About Winton Higgins

Winton Higgins was born in Sydney in November 1941. After surviving the Japanese midget submarine attack on Sydney Harbour of 31 May 1942, he grew up on a sheep and cattle station 55 km outside Walgett NSW, in Tennant Creek in central Australia, and back in Sydney. He graduated in arts and law from Sydney University, and practised at the Bar for three years until 1969, when he moved to Europe, where he gained post-graduate qualifications in social science at the universities of Stockholm and London (LSE).

He did research and taught in Adelaide 1972–5, before his appointment as a lecturer in the politics discipline at Macquarie University, Sydney. He left this institution in 2000 as an associate professor. Since then he has been an associate in international studies at the University of Technology Sydney, while also engaging in creative writing. (He won the NSW Writers’ Centre’s short short story competition in 2002.)

Winton has cultivated a wide range of interests in his intellectual life, and three of them have come to dominate: social-democratic theory and practice, especially under the aegis of the Swedish experience 1928–76; genocide studies, with special reference to the Holocaust; and standardisation. He has been a board member of the Australian Institute of Holocaust and Genocide Studies since its inception in 2000. He teaches an annual course once a year at the Aquinas Academy on various ethical, social and political topics.

Since 1987 Winton has also been a Buddhist practitioner, and a teacher of insight meditation since 1995. He has contributed to the development of secular Buddhism internationally, and is a senior teacher for Sydney Insight Meditators and Secular Buddhism in Aotearoa New Zealand.

He lives in Sydney with his partner, Lena. They have two daughters and two grandchildren, all of whom also live in Sydney. 

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