ACU Historian Dr Hannah Forsyth has been awarded the 2016 Deen De Bortoli Award for Applied History by the History Council of NSW. This is one of Sydney’s key history prizes awarded during History Week.
Dr Forsyth, who teaches Australian history, Indigenous Peoples Past and Present and the community engaged unit Making History, was awarded the honour for her essay Dreaming of Higher Education.
Judges remarked that Dr Forsyth’s essay was a passionate political plea to those who work in the tertiary sector to take seriously the issue of social inclusion.
Dr Forsyth said it was a great privilege to be awarded the Deen De Bortoli Award for Applied History.
The aim of the award is to encourage historians writing Australian political, social, cultural and environmental history to approach their subjects in ways that use the past to inform contemporary concerns and issues.
“I think the idea of ‘applying’ history is very important. Since completing my PhD – which is not a very ‘applied’ thing to do, in general – I have tried to find ways of connecting my research and my teachings to things that matter in the real world,” Dr Forsyth said.
“In some areas I have been more successful than others, but I am determined to work in my teaching and in my research to make history ‘work’ in the real world.
“Of all the things I do as a historian that I can imagine being rewarded for, ‘applying’ my history to contemporary issues, debates and communities is the best one I can think of.”
You can read more about the History Council of NSW’s awards here. The Deen De Bortoli Award is made possible through the generous support of De Bortoli Wines.