Robert is an Australian novelist, non-fiction and short story writer. He was born in Melbourne and grew up in Perth.
He was a columnist, features editor, literary editor and writer for The Age, The Australian and The Bulletin winning 2 Walkley Awards for journalism.
His first novel THE SAVAGE CROWS was published in 1976. He went on to write A CRY IN THE JUNGLE BAR (1979), THE BODYSURFERS (1983), FORTUNE (1986), THE BAY OF CONTENTED MEN (1989), OUR SUNSHINE (1991), THE DROWNER (1996), GRACE (2005), THE RIP (2008), WHIPBIRD (2017), his memoir THE SHARK NET (2000) and non-fiction WALKING ELLA (1999).
Robert was awarded an Australian Artists’ Creative Fellowship, an honorary doctorate in literature from the University of Queensland and an honorary doctorate of letters from the University of Western Australia.
OUR SUNSHINE was made in to a feature film in 2002, titled NED KELLY, starring Naomi Watts, Heath Ledger and Orlando Bloom, THE SHARK NET was adapted for ABC/BBC in to a miniseries and BBC radio drama, THE BODY SURFERS was adapted for television in to a miniseries for ABC/BBC and THE DROWNER is currently being developed in to a feature film.