Prestigious award for ‘Fresh Perspective on Military’

03 July 2018

Two Notre Dame academics honoured in annual culture and arts competition

The top prize in Western Australia’s annual Margaret Metcalf Award has been handed to Dr Leigh Straw, The University of Notre Dame Australia’s senior lecturer in Aboriginal Studies at the School of Arts & Sciences, Fremantle.

Dr Straw’s book After the War: Returned Soldiers and the Mental and Physical Scars of World War l, was commended as “a fresh perspective upon Australia’s military history, revealing the lasting trauma of participation in the First World” by the Minister for Culture and the Arts, David Templeman.

“Focussed on Western Australia, it also links to the larger Historiography of war in an engaging and beautifully written way”, he said as part of the awards presentation on Thursday (28 June, 2018).

Dr Straw shared top honours for the award – which rewards excellence in research and referencing using the State Archives Collection – with archivist, historian author and academic, Dr Joanna Sassoon.

A second academic from Notre Dame, Dr Shane Burke - senior lecturer in Archaeology and History at the School of Arts & Sciences – was shortlisted for the award for his paper titled The use of surveyor’s field notes in historical archaeology research, published in the journal Australasian Historical Archaeology.

Dr Burke was shortlisted in last year’s awards for his paper titled A Culture of All: Servant class behaviour at the Swan River in the context of the British Empire,whichassessed the values, beliefs and desires of the servant class in the first days of the Swan River colony.

“For Notre Dame to have produced two of the eleven nominations for this prestigious award reflects the outstanding talent of our academics and makes a strong statement about the level of research and education offered in our Arts program,” said Professor Sarah McGann, Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences.

“The achievement of Dr Leigh Straw in winning this award is a testament to her outstanding commitment to research and writing.”


Media Contact - Beth Kennedy : +61 8 9433 0764 | +61 447 038 958 beth.kennedy@nd.edu.au.