Recent Completions

It’s time to congratulate a few more of our stellar postgrads.
Michael Warren, PhD

The examiners’ reports for Michael Warren’s doctoral thesis – Unsettled Settlers: Fear and White Victimhood in New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land, 1788 – 1838 – have just come in. In what is undeniably a crowded field, Michael’s ‘outstanding’ thesis has been praised for its originality. In the words of one examiner: ‘In breaking new ground on matters of historical and current importance, and in providing a history of some of the deepest emotions arising from the colonisation of New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land, [this thesis] deserves a wide audience’. Michael’s work has been deemed ‘worthy of publication’, both as a series of ‘journal articles’ or as a ‘book’. This is an extremely impressive result.
Billy Griffiths, PhD
The Department also congratulates Billy Griffiths on what his examiners agreed was a stunning PhD thesis. As Billy’s supervisor Iain McCalman notes: it’s difficult to choose from among the shower of plaudits from his examiners. Here is one of the best short summaries of Billy’s extraordinary achievement: “Deftly weaving together biography, history and literature, an immense variety of Australian landscapes and ecologies with the many and complex strands of archaeology, Griffiths brilliantly charts the history of modern Aboriginal archaeology in Australia, and how the continent’s astonishing deep time history was discovered. … it explores the ways these new understandings transformed and continue to transform national narratives and sensibilities – the remarkable shift from the ‘young’ nation, a footnote to empire, to a continent with an ancient heritage, the ‘oldest continuous culture in the world’; from a nation which for most of its modern history forgot or ignored Aboriginal people and their culture, to a country where people increasingly realise that ‘Beneath a surface veneer, the evidence of ancient Australia is everywhere’ (p.4), a pulsing presence.” The examiner concludes by suggesting that this could be ‘a landmark book’.
Rainald Roesch, MA
And warm congratulations to Rainald Roesch whose MA thesis on Queensland’s attempted annexation of New Guinea in 1883 has received high praise from both examiners. It’s encouraging to see Rainald’s years of hard work in both German and Australian archives acknowledged. As one examiner noted, ‘Roesch is clearly across the relevant peaks in political and community interest in both Australia and Germany on the question of New Guinea. He makes excellent use of both English and German language sources and offers some cogent modifications to the earlier historiography, particularly the work of Tampke and Hiery. Bringing together the German and Australian material clearly enriches the historiography of both fields’. Both examiners praised the thesis for the quality of its research and writing. Rainald’s primary supervisor was Judith Keene, until Mark McKenna took over this role.
Many congratulations to all three.
Frances Clarke, Postgraduate Coordinator

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