National Archives scholarships help researchers unlock Australia's history

The National Archives of Australia has awarded two research scholarships in conjunction with the Australian Historical Association.

The scholarships have been awarded to PhD candidates Kathryn Avery from Federation University Australia in Ballarat and Lea Doughty from the University of Otago, in Dunedin, New Zealand.

These twice-yearly scholarships encourage new historical research and support researchers by meeting the cost of digitising records held in the National Archives’ collection.

‘Encouraging greater access to our collection is a core aspect of our work,’ said National Archives Director-General David Fricker. ‘We enthusiastically support Kathryn and Lea in their scholarship, and are pleased the digitised records will be available to assist other archival researchers.’

Kathryn is studying the history of Australian diplomacy. Her research will address the strategic significance of Portuguese Timor in the first half of the twentieth century until the outbreak of the Pacific War, with a particular focus on Australia’s interest in gaining access to natural resources. She will examine relevant political papers from key members of the Deakin, Hughes, Scullin, Lyons, Page and Menzies governments, enabling a new chapter to be written in the history of Australia’s regional resource diplomacy.

Lea is interested in how Australia has looked after its soldiers, in particular the government’s effort to assure the medication provided to those serving during World War I. Securing medical supplies traded on a global market was a challenge the Australian government faced for the first time. Lea’s archival research will illuminate the history of manufacture and supply of medicines to the Australian Imperial Force, focusing on the role of Australian medicine manufacturers as well as the development of the practice of pharmacy as a recognised health profession within the military context.

‘Our joint scholarship with the National Archives makes a meaningful contribution to the understanding of history, encouraging original academic research and public access to rich archival resources’, said Professor Lynette Russell, President of the Australian Historical Association.


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