers and was able to interview many of her acquaintances. Judith Brett wrote in a review for the Australian Journal of Politics and History that "the book is straight forward and highly readable, directed in the first instance at the general reader with an interest in Beryl's life, but it is also of great interest to the historian." She added that McKernan "is able to convey a clear sense of her personality and work style."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Australian Book Review, September, 1999, Marilyn Lake, "Imposing a Trajectory," pp. 10-11.
Australian Journal of Politics and History, March, 2002, Judith Brett, review of Beryl Beaurepaire, p. 116.
Catholic Historical Review, October, 1981, Kevin J. Fewster, review of Australian Churches at War: Attitudes and Activity of the Major Churches, 1914-1918, pp. 672-673.
Church History, June, 1982, review of Australian Churches at War, pp. 238-239.
Journal of Australian Studies, September, 1999, Kay Saunders, review of Beryl Beaurepaire.
Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, December, 2001, Joyce James, review of Beryl Beaurepaire, p. 289.
RQ, spring, 1989, Joyce C. Wright, review of Australians, Events, and Places, p. 408.
Australian Broadcasting Company Online Religion Report, http://www.abc.net.au/ (October 27, 2004), "Michael McKernan."
National Archives of Australia Web site,http://www.naa.gov.au/ (October 27, 2004), "Michael McKernan."*