Historian, linguist and author, John Harris has had a life-long involvement with Aboriginal people and is well known for his writings on their culture, languages and history. He is the author of over 100 books and papers including his award-winning major work,
and for the short-listed finalist in the Australian Christian Book of the Year of Judging the Macquaries
. John has a deep interest in the early contacts between Aboriginal people and the European invaders. He holds three doctorates: one in Aboriginal languages, another in theology and the prestigious Lambeth Doctorate from Her Majesty the Queen and the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Judging the Macquaries ended up being a book about ... what people thought of [Lachlan Macquarie] at the time ... One person who 'immensely disliked' Macquarie was Reverend Samuel Marsden, the senior chaplain of the Church of England in the New South Wales colony. Marsden felt that people who had lost their class had no right to regain it ... He saw that as an example of the wrath of God ... whereas Macquarie underlined in his prayer book that God preferred to restore rather than punish. Macquarie thought that transportation to Australia was enough; that it was sufficient punishment.