Jane Tolerton

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Tolerton in 2016, after her investiture as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit by the governor-general, Sir Jerry Mateparae Jane Tolerton ONZM (cropped).jpg
Tolerton in 2016, after her investiture as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit by the governor-general, Sir Jerry Mateparae

Jane Tolerton ONZM (born 24 April 1957) is a New Zealand biographer, journalist and historian. [1]



Tolerton was born in Auckland and attended the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, completing a Bachelor of Arts in history and American studies and a Diploma in Journalism. [2] After graduating, she worked as a newspaper reporter and magazine feature writer, winning the Dulux News Award and the Cowan Prize for historical journalism. [3]

In 1987, Tolerton worked with Nicholas Boyack to set up the World War I Oral History Archive while at the Stout Research Centre at Victoria University of Wellington, and interviewed 85 war veterans about their experiences. The average age of the veterans was 90 and many had served in Gallipoli, the Somme, Passchendaele, and Palestine. She told their stories in later books, including An Awfully Big Adventure, which was named on the New Zealand Listener ’s list of 100 best books of 2013. [4] [5] In 1993, her biography of Ettie Rout won the New Zealand Book Award for non-fiction and the PEN best first book prize. [3] In 1996 she was writer in residence at Victoria University of Wellington. [2]

In 2008 and 2009, Tolerton wrote for Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand . [6] In 2014, Tolerton received a grant of $12,000 from The New Zealand History Research Trust Fund to research the role that New Zealand women played overseas in World War I; her book Make Her Praises Heard Afar was published in 2017. [5]

In the 2016 New Year Honours, Tolerton was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to historical research. [5]


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  1. "Interview with Jane Tolerton" . Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 "| New Zealand Book Council". www.bookcouncil.org.nz. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  3. 1 2 3 4 "Jane Tolerton" . Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  4. 1 2 "Make Her Praises Heard Afar" . Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  5. 1 2 3 "New Year Honours 2016 - Citations for Officers of the New Zealand Order of Merit". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  6. Te Ara team. "Jane Tolerton, writer". Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  7. "Home | Jane Tolerton". Home | Jane Tolerton. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  8. "Ettie Rout: New Zealand's safer sex pioneer by Jane Tolerton" . Retrieved 24 March 2018.