Funds to explore women in radio, immigrant doctors

Media release: Wednesday, 10 February 2016

The National Archives of Australia and the Australian Historical Association (AHA) have awarded two new scholarships to support postgraduate archival research into unexplored aspects of Australia's history.

The latest winners of the twice-yearly joint scholarships for 2015-16 are PhD candidates Catherine Horne from the Australian National University (ANU) and Fallon Mody from the University of Melbourne.

Catherine Horne's project looks at women's speech on Australian radio between 1923 and 1966 and its links with women's entry into the public sphere.

'This study will contribute to an international history of those connections and also to the histories of radio and speech in Australia,' she said. 'Radio played a significant role in 20th century life and culture here because it could bridge the vast distances within the country, as well as between Australia and the outside world.

'I look forward to examining scripts, internal and listener correspondence, sound recordings and radio magazines to reveal the topics, vocabularies and vocal performance styles expected of and adopted by women on the air. Sound recordings still tend to be neglected by historians and I aim to use material held at the National Archives of Australia in innovative ways.'

Fallon Mody's project looks at immigrant European doctors in Australia between 1930 and 1960.

'There has been no systematic survey of immigrant medical professionals' lives as they sought to re-establish themselves in Australia,' she said. 'I plan to reconstruct the professional lives of these doctors in a database which will allow an analysis of medical networks and their subsequent impact on the structure and practise of medicine and public health in this country.

'The National Archives holds records crucial to creating a complete professional biography for each immigrant doctor, particularly for non-British immigrants who arrived as refugees or Displaced Persons.'

The scholarships, at $650 each, support researchers with the cost of digitising records held in the National Archives' various locations across Australia, when the cost of travel may be prohibitive.

'We are delighted to support these exciting post-graduate projects,' said Louise Doyle, Assistant Director-General, National Archives of Australia. 'It is always exciting to see how our collection contributes to innovative research that will enhance our knowledge of Australia and our wider relationships.'

Joint partner, the Australian Historical Association is also committed to supporting access to archival resources that enable further post-graduate research into Australian history.

'The AHA is proud to partner with the National Archives in these important scholarships,' said Professor Angela Woollacott, President of the AHA. 'This scheme provides great practical help to promising postgraduate students, while promoting access to the National Archives's invaluable holdings.'

Contact information

  • Elizabeth Masters (Media Officer)
    t (02) 6212 3957 m 0417 247 157 e
  • Professor Tim Rowse (Australian Historical Association)
    t 02 9772 6543 e

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