A biography of mining giant BHP Billiton has taken out this year's Blake Dawson Prize for Business Literature.
Titled The Big Fella - The Rise and Rise of BHP Billiton, the book was co-authored by Peter Thompson and Robert Macklin and is an account of the astonishing rise of the company from its beginnings in Australia's outback, to its move to the Indonesian island of Belitung, to its eventual establishment as a world leader in the energy and resources industry.
Acclaimed Australian author Thomas Keneally AO presented the $30,000 prize at a dinner hosted by Blake Dawson on Tuesday.
Keneally applauded the authors for their ability to produce such compelling work, and congratulated Blake Dawson for providing an incentive to do so.
"To hold up a book as the work of your own hand and brain is still a more transcendent joy than holding up an iPad. How long that will be so, I don't know," said Keneally in his awards speech.
"But I salute you for being able to do it ... and I salute Blake Dawson for giving you their license, encouragement and imprimatur to show off."
The annual award is the biggest of its kind for business and finance writing and is administered by the State Library of NSW.
A panel of high-profile judges, including Mahla Pearlman AO, Alan Cameron AM, Professor Richard Fisher AM and George Maltby AO, chose the winner from a pool of four short-listed titles.
Other finalists were Gordon Barton by Sam Everingham, Firepower by Gerard Ryle, and Wired Brown Land by Paul Fletcher.