Hal Gibson Pateshall Colebatch

Hal Gibson Pateshall Colebatch

Infobox Writer

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name = Hal Gibson Pateshall Colebatch
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birthdate = birth date and age|1945|10|7
birthplace = Perth, Western Australia
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occupation = Author, poet, lecturer, journalist, editor, and lawyer
nationality = Australian
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genre = Science Fiction
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Hal Gibson Pateshall Colebatch (born October 7 1945), also known as Hal G. P. Colebatch and Hal Colebatch is an Australian author, poet, lecturer, journalist, editor, and lawyer.

Personal History

He is the son of the late Australian politician Sir Hal Colebatch and Lady Marion Colebatch, a former Australian Army nursing sister who was the daughter of long-time Fremantle mayor and parliamentarian Sir Frank Gibson. He is the author of Sir Hal Colebatch's biography, "Steadfast Knight" (foreword by Professor Geoffrey Blainey), published by the Fremantle Arts Centre Press.

He received a BA Honours and MA in History/Politics and a PhD in Political Science from the University of Western Australia as well as degrees in jurisprudence and law.

He was awarded an Australian Centenary Medal in 2003 for writing, law, poetry and political commentary, the only award for this combination of activities. He has also received an award from the Vietnamese community in Perth for work for Vietnamese refugees and was chairman of the Victoria League for Commonwealth Friendship in Western Australia 2003-2006. He was a keynote speaker at the "Summersounds" colloquium held at Blenheim, New Zealand, in June, 2008.

Colebatch also stood in the 1977 and 1993 state elections for the seat of Perth as the Liberal Party candidate, and although he was not elected to the Legislative Assembly on either occasion, on the second attempt he came within 0.12% of winning the seat from the Australian Labor Party, who had held it since 1968.


As well as "Steadfast Knight", his work includes seven volumes of poetry (starting with "Spectators on the Shore" in 1975), a series of science-fiction stories published in the US in the series "The Man-Kzin Wars", created by Larry Niven, in which he has created several original characters including Dimity Carmody, Nils Rykerman and Vaemar-Riit and books of political, social, legal and economic commentary. He was described in Penguin's "A New Literary History of Australia" published in 1988, as having has "a quiet but steady career" in Australian poetry at that time. He writes regularly for a number of publications including "Quadrant" and his 1999 book "Blair's Britain" was chosen in "The Spectator" (London) as a Book of the Year.Fact|date=December 2007 He also writes for "The American Spectator Online", op-ed articles for "The Australian" and occasional pieces for other publications including the "The Australian Financial Review", "IPA Review" "The Salisbury Review" and "The New Criterion". He also writes regular book-reviews for "The West Australian" and "The Record" in Perth. His "Return of the Heroes" is a study of heroic fantasy including "The Lord of the Rings", "Star Wars" and "Harry Potter", and he has contributed several articles to the forthcoming "J. R. R. Tolkien Encyclopaedia; Scholarship and Critical Assessment". He has also edited many books including "Lucky Ross", written by John Ross, an Australian Naval Officer who was transferred out of HMAS "Sydney" 19 days before it was sunk with all hands in November, 1941.

Many of his poems concern Perth and its suburbs, the Swan River and Rottnest Island, as well as travels in Britain, Asia, the Middle East and elsewhere. His poetry, which has won various prizes, is in both free-verse and highly structured forms including sonnets and sestinas.

He was described by Peter Alexander, Professor of English at the University of New South Wales, in his biography of Les Murray, as being among Australia's best writers.Fact|date=December 2007 Man-Kzin Wars XII, containing three more stories by Colebatch (two written in collaboration with M. J. Harrington) is scheduled to be published in February, 2009.

His seventh book of poetry, "The Light River", with a foreword by Les Murray was published by Connor Court publishers in 2007. In the foreword Murray stated that Colebatch's work had been unjustly suppressed by the Australian literary establishment because of his refusal to join poetic cliques. This book contains, among other works, the long narrative poem "The San Demetrio," telling of the salvaging of a burning petrol-tanker at sea in World War II, and a poem "It" on the return of terrorism. He is also co-author of a book on traffic law in Western Australia published in 2007.

His most recent published prose book is "Caverns of Magic" (Cybereditions, 2006), a survey of caves in myth, legend and story, and of the development of speleology. As a reporter on "The West Australian", Colebatch was involved in the discovery of several kilometers of extensions to Easter Cave in the south-west of Western Australia. The book has a foreword by naturalist and conservationist Harry Butler. (Many scenes in "Man-Kzin Wars X: The Wunder War" are set in caves and caverns, reflecting his knowledge of the subject.)

He is not to be confused with Dr Hal K. Colebatch who was born in 1944, has taught political science at several universities, and is also the author of a number of books. Hal G. P. Colebatch originally wrote under the by-line "Hal Colebatch" but changed this to "Hal G. P. Colebatch" to minimise confusion.

Titles written by Colebatch (partial list)

* "Claude de Bernales : the magnificent miner : a biography" Carlisle, W.A. : Hesperian Press, 1996. ISBN 0-85905-200-1
* "Steadfast knight : a life of Sir Hal Colebatch" with a foreword by Geoffrey Blainey. Fremantle, W.A. : Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 2004. ISBN 1-920731-39-3 - biography of his father.
* "Return of the Heroes : The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Social Conflict" : Cybereditions Corporation, 2003. ISBN 978-1877275579
* "The Light River" Connor Court, 2007. ISBN 0-9802936-4-2

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