Seymour Scholarship

Ms Zoe Smith (Australian National University) - 'The Woman Always Pays': Cultural Understandings of Domestic Violence in Colonial Women's Writings, 1880-1914 

This project explores how colonial female writers - Barbara Baynton, Ada Cambridge, Louisa Lawson, and Rosa Praed -  used their fiction and non-fiction writings to find new ways to open discussions about colonial women's experience of domestic violence, and the wider place of domestic violence within Australian society.  It particularly examines how these women's writings sought to intervene in and critique a male-dominated cultural discourse about marital behavioural norms, detailing white women's experiences of violent partnerships across all classes.

Professor Robert and Mrs Josephine Shanks Scholarship

Mr Scott McCarthy (Deakin University) - Britishness, Irishness, and Class: Catholic Politicians and the Negotiation of Identity

By the mid-late-nineteenth century, the general stature of Catholics in the Australian community had begun to rise.  A discernible middle class, varying in its industry, wealth, and status, had formed largely in step with standards set by a culturally British and Protestant Australia.  The increased influence of Catholic politicians was symptomatic of this growth.  This project aims to examine the extent to which such developments complicated the nature of Catholic identity, particularly as it related to class and ethnicity.

National Library of Australia First Nations Scholarship 

Ms Jacinta Mackay (University of Wollongong) - The Aboriginal narrative of the Shoalhaven's colonisation

This project asks how the history of the Shoalhaven can inform culturally safe nursing care.  Research will focus on gaining knowledge of the history of the stolen generation in the Shoalhaven area, Alexander and David Berry.  The project will  interpret and document special collection sources, particularly the closing the gap recordings relating to the Bomaderry Children's Home, general Shoalhaven history, and manuscripts relating to Alexander Berry.  This will assist in supporting Aboriginal histories and shed light on the injustices of the past, ultimately contributing to creating a culturally safe nursing plan for local hospitals.

National Library of Australia Scholarship

Ms Jorien van Beukering (University of Queensland) - Subject or Citizen? Unacknowledged Children in Colonial Indonesia (1800-1942)

This project investigates the changing legal position of children of Dutch men and Indonesian women in the Dutch East Indies (colonial Indonesia) between the formal beginning of the Dutch colonial effort in 1800 and the end of Dutch colonialism in 1942.  Specifically, the project examines whether illegitimate biracial children were eligible for Dutch citizenship and nationality under the colonial laws or whether they were considered Dutch subjects, as well as their position under Indonesian adat (customary)  law. 

Mr Doug Snedden AO and Ms Belinda Snedden Scholarships

Mr Tandee Wang (University of California, Santa Barbara) - The "Smiling Young Asian Student": Ending Asian Exclusion in the Transpacific, 1950s-1970s

This research examines the social construction of Asians as a racial category (Asian racialisation) in the period leading up to the formal dismantlement of anti-Asian immigration laws, from the end of WWII to 1965 in the US and 1973 in Australia.  Until immigration liberalisation, many Asians were only able to enter the US and Australia as students - indeed, they were actively encouraged to do so by Cold War "soft power" programs such as the American Fulbright and the Australian Colombo Plan.  This research will examine the similarities and differences between Asian diasporas in Australian and the US, and hopes to uncover the interlocking, transnational material and cultural conditions that structured how Asians were perceived and understood across these sites.

Ms Jean Wong (University of Sydney) - Forming an impression of music used in Chinese religious rituals during the 18th and 19th centuries

This project is an investigation of how music was used in Chinese religious rituals in China and Chinese diasporic communities during the 18th and 19th centuries, focusing primarily on Chinese Buddhist rituals.  Prior to the proliferation of recording technology, most knowledge of musical materials used in Chinese religious rituals were only found in written sources - in musical scores and ritual manuals, but also in travel writing and historical publications.  By exploring the Library's diverse collection of written records published in the 18th and 19th centuries by Chinese authors and Western missionaries and travellers, this project seeks to construct a more holistic understanding of musical features and practices associated with Chinese religious rituals.


Carol Moya Mills Summer Scholarship

Ms Kate Kirby (University of the Sunshine Coast) - The 1982 Brisbane Commonwealth Games: exploring event impact, legacy, and memory outside the city limits

In considering the sport history of Queensland between 1970 and 2020, key policies, people, places, and events warrant attention. On the sporting field, Queensland has a history of hosting sporting events ranging from community sport through to high-performance sport. Attention often focuses on sporting events hosted in the south-east corner of the state, particularly in Brisbane, the capital city. The 1982 Brisbane Commonwealth Games was such an event. While almost forty years have now passed, the Brisbane Commonwealth Games of 1982 remain in the memory of Queenslanders.

Professor Robert and Josephine Shanks Scholarship

Ms Yvette Grant (The University of Melbourne) - Ballet, Modernism and Early Women Choreographers in Australia: a Laurel Martyn Case Study

Beginning with the concept of the modern woman, this project investigates the choreography of four women ballet choreographers in Australia: Laurel Martyn, Joanna Priest, Louise Lightfoot and Valrene Tweedie. Their works were expressive, modern, abstract and Australian. It then takes a deep dive into two of Laurel Martyn's works, Voyageur and En Saga, and reenacts both. Finally, as a set, it considers Martyn's Australian-themed works including Mathinna, Sentimental Bloke, Dreamtime and Beach Ballet.

Read blog post: Re-writing Australian ballet history 

Seymour Summer Scholarship

Mrs Stephanie Shon (University of Oxford) - Writing About Australian Music: Discursive Mediations of Taste and Aesthetics 1960s–1970s

Writing about Australian music swelled to unprecedented levels in the 1960s and 70s. This project will analyse the criticism penned by the most influential music critics of the day in order to illuminate how contemporary music discourse was bound up in wider social and political transformations in Australian society. It seeks to examine how contemporary musical discourses handled themes such as modernism, Australian identity, and Asianness in Australian-produced art music. In doing so, it seeks to identify how certain composers, musical aesthetics and topoi accrued symbolic capital and how this contributed to artistic legitimacy.

Read blog post: Behind the curtain of Australian classical music

National Library of Australia Summer Scholarship funded by a generous donor

Mrs Judith Bartholomeusz (Charles Sturt University) - "Caroline Chisholm, John Dunmore Lang and Utopian Impulses in Australian Colonial Society"

At first glance there are some notable similarities between John Dunmore Lang's and Caroline Chisholm's emigration schemes (as noted by Kiddle). This project aims to explore the degree of this alignment more thoroughly, but also to ask to whether any other elements of their modes of thought and praxis corresponded. Manuscript sources for Lang are substantial; much less so for Chisholm.


Seymour Summer Scholarship

Ms Tess Scholfield-Peters (University of Technology Sydney) - From Berlin to the Bush: Jewish Youth in Rural Australia in 1939

Tess Scholfield-Peters will research attitudes of and towards Jewish emigrants who arrived in Australia pre-WWII, specifically the cohort of which her grandfather was part. Beginning in July 1939, her project will trace her grandfather’s journey from the Jewish Welfare Society in Melbourne; to Kuitpo Methodist Colony in South Australia; to Bunnigalore in NSW up until his enrolment in the AIF. Her aim for the Scholarship is to contextualise her wider doctoral project through a contrast of public and government policy towards Jewish migration, and the impact migration had on Jewish youth in rural Australia.

Read the behind the scenes blog post.

Tess's book Dear Mutzi will be released by NLA Publishing in June 2024.

Norman McCann Summer Scholarships

Ms Suzannah Henty (University of Melbourne) - Friendship, Global Alliances and Decoloniality

This project will examine the history of solidarity in anticolonial political organizations in the 1970s. The Third World Movement was a galvanizing factor in internationalist Black Power political movements in Australia and art and culture was a key unifying form of collaborative community action. To identify moments of aesthetic and political convergence, Henty will examine the previously unexamined papers of the first Palestinian Liberation Organisation representative in Australia, as well as additional literature relating to Palestine

Read the behind the scenes blog post.

Mr Austin Tseng (University of Melbourne) - Chinese-Australians and Anti-Blackness: Settler Media Discourses Since Federation

This research project explores discourses in Chinese-Australian newspaper media on coverage relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the other fundamental positionalities of “non-Whiteness” against which hegemonic Australian nationhood is defined. Mapping networks of power, ideology and knowledge-production in how Chinese-Australians have related to dominant discourses about Indigenous Australia and Blackness, this research will explain how these dynamics, historically and currently, influenced conceptions of self and other amongst Chinese individuals in Australia.

Read the behind the scenes blog post.

Carol Moya Mills Summer Scholarship

Ms Anita Gowers (Australian National University) - The unexamined object: nineteenth century Australian picture frames

This project seeks to build a social historical narrative of frames within nineteenth century Australia. It also aims to uncover the connections between artists, their artworks and their frames during the 1800s. Frames, like other objects, are not mere aesthetic forms to be isolated from their context. Rather, they originate from particular communities and practices, which are essential to their identity and meaning. Australian frame history, although challenging, can be uncovered through diverse archival material including manuscripts, letters and government documents held by the National Library.

Read the behind the scenes blog post.

Nangaypa Rirraliny Summer Scholarship funded by Emeritus Professor Janice Reid AC

Miss Madeleine Pugin (Griffith University) - The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Urban Aboriginal Cultural Recognition in South East Queensland

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) is a framework of minimum standards for aspects of Indigenous peoples’ lives including land, language, education and culture. In the thirteen years of UNDRIP’s existence, its application has been limited – especially within the Australian context. Within this, there is little research at the community level amongst the groups who are meant to be empowered by it. This research project aims to determine the extent to which UNDRIP can support or constrain the exercise of, or recognition of, cultural rights of urban Aboriginal peoples.

Read Q&A with Madeleine Pugin

National Library of Australia Summer Scholarship funded by a generous donor

Ms Deborah Lee-Talbot (Deakin University) - A Unique Copy: The Australian Joint Copying Project

The Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP), an initiative which microfilmed archives and records from the United Kingdom and Ireland relating to Australia and the Pacific, is a unique component of Australia’s national archives. This project seeks to understand how the collaborative transnational research relationships that AJCP Officers formed with foreign national organisations, government departments, and transnational organisations influenced the exchange and acquisition of manuscripts. Examining records for traces of these relationships produces new knowledge about librarians and researchers' political roles, especially in settler societies such as Australia.


Norman McCann Summer Scholarships

Mr Tim Calabria (LaTrobe University) - Child Migration and Stolen Generations in Popular Historical Consciousness

In the mid-1990s, harrowing stories emerged of child migrants and Stolen Generations who had been taken from their families. Side-by-side, these narratives produced unprecedented responses in public discourse, yet scholars have struggled to make sense of the cacophony of debate, the millions of marching feet and the mountain of writing inspired by these histories. Tim Calabria’s project will assess the extensive papers left by Sir Ronald Wilson, president of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission during this period, and seek to contribute to the understanding of this profound moment of social change in Australia, as people concurrently engaged in the Reconciliation movement and grappled with the bleak outcomes of child migration for many institutionalised children.

Mr Brendan Casey (University of Melbourne) - American visitors and Australian poetry

This project will examine four American poets - Robert Duncan, Robert Creeley, Denise Levertov and Harry Roskolenko - each of whom visited and wrote about Australia but have not previously been considered in terms of their contribution to Australian culture and literature. Too often, the work relating to Australia by foreign writers such as these exists in an under-researched, marginal zone, where overseas scholars are confused by this period of visitation, and local Australian scholars are hesitant to accept the work of non-Australian authors. Brendan’s research intentionally targets this unconscious ‘valley’ between Australian and international research.

Carol Moya Mills Summer Scholarship

Ms Catherine Gay (University of Melbourne) - Nineteenth-century Girls in NLA Collections

This project will explore the National Library’s collections relating to nineteenth-century Australian and Victorian girls. These girl-produced sources include diaries, letters and scrapbooks, and will draw on relevant items produced about and for girls. Colonial documents from Britain and Australia will be examined and recontextualised to uncover crucial insights into the political and bureaucratic discourse surrounding childhood and girlhood in the colonies.

Seymour Summer Scholarship

Ms Victoria Perin (University of Melbourne) – Noel Counihan and the Melbourne post-war print community

Noel Counihan was a vital member of the pre-World War II and post-war arts community in Melbourne, and an idiosyncratic and passionate printmaker. Counihan used his prints and the proceeds of their sale for political purposes, about which very little is currently published. Victoria Perin’s project will examine the works and papers of Noel Counihan, revealing the artist as an internationally minded coordinator, as well as providing insight into his decades-long engagement with the print medium.

National Library of Australia Summer Scholarship funded by a generous donor

Mr Jake Gordon (University of Technology Sydney) - Exploration of Indigenous employment since first settlement

This project will aim to assess the relevance of Indigenous employment - and/or slavery - since European settlement, as it relates to the modern day employment of Indigenous Australians. Jake will examine the techniques used by the first Governments to engage Indigenous people in working environments, and will explore the histories of the first Indigenous public servants. This will show the journey of recognition and the journey of Indigenous Australians in building today's current employment climate.


Katerina Bryant, Rosa Campbell, Joseph Steinberg, Tianna Killoran & Daniel McKay

Norman McCann Summer Scholarships

Mr Daniel McKay (University of Cambridge) - The Role of Australia at the Colonial and Imperial Conferences, 1887-1937

Australia actively participated in the Colonial and Imperial Conferences held in London and Ottawa between 1887-1937. Australian delegates were sent to every Conference except that of 1917, which coincided with the federal election. Given its strategic isolation, Australia actively lobbied for enhanced imperial cooperation especially in matters of defence. The Conferences became the chief mechanism for Empire-wide debate over the nature of inter-imperial political and constitutional relations, culminating in the creation of the British Commonwealth which fundamentally altered Australia and the other Dominions’ relations with Britain on the basis of 'equality of status'. Daniel’s research seeks to draw on material contained in private papers of these Australian delegates to better tell the story of Australia’s role in the Colonial and Imperial Conferences.

Ms Katerina Bryant (Flinders University) - The Art of Falling: Clowns, Women and the Circus in Australia and the US

Katerina will be using the Library collection to examine the lives of circus performers, particularly clowns, in 1920 to 1950 both in Australia and the United States. She will examine the nature of circus life for women and challenge how their contributions are often erased in historical and contemporary memory; archival research reveals the invisibility of women clowns in comparison to their male counterparts. Katerina is interested in probing these gaps and memories to uncover what this era held for women who, by virtue of living with a travelling circus, experienced many previously unknown freedoms.

Carol Moya Mills Summer Scholarship

Ms Tianna Killoran (James Cook University) - Friend or Foe? A History of Japanese-North Queensland Relations to 1941

During the early twentieth century, the Australian-Japanese relationship was strained. Although Australian newspapers aired grievances about the incoming 'yellow tide', Japanese migrants continued to arrive in north Queensland and maintain businesses, families, and social engagements. Whilst existing histories of Japan’s imperial expansion recognise the fears Australians held about Japan's expansion into the Pacific during the early twentieth century, they overlook the presence of a large Japanese migrant population in northern Australia. Tianna’s research will build upon existing literature to analyse the papers of foreign analyst E.L. Piesse and Japanese newspapers to assess Australia's fear of Japanese incursions and the extent to which it relates to Japanese migrants living in north Queensland.

Seymour Summer Scholarship

Mr Joseph Steinberg (University of Cambridge) – Winton, Stead, Carey: Three Writers in the Tertiary System

This project will consider how certain novels by Christina Stead, Tim Winton and Peter Carey were informed by, or resist, their experiences within the tertiary education system. Access to the personal papers of these three writers will allow Joseph to contrast their lived experiences with the works of fiction they subsequently produced.

National Library of Australia Summer Scholarship funded by a generous donor

Ms Rosa Campbell (University of Cambridge) - Origin Stories: The impact of the Union of Australian Women (UAW) and Save Our Sons (SOS) on the Australian Women's Liberation Movement

Current scholarship suggests that the 1950s and early 1960s was a time of decline for the women's movement in Australia, until the explosion of Australian Women's Liberation Movement (AWLM) in 1968. Rosa will use the collections of the National Library to interrogate this claim, considering the impact of two earlier women's organisations on AWLM—Save Our Sons (SOS), a national group of mother's agitating against conscription during the Vietnam war, founded in 1965; and the Union of Australian Women (UAW), an organisation of working-class women, established in 1950 who agitated against war and for gender justice. Importantly, this project will consider Aboriginal women's organising by examining the impact of the UAW on this.


Paige Gleeson, Rebecca Harkins-Cross, Rebecca Richards, Nathan Gardner & Jimmy Yan

Carol Moya Mills Summer Scholarship

Paige Gleeson (University of Tasmania) Traces of Australian Empire in Forgotten Photographs

Paige is seeking to uncover and trace imperial networks of artefact and photographic exchange, demonstrating the connections between artefacts and photographs, and the potential they hold in illuminating the fluid boundaries of the expansive oceanic territory to which Australia belonged in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Evidence of the frequently forgotten shared histories of Australia and Papua New Guinea will be investigated in three unique photographic collections held by the NLA by missionary William Saville, and government anthropologists Wallace Armstrong and E.W.P Chinnery.

Seymour Summer Scholarship

Jimmy Yan (University of Melbourne) Irish Independence and the Global Imaginary of Australian Political Activists, 1916 – 1923

Jimmy is examining long-distance connections between the Irish revolution and Australian social movements including the labour movement. Positioned within an emerging transnational historiography of the Irish revolution, and coinciding with an ongoing 'Decade of Centenaries' in Ireland, it traces the circulation and translation of the 'Irish Question' into Australian political contexts between 1912 and 1923. Drawing from personal papers of Australian activists politicised around the Irish Question, Jimmy seeks to re-establish the contexts and connections that shaped Australian responses to Irish independence in the years before and after the Easter Rising.

Norman McCann Summer Scholarships

Nathan Gardner (University of Melbourne) Chinese-Australian community organisations during the 1990s: Responses to Pauline Hanson

Nathan is focussing on the emergence of Pauline Hanson and One Nation, foregrounding the experiences and responses of Chinese-Australian community organisations. Using the Library’s extensive collection of community organisation pamphlets, newsletters, and oral histories recorded with prominent Chinese-Australian community leaders throughout this period, the project will document the different strategies groups used to engage with this issue and highlight their agency in the face of victimisation.

Rebecca Harkins-Cross (Monash University) Mapping Terror Australis: Imagining the Great Unknown Land of the South

Rebecca is questioning how early cartographic conceptualisations and representations of the 'Great Southern Land' have continued to influence the ways in which the continent and its landscapes are represented and understood in Australian art/culture today. Probing the gaps between imagination and reality, she will ponder the various omissions, repressions and violences necessary to conceive of Terra Australis and, subsequently, the principle of Terra Nullius. Rebecca’s research begins in the maps collection – primarily, early mapping of Terra Australis, the earliest Dutch charting of the land that became Australia, and the British Admiralty charts of Australian waters.

National Library of Australia Summer Scholarship funded by generous donors

Rebecca Richards (University of Adelaide) Flinders Ranges: Outback and Homeland

The Flinders Ranges are one of South Australia's most significant landforms, and a major tourist destination. The Adnyamathanha people and their ancestors have been traditional owners and custodians of these ranges for over 50,000 years. Rebecca will be re-thinking Aboriginal histories in the Flinders Ranges via a critical engagement with the collections of the National Library, the State Library of South Australia and the SA Museum relating the immediacy of photography to the layers of the colonial archive. Rebecca’s research seeks to move beyond the nostalgia typical of Indigenous representations, questioning the stories we tell ourselves about Australia’s past.


Shastra Deo, Rosanna Stevens, Cassandra Byrnes, Luke Forbes & Paul Taucher

Carol Mills Summer Scholar

Paul Taucher (Murdoch University): Australian Command Responsibility Trials of Japanese Officers in WWII

Paul is examining the doctrine of command responsibility – an officer’s liability for crimes committed by subordinates – at Australian trials of Japanese war criminals, including instances of political influence on prosecutions and judgments. His investigation focuses on the papers of David Sissons, the noted historian of Australian war crimes trials, and the correspondence of Sir William Webb, an Australian war crimes prosecutor. Paul’s project also draws on oral histories and photographs which document Japanese soldiers and prisoner of war camps, together with a long sequence of detailed Attorney-General’s Department reports on the War Crimes Act, 1945.

Seymour Summer Scholar

Rosanna Stevens (ANU): The Conflict of Colonialism in the Life and Work of Peter Sculthorpe

Rosanna is exploring the extensive archive of Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe to gain insights into his mode of creative production and views on colonisation. Approaching her project as a writer (rather than music specialist) Rosanna is using Sculthorpe’s letters, interview transcripts, scores and essays on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture to understand his impulse for incorporating Indigenous songs in his compositions. By working closely with his manuscripts, Rosanna is eager to reveal new understandings of Sculthorpe’s preoccupation with traditional landscapes, as reflected in musical works such as Djilie, Elcho Island Lament and the orchestral arrangements Kakadu, Mangrove and Port Essington.

Norman McCann Summer Scholars

Cassandra Byrnes (University of Queensland): Abortion Law Reform the 1970s and 1980s: The National Context

Cassandra is investigating the national abortion law reform movement of the 1970s and 1980s, to contextualise the Queensland Pregnancy Termination Control Bill, 1980 and its impetus to restrict the termination of pregnancies. She is casting a wide net across the Library’s manuscript collections which document the abortion and pro-life campaigns, by consulting the records of the Right to Life Association, Women’s Electoral Lobby and the Oral Contraceptive Information Centre, and the personal papers of individuals prominent within the opposing factions. Cassandra’s research is further guided by transcripts of the many major inquiries and reports on abortion law reform issued in the period, and submissions made by lobby groups such as the Australian Catholic Social Welfare Commission and other medical and social justice entities.

Luke Forbes (Monash University): Indigenous Australian Contemporary Dancescapes

Luke is reviewing the production and reception of Indigenous dance performance on stage from the 1970s through to the present day, as part of a wider critical historiography of contemporary Indigenous dance which is the focus of his doctoral thesis. He is delving into the Library’s rich oral history collection, and listening to recordings of Indigenous dance professionals captured as part of the Keep Dancing Oral History Project, to locate these artists within an established community of dance practitioners, organisations and advocates. Luke’s research is being further informed by the archival records of the National Aboriginal and Islander Skills Development Association (NAISDA), and the personal papers of Indigenous dancers such as Dennis Newie.

Shastra Deo (University of Queensland): Body as Battleground: The First World War and the Medical Body

Shastra is analysing the medical history of World War I, with a particular emphasis on field surgery and operating theatres located at or near the front. She is comparing descriptions of battlefield medical services provided by doctors, nurses, stretcher bearers and hospital personnel, to consider how these personal accounts differ from official reports and fictional narratives. As well as consulting the Library’s many published histories of infantry battalions, medical units and hospitals to provide context to her research, Shastra is using the first-hand recollections contained in the wartime diaries, journals and letters of participants (including Nursing Sister Anne Donnell and Field Ambulance officer Frank Piferrer) to understand the role that confession and witnessing play in the broader narrative of World War I.


Averyl Gaylor, Lucas Smith, Samuel Cottell & Sadie Heckenberg

Seymour Summer Scholar

Lucas Smith (Monash University): Barbara Baynton: Becoming an Australian Briton

Lucas is undertaking a biographical study of Australian author and philanthropist Barbara Baynton (1857-1929). By the time of her death in 1929 Baynton had become a British noblewoman and crucial figure in the burgeoning life of Australian politicians, artists, soldiers and businesspeople in London. Lucas’s research at the Library explores the nature of Barbara Baynton's British-Australian identity and her transnational journey by examining not only family papers but also the personal papers of prominent Australians, including Prime Minister Billy Hughes, Martin Boyd, Vance Palmer, the Chomley family and others, whom Baynton associated with in London.

Norman McCann Summer Scholars

Averyl Gaylor (La Trobe University): ‘The Body at its Best’: European Modern Dance and Medical Ideals in Twentieth Century Australia

Averyl is exploring the intersecting histories of medicine and modern dance in twentieth-century Australia. Her research focuses on the way European traditions of dance articulated utopian ideals of the healthy, hygienic, perfectible body, which came to inform popular body-cultures in Australia. Averyl is examining the Library’s rich dance archives to find expressions of medically informed ideals of corporeality in both written and visual sources. Her research is focused on material relating to the influential dancer and choreographer, Gertrud Bodenwieser, and her students who can be associated with the Ausdruckstanz style. These dancers came to Australia with the rise of Nazism in Europe, bringing with them embodied traditions of the European avant-garde, which became the catalyst for the development of modern dance in Australia.

Sadie Heckenberg (Swinburne University): Continuing our Voices: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Oral Histories in the National Library

Sadie is investigating Indigenous knowledge creation, storytelling and communication through oral history, as well as its theoretical framework, using the Library’s significant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander oral history projects, such as ‘Bringing Them Home’ and ‘Seven years on - continuing life histories of Aboriginal leaders’. She is examining oral histories that relate to her Wirradjuri Elders. She says: “Australian Indigenous oral history brings to life our community narratives and portrays so well the customs, beliefs and values of our old people. Spiritually our Elders live on through story.” Sadie’s project, in reflecting an Indigenous value system, aims to create a dialogue for knowledge protection and culturally safe research practice within Indigenous knowledge systems.

Samuel Cottell (University of Sydney): Tommy Tycho: A Biographical Portrait

Samuel is researching the life and work of Tommy Tycho, a Hungarian migrant who arrived in Australia in 1951 and became a leading pianist, arranger composer, and musical director in Australian radio, television and popular entertainment from the 1950s. Samuel is especially using collections of unpublished scores and arrangements, such as The Geoff Harvey Collection created for Channel 9 over 50 years, to analyse music scores that were arranged and composed by other musicians for television or radio during the same period. He is also examining the broader social and historical contexts in which Tommy Tycho worked to shed light on the ways musicians forged careers for themselves in a post-World War II Australia.


Gretel Evans, Talisha Goh, Meg Brayshaw & Morgan Burgess

Seymour Summer Scholar

Morgan Burgess: The Literary Campaign for Women’s Suffrage in Australian Newspapers and Magazine

Morgan is examining suffrage literature published in key colonial newspapers and magazines. Arguments for and against women’s suffrage and enfranchisement were played out through literary accounts, poetry and fiction published in The Bulletin, The Australian Journal, The Australian Radical and The Lone Hand, amongst others. The obscurity of such literature, much of which is not indexed or digitised, means that important parts of the debate about women’s enfranchisement have been overlooked and the full literary discourse that engaged with the politics of women’s suffrage in Australia has not been studied.

Norman McCann Summer Scholars

Talisha Goh: Three Australian Women Composers on the World Stage: the Early Works and Careers of Ros Bandt, Liza Lim and Kate Moore

Talisha is undertaking a study of three active Australian women composers who have made substantial contributions to music in Australia and overseas. These composers are the sound artist Ros Bandt (born 1951), orchestral and operatic composer Liza Lim (born 1966) and ensemble composer Kate Moore (born 1979.) Talisha is considering the impact of gender in the careers and works of Australian women composers and investigating how the composers’ own response to their early works informs their current musical style and practice.

Meg Brayshaw: Watery Bodies: Water as Matter and Meaning in Christina Stead's ‘Seven Poor Men of Sydney’

Meg is undertaking a close reading of Christina Stead’s personal archive, informed by contextual understanding of the writer's background, ideas and situation. She is particularly interested in the place-based, eco-critical nature of Stead’s writing, exemplified by the use of water as matter and meaning in the first novel ‘Seven Poor Men of Sydney’ (1934). She aims to discover if Sydney and issues of an ecological, naturalist slant feature in Stead’s personal papers.

Gretel Evans: The Scattered Memory of Disaster: Fires and Floods in Australia

Gretel is investigating how Australians, and in particular migrants, remember Australia’s history of natural disasters focusing on floods in NSW and bushfires in Victoria. Her PhD project examines the long term impact of natural disasters, considers how these experiences feature in the lives of Australians and how people remember them. She is especially interested in how migrant experiences of fires and floods illuminate the impact of natural disasters on their sense of home, community and identity.