Dr Lindsay Simpson won The Courier-Mail People's Choice Queensland Book of the Year Award, in the 2019 Queensland Literary Awards with her book, Adani, Following its Dirty Footprints: A Personal Story.
Dr Lindsay Simpson won The Courier-Mail People's Choice Queensland Book of the Year Award, in the 2019 Queensland Literary Awards with her book, Adani, Following its Dirty Footprints: A Personal Story. Contributed

Prolific writer snags top gong for Adani investigation

WHEN Dr Lindsay Simpson arrived in the Whitsundays, in 2015, she knew it was a very special place with its pristine environment, stunning climate and World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef.

What she didn't know then was that, just three years later, she would write an award-winning book about changes impacting this pristine environment and the reef that is enjoyed by so many people.

The prolific writer - she has authored and co-authored 11 books - was an investigative journalist with The Sydney Morning Herald, from 1983 to 1995, and she uses those skills in her writing.

Adani, Following its Dirty Footsteps: A Personal Story is an investigation into how the company has been approved to build Australia's largest coal mine, and the world's largest coal terminal, just kilometres from the Great Barrier Reef.

It has won The Courier Mail People's Choice Queensland Book of the Year Award, in the 2019 Queensland Literary Awards, beating off some very stiff competition.

The book details Dr Simpson's doorknocking at Adani's Indian headquarters to hand over a petition from the Australian Conservation Foundation, signed by some of Australia's most prominent citizens, and lobbying politicians in Parliament House, Canberra, questioning them on what led to the mine's approval.

When she heard about the win, Dr Simpson - who now operates sailing trips in the Whitsundays with husband Grant, on their classic 62-foot gaff-rigged schooner Providence V - said she was thrilled by the reaction to her 11th book.

"I was just really thrilled because I wasn't intending to write a book - I intended writing a 5000-word piece - but I had been in India and knocked on the door, and I thought about it a bit more and then I was approached by Spinifex Press, and it ended up being a memoir," she said.

"There were about a dozen books shortlisted for the People's Choice Award and it was quite overwhelming that I was voted in with the Adani book.

"I felt it was a ray of hope to get recognition from the actual people.

"The politicians can say what they like but the people have a different view."

The glittering awards ceremony was held at the State Library of Queensland, in Brisbane, on November 12, and was attended by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

The awards ceremony was preceded by a private winners' event and followed by a reception and book signing.

Dr Simpson specialises in true crime and in 2007 was awarded the Crime Writer's Association Lifetime Achievement Award. Simpson's first book 'Brothers in Arms' (co-authored with Sandra Harvey) was made into a six-part mini-series entitled Bikie Wars (released in 2012).

'Where is Daniel?' was published in 2014 and documented the disappearance and murder of 13-year-old Daniel Morcombe, resulting in Australia's largest manhunt.

Dr Simpson founded the journalism program at the University of Tasmania, and the Bachelor of Multimedia Journalism at James Cook University, Queensland.


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