Many people will remember his first book, which was published that year; a collection of short stories about Papua New Guinea called Something in the Blood.
It was a watershed work because it shattered many hoary colonial myths and presented Papua New Guineans to the world as fully-rounded actors, rather than as bit players.
Since then Shearston has published five novels set in Papua New Guinea. They include Sticks That Kill (1983), White Lies (1986), Concertinas (1988), which explores the issue of West Papua, A Straight Young Back (2000) and Dead Birds (2007).
He has also just published an acclaimed book about the Australian bushranger, Ben Hall, called Game.
As soon as he had completed his degree he fled to Papua New Guinea as a teacher.
His first posting in 1968 was to Mendi, where Dave Agg, a Cadet Patrol Officer from my 1967 course, was in residence.
Trevor’s first job as a teacher was to build his school, including the classrooms, mess and dormitories.
He now lives in Katoomba in the Blue Mountains with his wife and son.
When he was asked whether he would be interested in coming along to the Crocodile Prize writers’ workshop in 2014 his reply was:
“I am honoured to be invited, and would be equally honoured to participate in the 2014 workshop in whatever capacity you can use me.
“I was at a workshop in Moresby some 10 years ago, and it was a thrill then to see so many writers trying to keep the torch alight.
“I know it's a struggle, and it would be good to see how the struggle is going”.