WEDNESDAY 10 OCTOBER 2007
Dr Libby Robin, Senior Research Fellow at the National Museum of Australia's Centre for Historical Research, has won the 2007 NSW Premier's Australian History Prize for her publication How a Continent Created a Nation.
"I'm delighted because this award demonstrates that within nine months of its establishment, members of the Museum's Centre for Historical Research are gaining the recognition of their peers for the quality of their research and writing in Australian history," said Dr Peter Stanley, Head of the National Museum's Centre for Historical Research.
Drawing on a wide range of primary and secondary sources, Dr Robin's book, How a Continent Created a Nation, examines the complex and shifting ways in which the natural world has been envisioned by people with keen interest in it – amateur and professional scientists, educationists and farmers – whose research and experience complement Aboriginal knowledge and cultural understandings.
Dr Robin's work brings together the histories of nature and nation, showing how they are intertwined in the search for an Australian identity in a land of environmental exceptions. The history of science is rarely treated as 'cultural', but this prize recognises the significance of natural history in shaping national politics.
The NSW Premier's History Awards were established in 1997 to honour distinguished achievement in history by Australians. They remain the only comprehensive set of history awards to be offered by an Australian state government. The primary focus for these awards is the promotion of excellence in the interpretation of history, through both the written word and non-print media.
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