Guide to the Papers of David Williamson [MSS 317]

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Manuscript Name Papers of David Williamson
Manuscript Number MSS 317
Last Updated September 2021
Extent 5 cm (2 folders)
Location Special Collections, UNSW Canberra
Abstract This collection comprises typescript drafts of Phar Lap and Third world blues.

Scope and Content

This collection comprises a typescript draft of Williamson's screenplay for the film Phar Lap (1983), and a typescript draft of Third world blues (1997), Williamson's play dealing with the effects of conscription and the Vietnam War. The play was originally produced as Jugglers three (1972).

Date Range of Contents


Biographical Note

David Williamson was born in Melbourne on 24 February 1942, and brought up in Bairnsdale, Victoria. After graduating in mechanical engineering from Monash University, Williamson studied social psychology. He lectured in both these subjects at Swinburne Institute of Technology until 1973.

The Tin Alley Players produced Williamson's first play The indecent exposure of Anthony East in 1968. Other published plays include The coming of stork (1970), The removalists (1971), Jugglers three (1972), Don's party (1973), Three plays: The coming of stork, Juggler's three, What if you died tomorrow (1974), The department (1975), A handful of friends (1976), The club (1978), Travelling north (1980), The perfectionist (1983), Sons of Cain (1985), Emerald city (1987), Top silk (1989), Siren (1991), Money and friends (1992), Brilliant lies (1993), Sanctuary (1994), Dead white males (1995), Heretic (1996), After the ball (1997) and Third world blues (1997). Williamson has also written a number of screenplays for film and television, including Petersen (1974), Eliza Fraser (1976), Gallipoli (1981), The year of living dangerously (co-author, 1982) and Phar Lap (1983).

Williamson has won numerous awards, including the George Devine Award (UK) in 1972, four Australian Film Industry (AFI) Awards and eleven Australian Writers' Guild Awgie awards.

Administrative Information


This collection is available for research.

Restrictions on Use

No copying is permitted without the permission of the copyright owners.

Preferred Citation

Special Collections, UNSW Canberra, Papers of David Williamson, Australian Defence Force Academy, MSS 317, Series [Number], Folder [Number].


The collection was acquired from Nicholas Pounder in 1989.

Additional Information

Separated Material

Further papers relating to David Williamson are held by the National Library, at MS 7378.

Series List and Descriptions


Series 1 Prose

Folder 1
'Third world blues' annotated typescript, first draft, 3 October 1971

Folder 2
'Phar Lap' typescript, fifth draft screenplay for John Sexton Productions, 31 August 1982