Margaret Simons is an award-winning journalist and the author of thirteen books, including a biography of Malcolm Fraser that was the 2011 Book of the Year at the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. She won the 2015 Walkley Award for Social Equity Journalism and has been honoured with several Quill Awards for journalistic excellence.


I’ve come to think of the Murray–Darling Basin as being like a tree, except the sap runs not from root to twigs but in the other direction. The roots and trunk are in South Australia. Here the river runs pea-green between red cliffs through semi-desert country to the vast sheets of water that form the lower lakes, the Coorong and the sea. The main branches of the tree are the Murray itself, forming most of the border between New South Wales and Victoria, fed by the mighty Murrumbidgee and its tributaries and the rivers of Victoria.
Read An Extract

Quarterly Essay News

Sign up to receive the latest news in our newsletter

Cover of Quarterly Essay 80
Cover of Quarterly Essay 79 by Katharine Murphy
Cover of Quarterly Essay 78 – The Coal Curse
Cry Me a River Subtitle The Tragedy of the Murray–Darling Basin
Image of cover of Quarterly Essay 76
Cover of Quarterly Essay 75 by Annabel Crabb
Cover of Quarterly Essay QE74