2008-April 185Meaghan 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 upcoming Foxtel series, Uncharted 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 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 has recently signed a two-book deal with Pan Macmillan for the novels, The Honourable Thief, and The Emerald Tablet. Both books tell the tale of archaeologist, Benedict Hitchens, who is caught up in a trail of forgery, theft and deception across Greece, Turkey and the UK against a backdrop of Cold War political tensions.

Meaghan lives in inner city Melbourne with her screenwriter husband, their two children, a dog, two chickens and a multitude of tropical fish. Although she seems to have stalled on ‘A’ in the careers’ handbook (archaeologist, art expert, auctioneer, academic), now she has worked her way to ‘author’ she intends to stay put.




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.

Literary Agent: Clare Forster, Curtis Brown Australia.


Uncharted with Sam Neill, Foxtel (6 x 60″ episodes). To be released: 2018.

Shane Delia’s Spice Journey: Turkey, SBS (10 x 30″ episodes). Prod. Essential Media. Release date: July 2014.

Gourmet Farmer Afloat, SBS (6 x 60″ episodes). Prod. Essential Media. Release date: August 2014.


Doctor, Doctor, Channel 9. Prod. Essential Media.

The Water Diviner, Dir. Russell Crowe. Release date: December 2014.

Australia: The Story of Us, Channel 7. Prod. Essential Media. Release date: November 2014.

Shane Delia’s Spice Journey: Turkey, SBS (10 episodes). Prod. Essential Media. Release date: July 2014.

Gourmet Farmer Afloat, SBS (6 episodes). Prod. Essential Media. Release date: August 2014.

The 49ers, feature film.


Lecturer, tutor and co-ordinator of internship program (2006-2016) University of Melbourne.

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’s contemporary art acquisition and support program.

Art Department Manager and Fine Art Specialist

Leonard Joel Australia, art auction company.

Archaeologist and Illustrator

University of Melbourne and LaTrobe University excavations in Greece and the Middle East.

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.


ABC Radio National, The Age, The Australian, Sydney Morning Herald, Australian Art Sales Digest, Australian Art Collector Magazine, art market reporter and commentator.

The Wheeler Centre, ‘Gelibolu: A Turkish Perspective’, panel moderator for public forum broadcast on ABC Radio National, March 2015.

Desart Annual Conference, keynote address: ‘The Contemporary Aboriginal Art Market’, Alice Springs, 2014.

‘Shifting Sands: the Aboriginal Art Market Today’, keynote address, 2014 Aboriginal Art Centre Hub Western Australia annual conference.

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.

Blog: Art Matters: http://www.wilsonanastasios.com (2008-present)


The Water Diviner, (with Andrew Anastasios), novel, Pan Macmillan Australia (publication: Dec 2014)Gourmet Traveller, ‘The Age of Ottomania’, August 2014, pp.154-56.

The Conversation, ‘What went wrong with the Melbourne Art Fair?’, February 2016.

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 Dr Kate MacNeill), (publ. 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, ‘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 maps, catalogue, Spencer Scott Sandilands.



Prehistoric, ancient and modern historyArchaeology

Western and Middle Eastern politics

Australian history and politics

History of exploration

Museums and curatorship



The art market


Farmer, horse-rider, former exhibitor of Simmental cattle at agricultural shows, and survivor of Bachelor and Spinster balls.

Driven by a pathological urge to return regularly to the Mediterranean and Middle East. Turkey is a particular favourite after working there as an archaeologist over eight seasons, and digging up a husband.

Obsessive collector of books, art and Middle Eastern ephemera.




9 responses

31 12 2012

Great work Meaghan,Our industry is jammed full of cowboys and opportunists without knowledge just ego, they open galleries and crawl from under rocks when they smell money in a booming market and slide away when markets collapse. Keep informing the public and hopefully it may change. Bryan

5 01 2013
Meaghan Wilson-Anastasios

It’s good to hear from you Bryan, and it’s doubly good to hear that you liked what I put out there. I’m here because I love art – as you know, even had my own little jaunt in the commercial art world. Ah, good times…!!! But I don’t love the art world’s shady side and those who exploit people’s enthusiasm and naivety to turn a quick buck. Too many people get burned, and that hurts all those who are in it for the right reasons.
Cheerio, Meaghan.

3 05 2015
Cinema in Focus: ‘The Water Diviner’ | Santa Barbara Riviera

[…] Set within World War I when Australia invades the Ottoman empire, the story of a father whose three sons are lost in a particularly brutal battle is true. Based on that fact, Andrew Knight and Andrew Anastasios work together to create the screenplay from the book of the same name written by Andrew and Dr. Meaghan Wilson-Anastasios. […]

22 07 2015
Carolyn Renz

Meaghan – Just finished listening to the audio book of The Water Diviner about an hour ago (I saw the movie earlier this summer and loved it and was delighted to find the audio book at the library!) What a wonderful story and also Jack Thompson was a great narrator! Also love Russel Crowe in the movie and plan to see it again.
I discovered Greek music (via Never on Sunday and Zorba the Greek movies), took a folk dance class where I wrote my term paper on Greek Dancing and later discovered Greek Folk dance classes at the YWCA the same year I discovered the Hammered Dulcimer or Santori. I later became a member of a Greek Dance troupe performing at Greek Church Festival and civic events and even the 1984 Olympics held in Los Angeles.
In 1976 I planned a trip to Greece and convinced my friend Sharon to join me. We had a bon voyage party before leaving where at Sharon met my ex-husband, Bob. Well, we went off to Greece and on the island of Mykonos Sharon met an Austrailan named Ian, who changed his plans and followed her back to California for a visit. The mail didn’t cooperate and they lost touch. She married my ex and Ian married someone in Wollongong. After the death of Bob, she reconnected with Ian in Wollongong and joined me on a trip to Australia in 1983. In 1984 she moved to Australia with her daughter Allyson by Bob. They married and moved to Southern California eventually.
Though I have never been to Turkey, I do have some Anatolian records from the days I collected Greek music……
Your story intrigued me and I truly loved the story you created of The Water Diviner and was contemplating the Australian.Greek/Turkish/relationships connections that we sorta share and felt the desire to connect with you. Guess a trip to Turkey is now on my bucket list. Thanks again.
Carolyn Renz

23 07 2015
Meaghan Wilson-Anastasios

Hi Carolyn, What a fantastic story! It sounds like a movie script! Wow. Greece in the 70s. Bet they were some great times.

Thank you so much for making contact. It means a lot. It’s wonderful to know that you enjoyed The Water Diviner. We were absolutely thrilled when Jack agreed to narrate the book. He has always been one of my favourite Australian actors, so it was quite surreal and exciting to hear him speaking the words we had written! And Russell was perfect for the role of Joshua Connor. When my husband, Andrew Anastasios, and the co-writer of the script, Andrew Knight, were working on the script, they had a photo of Russell pinned to the wall… when we read the very first draft, we all just knew that he was the only person who could bring Connor to life on screen.

Turkey is an extraordinary place. My husband and I were archaeologists and met on an excavation in the far east of the country near a town called Erzurum. After a number of seasons working over there, we were married in the beautiful town of Bodrum on the Aegean, in a Crusader castle overlooking the sea. We have continued to visit Turkey as often as possible, and find any excuse to go back there! I have written some articles on Turkey for an Australian food and travel magazine, Gourmet Traveller, and I also wrote a ten-part program on the food and history of Turkey for Australian television that screened last year. The Water Diviner book was our ‘love letter’ to the country we love so much. So, although I am (obviously!) a little biased, I would urge you to make time to visit! You won’t regret it.


6 09 2018
Bob Breedon

Hi Meaghan. Just picked up the book “Pacific” as I am an avid follower of Cook. In your opening pages (chapter 1, page 6) “…When the excited and malodorous crew of the Endeavour arrived on 13 April 1769, led by Captain James Cook….” Did you not know that Cook was only a Lieutenant on his first voyage? He was not promoted to Captain until after that voyage in August 1771 according to my research. Cheers. Bob.

6 09 2018
Meaghan Wilson Anastasios

Hi Bob, thanks for your note! Yes, I certainly am aware that Cook was only a Lieutenant in the Navy when he led his first voyage into The Pacific. The book (and the TV series) is based on exhaustive research undertaken by a team of researchers and with the consultation of experts and historians. It was a matter of extensive debate as we planned the TV series about how we would refer to Cook. It was decided that because he was appointed ‘Captain’ after his return from the first voyage, and because any person in charge of a vessel at sea is referred to as a ‘captain’, that we would use that title for the sake of consistency. Hope this clears things up for you, and that you enjoy the book! All the best, Meaghan.

7 09 2018
Bob Breedon

I would have thought that, on a significant project as the compilation of this book and its important relationship to our country’s beginnings, historical accuracy would be paramount. But hey, who am I to question?

7 09 2018
Meaghan Wilson Anastasios

Cook’s naval rank as ‘lieutenant’ on the first voyage is mentioned in chapter 3 in the book. In the TV series, Sam also clarifies it in the first episode. You’re absolutely right, of course – historical accuracy is the most important thing in a project like this.

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