Meaghan Wilson-Anastasios spent her formative years in Melbourne and studied archaeology, art history and classical studies at the University of Melbourne before succumbing to the lure of travel and finding work excavating in the Mediterranean and Middle East. She holds a PhD in art history and cultural economics and has been a lecturer at the University of Melbourne. Meaghan has written for The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, Australian Gourmet Traveller, and The Conversation, and her media experience on radio and TV includes involvement with a Four Corners program for ABC TV that looked at questionable practices in the Australian art auction market and the Aboriginal art trade.
After graduating, Meaghan worked at major public institutions including the National Gallery of Victoria and Artbank, and held management-level positions at commercial art businesses, including Leonard Joel Australia. During that time she qualified as an art valuer for the Australian Government under the Cultural Gifts Program.
Nowadays she applies her peculiar skill set and knowledge base to her work in the entertainment industry and as an author. Meaghan is a scriptwriter and researcher for film and TV and an accredited member of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA). She has written and researched several series for Australian television, including the Logie-nomiated Foxtel series, The Pacific: In the Wake of Captain Cook with Sam Neill, Shane Delia’s Spice Journey: Turkey and Gourmet Farmer Afloat, and also keeps herself busy as a researcher on other major film and television productions including Destination Flavour: China with Adam Liaw, The Water Diviner, Australia: The Story of Us, and Doctor Doctor.
Meaghan’s first novel was an adaptation of the script for Russell Crowe’s feature, The Water Diviner, which was published by Pan Macmillan and sold over 45,000 copies in Australia and internationally. She is represented by Curtis Brown Australia, and in 2018, her novel The Honourable Thief, was published by Pan Macmillan, with the sequel, The Emerald Tablet, published in 2019. In 2018, Harper Collins also published Meaghan’s book, The Pacific: In the Footsteps of Captain Cook with Sam Neill, to accompany the TV series of the same name.
Meaghan lives in inner-city Melbourne with her screenwriter husband, their two children, a dog, a geriatric chicken named ‘Black Ops’, and two cats.
PhD (Art History and Cultural Economics), University of Melbourne. Thesis: Art at Auction: Price Formation and the Creation of Superstars in the Australian Art Auction Market.
Master of Art Curatorship, University of Melbourne.
Bachelor of Arts (Hons), Archaeology, Classical Studies, Art History, University of Melbourne.
Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA), Accredited Member, screenwriter.
SELECTED AWARDS/ NOMINATIONS
The Logies, Most Outstanding Factual or Documentary Program, 2019, (production nominated, involvement as scriptwriter and researcher) The Pacific: in the Footsteps of Captain Cook with Sam Neill
AWGIE (Australian Writers’ Guild) Awards, 2019, (as scriptwriter), documentary screenplay, The Pacific: in the Footsteps of Captain Cook with Sam Neill
Audie Audiobook of the Year, (global) 2014, nominated, The Water Diviner.
The Emerald Tablet, novel, Pan MacMillan Australia, 2019.
The Honourable Thief, novel, Pan Macmillan Australia, 2018.
The Pacific: in the Footsteps of Captain Cook with Sam Neill, non-fiction, Harper Collins, 2018.
The Water Diviner, (with Andrew Anastasios), 2014, novel, Pan Macmillan Australia
The Conversation, ‘What Went Wrong with the Melbourne Art Fair?’, February 2016.
Gourmet Traveller, ‘The Age of Ottomania’, August 2014.
The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, ‘Desert Artists Draw a Line in the Sand’, 4 May 2013.
The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, ‘Expertise Goes Down the Drain’, 29 December 2012.
Gourmet Traveller, ‘From Istanbul with Love’, November 2012, pp.210-15.
Routledge Companion to Art Marketing, ‘Fine Art Marketing and Consumption’ (with Assoc. Prof. Kate MacNeill), 2013.
Joining the Dots: Analysing the Sustainability of the Australian Aboriginal Art Market, Diogenes, UNESCO, July (231) 2010, pp.28-46.
The Impact of Unscrupulous Dealers on Sustainability in the Australian Aboriginal Desert Paintings Market, (with Prof. Neil De Marchi, Duke University USA), Proceedings of the 32nd Congress of the International Committee of the History of Art, 2009.
The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, ‘There’s an art to forcing up auction prices’, 1 August 2008.
Australian Art Collector, ‘Auction house of cards’, Oct-Dec 2008.
The Golden Age of Mapmaking: 16th and 17th Century Dutch cartography, catalogue, Spencer Scott Sandilands.
SELECTED TV/ FILM WRITING
The Pacific: in the Footsteps of Captain Cook with Sam Neill, Foxtel, (6 x 60” episodes). Sam Neill journeys across the Pacific in the footsteps of Captain Cook, July 2018
[Seeing Red: in production] 2 x 60” factual series about the art world.
Shane Delia’s Spice Journey: Turkey, SBS (10 x 30” episodes). Prod. Essential Media, July 2014.
Gourmet Farmer Afloat, SBS (6 x 60” episodes). Prod. Essential Media, August 2014.
SELECTED TV/ FILM RESEARCH
[Untitled: in production] 8 x 60” episode historical drama series set in 17th century Netherlands and East Indies.
The Pacific: in the Footsteps of Captain Cook with Sam Neill, Foxtel (Aust.), Essential Media (Aust.), Prime TV (NZ) July 2018.
Destination Flavour China with Adam Liaw, SBS, 2018. SBS Commissioning Editor.
Destination Flavour Eurovision with Adam Liaw, SBS, 2018. Blink TV
Doctor, Doctor, Nine Network, 2017.
Shane Delia’s Spice Journey: Turkey, SBS, 2014. Essential Media.
Gourmet Farmer Afloat, SBS, 2014. Essential Media.
The Water Diviner, feature film, dir. Russell Crowe, 2014.
Australia: The Story of Us, Seven Network, November 2014. Essential Media.
Lecturer, tutor and course co-ordinator, University of Melbourne (2006 – 2017).
Lecturer and tutor in the Art History and Master of Arts and Cultural Management postgraduate programs, and co-ordinator of the arts management and art curatorship internship programs
Selected subjects: Visual Culture Industries, The Economics of Culture; The Virtual Print Room; Art, Market and Methods; Modern Art: The Politics of the New.
Victorian Representative, Artbank, Australian Government
Artbank, Australian Government’s contemporary art acquisition and support program.
Art Department Manager, Fine Art Specialist and auctioneer
Leonard Joel Australia, art auction company.
Archaeologist and Illustrator
University of Melbourne and LaTrobe University excavations in Greece and the Middle East.
Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program.
Gallery Manager and Researcher
Spencer Scott Sandilands, Old Master Print and Map gallery.
Curatorial Assistant and Archaeological Illustrator
National Gallery of Victoria, Department of Antiquities.
SELECTED MEDIA/ PRESENTATIONS
4RO Queensland, telephone interview with Laurie Atlas, July 2019.
3AW Melbourne, in-studio interview with Denis Walter, July 2019.
3CR Melbourne, in-studio interview, September 2019.
ABC Radio Melbourne, The Friday Revue, in-studio radio interview with Brian Nankervis and Richelle Hunt, July 2018.
ABC Radio, Nightlife, in-studio radio interview with Sarah Macdonald, July 2018.
3AW Melbourne, in-studio interview with Denis Walter, June 2018.
3CR Melbourne, in-studio interview, September 2018.
3RRR Melbourne, in-studio interview, September 2018.
Radio Adelaide, telephone interview, August 2018.
Radio Southern FM, telephone interview, September 2018.
ABC Radio National, The Age, The Australian, Sydney Morning Herald, Australian Art Sales Digest, Australian Art Collector Magazine, art market reporter and commentator.
Gelibolu: A Turkish Perspective, March 2015, panel moderator, Wheeler Centre Melbourne.
‘Shifting Sands: the Aboriginal Art Market Today’, Keynote address, 2014 Aboriginal Art Centre Hub Western Australia annual conference.
‘The Contemporary Aboriginal Art Market’, Keynote Address, Desart Annual Conference, Alice Springs, 2014.
ABC, Four Corners, ‘Art for Art’s Sake’, (2008) (the Australian art auction market and unethical practices in the Aboriginal art market) on-air interview and research used as basis for the program.
Closing the Gap: Contemporary Indonesian Art, ‘Superstars and Supernovas: Artists and the Art Market’, BMW Edge Theatre, Fed Square.
Melbourne Conversations, City of Melbourne, BMW Edge Theatre, Federation Square, ‘Art Market Growth: Has It Been Good or Bad for Contemporary Australian Art?’
774 ABC Radio, on-air guest for Statewide Afternoon conducting live art appraisals and advice on art-related issues.