Professor Katie Holmes has been elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences of Australia in recognition of her sustained and internationally distinguished contribution to Australian history.
Professor Holmes is Director of La Trobe’s Centre for the Study of the Inland, which brings together the disciplines of archaeology, history and social sciences to study environmental change in the Murray Darling Basin.
She joined La Trobe 25 years ago, remains strongly committed to teaching history and environmental humanities while being highly respected for her research on 20th Century Australian history. Professor Holmes’ key areas of research are environmental history, gardens and women’s letters and diaries. She has also researched war, sexuality, feminism and single women.
Professor Holmes has published numerous scholarly articles over her lengthy career, and written four books, the most recent of which is the co-authored Mallee Country: land, people, history, published this month.
Professor Holmes thanked the Academy of Social Sciences for the honour.
“Social Science disciplines are crucial to enabling us to understand the most complex challenges facing our communities and our world, and to finding pathways for positive change. I’m delighted to join a community of esteemed colleagues as we engage in that task,” Professor Holmes said.
La Trobe Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Industry Engagement) Professor Susan Dodds congratulated Professor Holmes on her accolade.
“This Fellowship is a fitting tribute to Professor Holmes’ long career dedicated to the study of cultural, oral, written and environmental history,” Professor Dodds said.
“Katie’s work helps us better understand our past so as to make sense of the world we are living in now. She brings her intellectual rigour and enthusiasm to lead the Centre for the Study of the Inland, to examine environmental change in Australia’s hinterland,” Professor Dodds said.
The Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia is one of Australia’s four learned Academies, established in 1971, and has an elected Fellowship of more than 650 leading social science researchers.