The 2012 Minoru Hokari Scholarship has been awarded to Ms Shannyn Palmer.
Ms Palmer is a doctoral student in the Australian Centre for Indigenous History at the Australian National University. The award will support fieldwork for Ms Palmer’s project, titled ‘Thinking History Through People and Place: Mobile and situated historical narratives in southwest Central Australia’.
Ms Palmer is involved in collaborative cross-cultural research with Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara people. Her case study is the cattle station Angus Downs, a site rich in historical memories for Aboriginal workers and their descendants.
In 1962 Angus Downs was the site of intensive research by the Marxist anthropologist Frederick Rose. Ms Palmer’s project involves close study of Rose’s fieldbooks and photographs in the Mitchell Library, Sydney. Material from the Rose collection is being made available to Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara people on community-based computers, where it will provide stimulus for documentation of memories and stories.
In conceptualising her project, Ms Palmer drew inspiration from the example of Minoru Hokari, who ‘urged historians to go beyond writing histories of cross-cultural agents…and seek to cross-culturalise history itself.’ Her project seeks ‘to engage with Aboriginal modes of historical practice using digital media to explore the visual, spatial and experiential nature of Aboriginal historical knowledge.’
In making the award to Ms Palmer, the judges were impressed by her thoroughness in scoping the project, her awareness of the ethical challenges, the genuineness of her desire to work collaboratively and the innovative methodology that she brings to the project.
Judges: Dr Martin Thomas (chair), Dr Samuel Furphy, Dr Rani Kerin and Professor Margo Neale
Learn more about the Minoru Hokari Scholarship