Bill Gammage wins Prime Minister's Literary Award for Australian History
23 July 2012: Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Arts Minister Simon Crean announced the winners of the 2012 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards at the National library of Australia. Among the winners was Professor Bill Gammage, from the Humanities Research Centre, receiving the prize for the inaugural Prize for Australian history with his recently published book, The Biggest Estate on Earth, the result of 12 years of scholarship.
In The Biggest Estate on Earth, Gammage reveals that Aboriginal Australians used complex land management systems to transform the continent into vast parklands reminiscent of an English country estate.
“The kind of landscape that Aborigines created before 1788 was a tapestry of patterns,” says Gammage in Park Life. “You had trees next to grass and grass broken up by clumps of trees, forest broken up by clearings and so on. It was a mosaic of different kinds of plant communities and that was true whether it was rainforest or spinifex.
“When Europeans first came to Australia, they assumed that what they saw was natural. They often described the landscapes as ‘parks’. Like the gentlemen’s parks in England...
“But it never occurred to them that the parks in Australia could have been made; it didn’t occur to them that ‘wandering savages’ could have done such a thing. So their common assumption was that they were seeing a natural landscape.”
Bill also comments that "Aboriginal people worked hard to make plants and animals abundant, convenient and predictable.
By distributing plants and associating them in mosaics, then using these to lure and locate animals, Aborigines made Australia as it was in 1788, when Europeans arrived," when he writes about his book on The Conversation.
Watch Professor Bill Gammage of the ANU Humanities Research Centre discussing his book The Biggest Estate on Earth.
For more information, see:
To view video recording: http://rsha.anu.edu.au/bill-gammage-wins-pmla
HRC June 2012 Newsletter
CHCI 2012 conference ‘Anthropocene Humanities’ convened at ANU
Can Humanity Manage the Anthropocene: The Challenge of Climate Change
Professor Ross Garnaut
Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow and Professorial Fellow in Economics,
The University of Melbourne
Copy of this paper view here.
This Public Lecture was presented as part of the
The 2012 Annual Meeting of the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes
Hosted by the Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
13-16 June 2012
2013 Visiting Fellowship Program (now open)
The HRC is now accepting applications for the 2013 Visiting Fellowship Program.
Deadline: Tuesday, 15th March 2012.
These fellowships are open to everyone who meets the eligibility criteria.
Please read guidelines.
For more information contact Programs Manager, Leena Messina. E: Leena.Messina@anu.edu.au
2012 HRC Internal Fellowship (NEW)
The Humanities Research Centre is inviting applications for two ANU Internal Fellowship.
HRC to host the 2012 CHCI Annual Conference
ANU Stanford Workshop Collaboration
The HRC and the Stanford Humanities Centre have entered into a collaboration to host workshops and facilitate scholarly exchange in 2011-2012.
2012 Visiting Fellowship Program (Closed)
HRC wins two Discovery Grants
Congratulations to A/Professor Debjani Ganguly and Dr Thomas Ford for their successful ARC applications. Tom was awarded a APD.