The MHJ can announce that the Greg Dening Memorial Prize for 2015 has been awarded to Rula Paterson for her article History in Stone: the Work of The Victorian Historical Memorials Committee. This article appeared in the Melbourne Historical Journal Volume 43 Issue 1 (2015).
At the launch of MHJ 43.1 in December 2015, Professor David Goodman offered the following comment on this article:
Rula Paterson’s fascinating article is on the 1920s work of the Victorian Historical Memorials Committee and looks at its activities in Gippsland, commemorating the explorers and ‘pioneers’. On display are the advantages of deep immersion in particular regional histories. We see close up that ‘attempts to use complex local histories in national narratives of progress’ were complicated and only sometimes successful. Most consequentially – ‘violence between Aboriginal groups and settlers was part of Gippsland’s folklore and local written history’ but not part of the emerging national history. In Gippsland – of all places – the history of frontier violence was erased in the commemorative process and that was important for what followed. This fine article traces the violent local history and its neglect in memorialization with great skill and acuity.
The MHJ Collective have made the digital edition of this article open access.