Celebrating Our Students’ Achievements

Looking back on last year’s note of congratulations to our student award recipients, I noted then the extraordinary (pandemic-driven) conditions during which the students were working. This year the point is doubly true and needs to be acknowledged explicitly. Most of the work that is being awarded by these prizes was done remotely, often independently, and with limited access to the normal resources on which we rely. We should not underestimate the dedication, focus and results of these students’ efforts! Our heartfelt gratitude is also extended to our many contributors and benefactors whose generosity has made these awards possible.

Congratulations to you all! You serve as a vital reminder of the relevance and importance of research in the humanities and beyond.

Professor Margaret Cameron, Head of School


2020 Prizes & Scholarships

Leila Alhagh and Sophie Lewincamp

Willem Snoek Conservation Award

This award supports a heritage conservation project initiated by students studying at the Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation. Leila and Sophie won the award for their project, ‘Glimpse of Hajj’, which aims to facilitate community engagement with materials from the University’s Middle Eastern Manuscripts Collection through the production of a series of videos on Muslim pilgrimage.

“Through this project, we have been connected to different Muslim communities and individuals including the Islamic Museum of Australia and the Ale-Yasin Community.

MUL 17, a manuscript from the Middle Eastern Collection was the core subject of a series of conversations bringing objects and communities together to create shared experiences.

MUL 17 is a composite manuscript containing two independent books, the second of which is a seventeenth-century copy of Futūḥ al-Ḥaramayn [Revelations of the Two Sanctuaries], a Persian Hajj travelogue that contains descriptions of the author’s spiritual experiences and places he visited during his pilgrimage as well as rites and rituals, prayers and popular narratives related to places and rituals. In addition, there are eleven illustrations in MUL 17 depicting popular sites in Muslims’ holy cities of Mecca and Medina.

This manuscript is a valuable source of information for anyone who wants to gain an insight into the Muslims’ pilgrimage Hajj, reflect on the feelings and experiences of a Muslim Scholar of the sixteenth century, and connect to the popular places in the cities of Mecca and Medina depicted in this manuscript in the seventeenth century.”

As part of this project, a series of videos have been made recording the memories, experiences, and feelings of community members sparked by viewing such manuscripts. The MUL 17 manuscript video will be featured in Didar: Stories of Middle Eastern Manuscripts, opening in February 2022 at the University’s Arts West Gallery.

David Batt

Dwight Final Assessment Prize for History & Philosophy of Science for the highest ranked honours thesis in the History and Philosophy of Science.

“I started out studying science in my undergraduate degree but quickly realised that what I really enjoyed about studying science was not the potential to do original research of my own but spending time trying to understand the theories and ideas of people who had lived many hundreds of years ago. Trying to uncover the lost meanings which past peoples gave to concepts we take for granted in the present has always been the driving force behind all that I have endeavoured to do. As a result, studying History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Melbourne has opened my world to a field of research that I have always felt was incredibly interesting and important.

I chose to complete my thesis in an area of history that had received little attention from historians of science: the history of money. What interested me here was trying to understand the development and emergence of knowledge relating to money; not the idea of money conceived as a means to achieve ends, but money conceived as an epistemic object in its own right. What came to fascinate me over the course of my research was how the emergence and widespread adoption of paper money in eighteenth-century Europe was understood by thinkers at the time; and consequently, how its emergence also came to create new objects of knowledge.

I would like to thank the History and Philosophy of Science program at the University of Melbourne, and especially my two supervisors, Kristian Camilleri and Darrin Durant, for allowing me to write such a thesis. It was the confidence which they both had in me when I first approached them two years ago, not yet knowing anything about what I professed to write on, and the independence they subsequently granted me, which was its origin. I hope the finished work demonstrated that their confidence was not misplaced.”


Kate Davison

Gilbert Postdoctoral Career Development Fellowship

Fostering the career development of recently completed PhD students in History, the Gilbert Fellowship supports the development of doctoral research for publication, and encourages future applications for postdoctoral research schemes.

Kate Davison completed her PhD in History in 2020, with a thesis titled “Sex, Psychiatry and the Cold War: A Transnational History of Homosexual Aversion Therapy, 1948–1981.”

“This Fellowship will support me in the completion of three journal articles currently under review and in revising a book manuscript based on my PhD research. I’m grateful for the financial support and especially the opportunity to discuss research, publications, grant applications and career options with a dedicated mentor from the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies.”


Kacey Dawson

Dwight Prize for History (awarded annually to the highest ranked honours student in History) and Mary O’Donoghue Prize (awarded annually for the best undergraduate essay in Irish Studies).

Kacey’s honours thesis was on the Irish diaspora in 1920s Australia, focusing on a republican fundraising tour around the country by Irish republican women Kathleen Barry and Linda Kearns, and examining the role gender played in the tour’s success.

Kacey won the Mary O’Donoghue prize for an essay on the globalisation of the Irish identity, looking at the exports of Irish culture such as Irish pubs, Guinness, and Riverdance, that have spread beyond the original diasporic communities that introduced and fostered them.


Simon Farley

Dr Rodney Lloyd Benjamin OAM History Prize and Wyselaskie Scholarship for History

The Dr Rodney Lloyd Benjamin OAM History Prize is awarded annually for an essay that focuses on aspects of the history of the state of Victoria by a graduate student.
The Wyselaskie Scholarship in History is awarded annually to the highest achieving first year PhD student in History.

Simon is researching settler Australians’ changing attitudes towards non-native wildlife from the 1820s to the present. Their work sits at the intersection of animal history, cultural history, the history of science and settler-colonial theory.

“I am delighted and, frankly, astonished to receive these awards! I know my peers are some of the most articulate, erudite, insightful people around, so to receive this kind of recognition is a true honour. I’m deeply grateful to be supported by the University and its generous benefactors to spend my days reading and writing about the past.

What we historians do is important — in fact, it is vital in a society like ours, where our understanding of history is constantly shaping our present and our possible futures. Financially supporting historians and our work, then, is a real public good and something always to be commended and encouraged!”


David Feeney

William Culican Memorial Award for outstanding ability in the field of Archaeology or Ancient History.

David’s Honours thesis was entitled ‘The Second Punic War: The Contest for the Central Mediterranean, Hannibal and Carthaginian Grand Strategy, 218–210 BC’ and concerned the contest between Rome and Carthage for power in the central Mediterranean.

It is the contention of this dissertation that the armed struggle for the central Mediterranean, that is, for the islands of Sicily and Sardinia and the smaller islands and seas around them, was of the utmost importance. This importance is obscured in ancient sources such as Livy and Polybius, who instead focus their narrative histories around the personalities of Hannibal and Scipio Africanus and their campaigns in Italy and Spain respectively.

“Winning the William Culican Memorial Award was a terrific surprise. The opportunity to return to full-time studies in 2019 was unexpected, and I am delighted that I have been able to succeed in my ancient history and archaeological studies. I owe enormous thanks to my wife and children, as well as to my academic supervisor, Frederik Vervaet.”


Ashley Finn

Thérèse and Ronald Ridley Scholarship

The Thérèse and Ronald Ridley Scholarship supports a current PhD student in the Classics and Archaeology department at the University of Melbourne. The scholarship is to be used to travel to the British School at Rome to conduct research that will assist PhD completion.

“Whilst at the British School at Rome, I will have the opportunity to make use of the extensive libraries to develop my PhD thesis on violence and punishment in the Roman empire. This generous scholarship allows me to pursue my research in a way that I would otherwise have been unable to here in Australia and will enable me to explore different research areas related to my thesis whilst immersing myself in the academic environment of the school situated in the heart of the ancient capital. For, as Goethe once noted, ‘Only in Rome is it possible to understand Rome.'”



Laila Fitrani

Alexander Copland Award

This award is presented to the author of a University of Melbourne Masters of Cultural Materials Conservation minor thesis for work that advances the theory and practice of conservation.

“It is such an honour for me to receive this prestigious award. This research would not have been completed without support from The University of Melbourne that gave me the opportunity to perform this research during the pandemic in 2020.

With the money given by the committee, it encourages me to continue my research in identifying degradation of unsaturated polyester resin’ object which I believe would be valuable especially for future study in the field of Cultural Materials Conservation.”


Michael Francis

Dennis-Wettenhall Prize (awarded annually for an MA or PhD thesis on Australian history)

“I was delighted to receive this honour, heartened, as I was, to be reminded there are plenty of people who still value and uphold the humanities.

My doctorate examined the missionary career of Monsignor Francis Xavier Gsell MSC (1872–1960), the apocryphal ‘Bishop with 150 Wives’, famous for his work among the Tiwi people from whom he purchased the marriage rights of young women as part of a rather unorthodox evangelisation strategy. Gsell’s time in the Northern Territory spanned over four decades and precipitated several key developments in Commonwealth Indigenous policy. My thesis revealed a man of strong conviction, remarkable political reach and conflicting legacy, the reverberations of which continue to be readily apparent today.

As I was born and raised in Darwin, before moving to Melbourne for uni, this topic was a unique opportunity to research the history of my community. I was very fortunate in the marvellous support and guidance I received from my supervisors, A/Prof Catherine Kovesi and Prof Patricia Grimshaw, and would like to acknowledge them once more in accepting this prize. Thank you.”


Patrick Gigacz

Gyles Turner Prize and R.G. Wilson Scholarship for Third Year

The Gyles Turner Prize is awarded annually for an undergraduate essay in Australian history.

The R.G. Wilson Scholarship for Third Year is awarded annually to the best student enrolled in a third-year course in History in the academic unit responsible for the discipline of History

Patrick’s prize-winning essay was written for the subject Controversies in Australian History (HIST30064). The essay looked at the 1921 Railway Gauge Royal Commission from the perspective of one of the commissioners, John Joseph Garvan, and how his dissent on the gauge question reflected divergences in Melbourne and Sydney liberalism.

“I grew up watching the trains to Sydney go past at the end of my street. It was a delight to look at how some of the most bitter political divisions between Australia’s states have been embedded into our engineering history, at a time when parochial rivalries are part of our everyday lives. 

I am humbled and grateful to have received the Gyles Turner prize for this work, and look forward to expanding the Australian history collection on my shelf.”


Izma Haider

Hastie Exhibition (jointly with Selina Li)

Two Hastie Exhibitions are awarded to the two highest achieving students in two undergraduate Philosophy subjects.


Daniel Hannington-Pinto

Australian Industrial Relations Commission Centennial Prize (awarded for the best research essay or thesis on Industrial Relations or Labour History).

Dan won the prize for his PhD thesis, titled ‘The Social and Moral Campaigning of Australian Trade Unions, 1960s to 2015.’

Although wages and working conditions have long been their ‘bread and butter’, trade unions have frequently campaigned on broader social and moral issues. In the Australian context, however, the labour history literature remains relatively silent on these contributions.

Drawing on archival analysis and interviews undertaken with key participants, this thesis examines three case studies of such non-industrial activism by unions: support for Aboriginal rights in the 1960s; solidarity with the East Timorese independence movement; and, most recently, opposition to governmental policy on immigration detention.


Thomas Harris

Douglas Howard Exhibition for Ancient Greek (awarded annually to the best student in second year studying Ancient Greek).

“Thanks to the staff and the university for providing a quality Classical languages program, so that in our studies of ancient peoples we have the chance περισκοπεῖν ἄστρων δρόμους ὥσπερ συμπεριθέοντα ‘to watch the stars in their courses as one that runs with them,’ Marcus Aurelius.”


Madaline Harris-Schober

Alma Hansen Scholarship (jointly with Genevieve Willis-Hardy) and Jessie Webb Scholarship (jointly with Emily Simons)

The Alma Hansen Scholarship is awarded for the purpose of assisting the recipient to travel overseas to pursue studies related to his or her major interest.

The Jessie Webb scholarship allows a postgraduate student to spend a season in Greece under the direction of the British School at Athens or another similar school in Greece.

“I am so grateful to be a recipient of the Alma Hansen and Jessie Webb scholarships. I am thrilled to use both these scholarships in bringing new architectural connections of the Philistines and their neighbours to the forefront of my study by applying in-depth comparative analysis and utilising digital tools for their reconstruction.

It is of great personal significance that these awards come from the funds of successful women, with Jessie Webb once working at the University of Melbourne as a senior lecturer and stand-in professor. It is my hope that one day I will be in a similar academic position and have a positive impact on the study and teaching of Iron Age archaeology.”


Alyssa Henning

John Grice Exhibition (awarded to the student with the highest aggregate mark for first-year Beginners Latin A and B).

“As a student of psychology and neuroscience, I am fascinated by the human capacity for language, and I realise how much remains to be understood. Learning Latin allowed me to become immersed in a fifth grammatical system – the most complex yet. It opened my eyes to the radical changes in grammar which have occurred across time and to the different ways meaning can be conveyed. I believe that there is a lot to be learnt from this. In other words, Latin is not dead.”


Kelly Herbison

Hastie Postgraduate Scholarship and Hastie Scholarship (jointly with Campbell Rider)

Two Hastie Scholarships are awarded to the two highest achieving students in honours Philosophy.

“I am so grateful to have received the Hastie Scholarship for my Honours studies in which I proposed a way of understanding the social phenomena of ‘call outs’ and ‘call ins’ as kinds of norm-enacting speech, and evaluated their utility for addressing social injustices.

Completing this degree partially under pandemic conditions was often difficult, but the Honours cohort and broader Philosophy community at the University were always supportive and understanding in ways that made it all a little less isolating.

I am currently undertaking my Masters in Philosophy, with my studies being supported by the Hastie Postgraduate Scholarship. My research is broadly situated at the intersection of feminist philosophy and phenomenology, with a particular interest in questions relating to social design, affect, and injustices.”


Greta Kantor

Felix Raab Prize and Rosemary Merlo Prize for Second-Year History

The Felix Raab Prize is awarded to the highest achieving student for an essay on early modern European history.

The Rosemary Merlo Prize for Second-year History is awarded for the best essay submitted as part of the prescribed work for a history subject.

Greta is a Bachelor of Arts student studying History, Philosophy and French. Her prize-winning essay followed the parallel narratives of two women accused and executed for witchcraft in the Holy Roman Empire, a midwife named Walpurga Hausmannin and a lying-in maid named Anna Ebeler. Greta explored the extent to which gender played a role in their executions, focusing on the idea of witch as anti-mother and anti-woman. She is very grateful and honoured to be receiving these awards!


Dechen Khadro

Brenda Judge Prize in Philosophy (3rd Year) (awarded annually for the highest ranked essay in a third-year Philosophy subject)

“My essay attempted to find the best model to explain how slurs communicate hatred and contempt. A central and puzzling feature of slurs is that by simply repeating them we can communicate that hatred and contempt – even if we are non-bigoted and don’t intend to do so. I argue that by repeating a slur we communicate a certain lens, grounded in a negative stereotype, through which the targeted group is seen by others. This explains why by denying a slur (such as “No, Chinese are not chinks!”) we can still unwittingly do harm to their targets, reinforce the problematic stereotype and contribute to its entrenchment.

Just as importantly, however, this approach can help us make sense of what’s at stake in appropriated uses of slurs by members of the targeted group (for instance, the appropriation of the term ‘queer’ by some members of the LGBTQ community). In these cases, until the conventional meaning changes, using the slur term will not entirely defuse its offensiveness – yet, by using the slur in a reclaiming way, the targeted group can draw attention to the lens itself. In this sense, the ‘in-group’ challenges both the feeling of contempt evoked by the slur as well as the negative stereotype linked to it.”


Kenneth Kway

Margaret Kiddle Prize (awarded annually for the highest ranked honours thesis in History)

“Under the supervision of Professor Zoë Laidlaw, my thesis examined the relationship between missions and empire in early colonial Singapore between 1819 and 1847. Throughout the writing of it, I was constantly encouraged to think ‘imperially’ to uncover both the peculiarities of the Singaporean missionary experience, as well as the ways it was shaped by imperial politics and broader colonial discourses. The journey was a challenging but immensely rewarding experience, and I am both honoured and encouraged to learn that the research is worthy of the 2020 Margaret Kiddle Prize.”


Selina Li

Hastie Exhibition (jointly with Izma Haider)

Two Hastie Exhibitions are awarded to the two highest achieving students in two undergraduate Philosophy subjects.

“According to Michael Oakeshott, we, as civilised human beings, are the inheritors of a conversation, begun in the primeval forests and made more articulate in the course of centuries. Throughout my study of philosophy, I have had the privilege of participating in this conversation, and I can say with confidence that it has profoundly enriched my life and world views.

I am deeply grateful for the generosity of the Hastie Exhibition award, and incredibly honoured to have been selected as its recipient. It means a lot to be recognised for my efforts in a discipline that is so special to me — receiving this award feels like a validation of my love for philosophy.”


Tessa Love

Donald Mackay History Prize

This prize is awarded annually to the student with the highest mark in any History (other than British History) in the second year of a Bachelor of Arts.

“It was a great and wonderful surprise to receive the Donald Mackay History Prize for my work in the subject Pirates and their Enemies [HIST20072]. Studying history at the University of Melbourne has allowed me to explore so many diverse periods and cultures, from witch-hunting in Europe to Aztec rituals.”


Eleanor Maclaren

Rosemary Merlo Prize (1st Year) (awarded annually for the best essay in a first-year History subject)

Eleanor’s essay was written for the subject Europe: From Black Death to New Worlds (HIST10016), and examined the historical significance of the 1571 Battle of Lepanto, including its strategic and symbolic importance, and its presence in contemporary artworks.

“This subject was a fascinating introduction to studying History at a university level that provided insight into the expansion of European influence across the world and to a range of developments in European history, from the treatment of sexual minorities in medieval Britain to the Spanish colonisation of the Americas.”


Sofie McClure

Adele Henderson Prize

Awarded annually for the highest ranked political philosophy and social philosophy essay.

“In a time of ongoing debate concerning the role monuments play within our social landscapes, the question of what vandalism does, both on the phenomenological and affective level, appeared pressing. Winning this prize is particularly exciting as my essay concerns everyone, seeking to make us challenge the embodied relations we each hold with the monuments around us.”


Adam Moore

Douglas Howard Exhibition for Latin

Awarded to the best student in second year studying Latin.

“It pleases me greatly to have received the Douglas Howard Exhibition for the highest mark in second year Latin. My time spent studying Latin under Dr Andrew Turner has proved captivating and enlightening, and I look forward to applying myself in my continued study of Classics.”




Joseph Moorhead

Laurie R. Gardiner Prize

One annual award to the highest ranked essay on early modern British History (1400–1700) by an undergraduate student.

“It’s an absolute honour to receive this prize. Laurie Gardiner was a legend of British history, and I can only hope he’d have enjoyed reading my essay, which explored links between cuckoldry and ideas of masculinity in Early Modern England. Who ever thought I’d write a prize-winning essay about cuckoldry? Not me! But as my dad would say, ‘This’ll go straight to the pool room!’ Thanks to Dr Una McIlvenna for her guidance.”


Charlotte Moseley

Exhibition for 1st Year History

Awarded to the best first-year Bachelor of Arts History student.

“History has always fascinated me, and I feel very grateful to be able to continue to study it at university, and honoured to have been awarded this prize. I think that particularly right now, in such a complex and uncertain global climate, it is so valuable to study the past, and I am really looking forward to pursuing further studies in History throughout my degree.” 


Kieran O’Gorman

Brenda Judge Prize for 2nd Year Philosophy

Awarded to the highest ranked essay in a second-year Philosophy subject.

“Studying the philosophy of mind was the perfect complement to my psychology major. While we’re encouraged to think critically about constructs in psychology, Dan Dennet’s argument that qualia don’t exist at all took this skeptical attitude to another level. While I ultimately disagreed with him in my essay, I was grateful for his prompt to think critically about this most basic of experiences (that consciousness is like anything at all). Being awarded this prize has only reaffirmed my belief that my time spent studying philosophy has been time well spent.”


Jian Pan

H.B. Higgins Exhibition

The H.B. Higgins Exhibition is awarded to the student with the highest mark in Beginners Ancient Greek.

“I first fell in love with studying classical languages in high school, where I had the opportunity to learn Latin. At university, I wanted to further explore this world by studying ancient Greek, and Beginners Ancient Greek easily became my favourite subject in first year. Despite the challenge of learning a new alphabet, the subject was immensely fun and rewarding, and overall a wonderful experience.”


Paula Phillips

Antonio Sagona Scholarship

Awarded for graduate students of Near Eastern Archaeology to support the cost of overseas travel as part of their research

“I was told recently that Dr Sagona had also in his early career, spent much time in museum basements, examining pottery from Early Bronze Age collections in the task of better understanding the early cultures of Anatolia, before going on to pursue much more intricate lines of research and fieldwork. In being the recipient of this scholarship, there is something very comforting in knowing this, and that great fieldwork and research can often begin in the most humble of settings, one piece of pottery at a time.”


Billy Price

Wyselaskie Scholarship for Logic

Awarded annually to the highest ranked undergraduate student in Logic.

“I came to the University of Melbourne with a vague idea that I was a ‘maths person’ and have finished with absolute clarity that I love logic. My internal beliefs about logic have been fundamentally rearranged through several ground-shaking revelations, facilitated by the mentorship I received from Greg Restall and Daniel Murfet while taking their subjects. Greg instilled in me an appreciation of the structure of reasoning, and of the broader philosophical implications of logic. I think the three logic subjects he has developed are of tremendous value to the University of Melbourne, and I hope they continue to inspire other students in philosophy and science alike.

Daniel has been an important role model for me as mathematician who takes logic and foundations quite seriously. He has introduced me to many deep connections between logic, computation and mathematics, and inspired me to pursue a career in research mathematics. I have since been accepted into a Masters of Mathematical Logic at Utrecht University in the Netherlands and can’t imagine being on this path without them.”


Divya Rama Gopalakrishnan

Miranda Jane Hughes Scholarship

Supports graduate research humanities students undertaking research in historical, philosophical or cultural studies of the body, health or science.

“My thesis focuses on the history of venereal disease and colonial policies around controlling the disease and the sexuality of women in the nineteenth-century Madras presidency (Southern India). It highlights the fractured nature of the colonial hegemony and the vital role of Indian intermediaries in policy implementation at the ground level. The thesis also aims to uncover the experience of women who were suspected of being diseased and confined to the lock hospitals under the Contagious Diseases Acts of 1864 and 1868. In that sense, it tries to contribute to the diverse understanding of the medical history of colonialism.”


Campbell Rider

Hastie Scholarship (jointly with Kelly Herbison)

Two Hastie Scholarships are awarded to the two highest achieving students in honours Philosophy.

“My honours thesis explored an enduring problem from early modern philosophy – ‘Molyneux’s problem’ – which asks whether a person born with blindness has an authentic experience of three-dimensional space. My thesis attempted to draw on the philosophy of Immanuel Kant to answer this question on his behalf, since he, somewhat surprisingly for a thinker of his time, never addressed it himself. I concluded that from a Kantian perspective spatial awareness doesn’t have to be visual; so, we can safely assume that all people have the same understanding of the spatial world in which we live, regardless of disability (a conclusion backed up by modern neuroscience!).

The thesis explored a problem at the intersection of philosophy, medicine and science. This interdisciplinary interest has sent me off in a new direction. I’m now leaning towards research in the philosophy of biology and the question of how our approach to the conceptual boundary separating machines from organisms can help us improve our theorisations of robotics and artificial intelligence. I’m looking forward to pursuing my PhD overseas, possibly in the UK, once international travel becomes possible. For this reason, I’m especially grateful to have been awarded the Hastie Scholarship, which will help support my relocation for future study.”


Jesse Seeberg-Gordon

Brian Fitzpatrick Prize for Best Honours Thesis in Australian History

Jesse’s prize-winning thesis dealt with the decision by the Whitlam Government in 1974 to recognise the 1940 annexation of the Baltic states by the Soviet Union de jure.

“It was an exciting process using new primary source evidence to shed new light on this decision, especially concerning the Government’s reservations about the legitimacy of Baltic independence and ethnic prejudice against Australian Balts. I’m extremely grateful for the prize, and have already put it to use in ordering more documents from the National Archives to conduct further research into this captivating topic.

Next year, I’m hoping, pandemic circumstances permitting, to spend some time in Estonia studying Estonian language, after which I will consider potential PhD opportunities in Soviet history with a focus on the Baltic region.”


Emily Simons

Jessie Webb Scholarship (jointly with Madaline Harris-Schober)

The Jessie Webb scholarship allows a postgraduate student to spend a season in Greece under the direction of the British School at Athens or another similar school in Greece.

“Researching the past requires reflection and curiosity, and I was intensely curious as to why humans have a fascination with fictional, mythical, and composite animals. My research looks into why griffins, which are still widely used today, became a popular motif during the Late Bronze Age (c1600–1150 BCE) in the eastern Mediterranean.

The Jessie Webb Scholarship has allowed me to fearlessly follow my nose and ask questions upon questions. The scholarship has allowed me the freedom to investigate new ways of working with old materials. In the coming year, I hope to ask new questions about the phenomenological elements of my research and to learn more about the everyday work involved in maintaining cultural heritage.”


Jarryd Tauber

Takamitsu Muraoka Prize

One annual award to the highest ranked student in beginners, intermediate or advanced Hebrew language subjects.

“Learning Hebrew, a spoken language with significant cultural significance was an enlightening experience and allowed me to feel closer to my distant ancestors who themselves spoke the language many years ago. I am beyond grateful to the University of Melbourne for offering the subject and had a great experience. Learning with my peers briefly before COVID took hold was also very enjoyable and there was a great level of engagement which allowed me to flourish in this subject.”


Penny Vakalopoulos

Ken McKay Prize for Beginners Greek

The Ken McKay prize goes to the student with the best overall results in Beginners Ancient Greek.

“I have plans to reengage with Ancient Greek down the track, either at the postgraduate level or as a more personal preoccupation. I expect there might be a meaningful junction with (Classical) Arabic; and, of course, it has and will continue to inform and deepen my relationship with the modern Greek tongue. It’s obvious to me that the kind of research and, more broadly, intellectual and literary cultivation I’m interested in pursuing beyond my undergraduate degree will demand sincere engagement with the classical fundaments.”


Amira Waller

A.D. Hallam Memorial Prize for Advanced Hebrew and National Council of Jewish Women of Australia Fanny Reading Scholarship in Hebrew Language

The A.D Hallam Memorial Prize (Advanced) is awarded to the highest ranked student in advanced Hebrew.

The National Council of Jewish Women of Australia Fanny Reading Scholarship in Hebrew Language is awarded to the highest ranked student in  beginners, intermediate or advanced Hebrew language subjects.

“I am currently studying at the University of Melbourne, undertaking a Bachelor of Arts, with a major in Psychology. My connection to the Hebrew Faculty at Melbourne Uni began in 2017, when I completed tertiary Hebrew units under Dvir’s guidance as part of my VCE. Since then, I have completed many Hebrew units throughout my undergraduate degree.

Speaking in Hebrew, connecting with other young Jewish students, learning the poetry of Agnon, Bialik and Rachel and others has truly been the highlight of my university experience. The friendly and warm, yet intellectually stimulating environment created by Dvir in his classes is unlike anything I have experienced in other subjects throughout my studies. I am truly grateful to the University for enabling me to continue engaging with my Jewish identity, and improving my Hebrew skills in a university context. I can’t wait to put my Hebrew skills to use in Israel soon! (when the international borders reopen!)”


Alice Wallis

Exhibition for First-year Classics

Awarded to the best first-year Bachelor of Arts Classics student.

“My experience studying Classics and Archaeology at Melbourne Uni so far has been wonderful. I’ve always been interested in this field, but getting to really delve into the discipline over the last year, with such amazing professors and tutors (for whose dedication and hard work I am eternally grateful), has been an utter privilege. In a time where history seems to constantly be repeating itself, knowing about those who came before is as essential as it is enlightening. I look forward to learning even more about the stories history has left behind and unpacking more big questions; essentially, I look forward to further exploring what it truly means to be human.”


Hugo Walker-Smith

Laurie Prize (Major)

Awarded to the third-ranked honours student in Philosophy.

“I’ve gained so many valuable skills studying philosophy at Melbourne Uni, and especially during honours. I’ve learnt how to think, and think critically; how to write properly; how to seek out what matters in arguments (and in general). I’ve also learnt the importance of charitable thinking when trying to understand new and perhaps unappealing philosophical views that seem to forever resist understanding; that putting on the gloves of compassion can really make the passage, definition, syllogism, idea (whatever philosophical entity it may be) a lot easier to grasp. This last lesson was probably the most important, and will probably prove the most useful in life, especially as a general rule for taking on views that don’t neatly fit in with my own.

Winning this prize is a lovely validation that I gained at least some of these skills whilst studying philosophy. And I have no doubt that such skills prepare me well for the world.”


Noah Wellington

D.H. Rankin Essay Prize

The D.H. Rankin Essay Prize is awarded to the student who submits the best honours thesis in Classics.

“This award offers me the courage to commit wholeheartedly and confidently to my continuing studies, and its prestige and support will go far in the continuation of my academic career. Classics is a discipline which has, for centuries, represented a vital and ever-evolving part of the arts/humanities education. Its immense potential in the rapidly changing modern world is one that I am grateful and privileged to be a part of and witness to.”


Genevieve Willis-Hardy

Alma Hansen Scholarship (awarded jointly to Madaline Harris-Schober)

“I was awarded the Alma Hansen in 2020, right as the pandemic caused a wave of shutdowns and postponements for all events worldwide.

I had applied for the scholarship to do a short course at Sotheby’s Institute of Art (SIA) in London on ‘Art Crime’ led by experts in the field of fraud, because we don’t quite have anything like that taught in Australia.

As someone who would like to work with esteemed collections, and understands the importance of upholding their reputations, I am very interested to know more about what to look for when investigating provenance prior to an acquisition.

This course also covers the legal complexities of repatriation of cultural objects and artefacts within a collection, which is of core importance to a future curator like myself who is working on stolen land, in a field where most, if not all, museum collections contain unethically obtained items that ought to be returned to Indigenous peoples.

I was also seeking to gain entry to SIA’s internship placement program or an internship at another museum/gallery in London/wider UK; however, the pandemic had stifled those efforts. Sotheby’s has moved their short courses online temporarily.

The Scholarships and Awards team have extended my Alma Hansen scholarship until the end of 2022 and are allowing changes to original plans, which I am extremely grateful for, because I have never had an opportunity like this and I don’t want to graduate until I have embarked on this adventure.

I’m uncertain if I will be following the same plan or if I will choose a different avenue to explore, but I am sure it will be worth the wait, and will feel extremely rewarding post-COVID lockdown.”


Shan Windscript

SHAPS Fellows’ Group Annual History Essay Prize

This prize is awarded for the best published essay submitted by a School of Historical and Philosophical Studies student undertaking a Masters or PhD thesis on a historical topic.

Shan won the prize for her article, ‘How to Write a Diary in Mao’s New China: Guidebooks in the Crafting of Socialist Subjectivities’, published in the journal Modern China.


Thanks to Alex Bell and Emma Sekuless from the Arts Faculty Awards team and to Lou Benson and Jasmine Stiff in SHAPS for all their excellent work coordinating student awards and helping us celebrate our students’ achievements.