Derek Pugh

Derek Pugh OAM, is an educator and award-winning author with books on NT history, science, travel and YA fiction. Most well-known is his history series on the settlement of the NT, the Overland Telegraph Line, and a memoir of his time living in ManingridaHe now lives in Darwin but has had a career in primary and secondary education in both remote and urban schools, tiny remote homeland schools in Arnhem Land, and several international schools.

Derek arrived in the Northern Territory in 1982 and worked for several years in land conservation and with Kakadu National Park. He holds five university degrees or post-graduate qualifications. Now ‘professionally retired’, Derek spends his days lecturing, writing books and screenplays on Territory History, and promoting significant events, such as the 150th anniversary of the Overland Telegraph Line in 2022, and the upcoming 200th anniversary of the first British settlement in the north – Fort Dundas on Melville Island – in 2024.

Derek has also written two novels, one of which (Tammy Damulkurra) is a year 9 reader for the entire country of Kiribati. Derek has been a Guest Lecturer with Coral Expeditions since 2021 and is an enthusiastic storyteller about NT history.


4 Derek_Pugh_Photograph by Nicholas Parry_Dec21 _NRP7828