Announcing the Winner of the John Barrett Award for Australian Studies 2013

The John Barrett Award for Australian Studies


Dr John Barrett (1931-1997) established this award by way of a bequest to La Trobe University in 1987. Dr John Barrett was a lecturer and reader at La Trobe University from 1969 until his retirement in 1990. His research specialisation was 20th century Australian history, particularly national involvement in the world wars. Dr Barrett was a member of the Journal of Australian Studies editorial board from 1979-1990.

The John Barrett Award for Australian Studies is awarded annually for the best written article published by the Journal of Australian Studies (JAS).

Two prizes are awarded each year:

  • the best article by a scholar (open)
  • the best article by a scholar (post-graduate).


The award comprises a cash prize of AUD$500 plus a year’s membership to InASA (including a subscription to the Journal of Australian Studies).

A prize committee established by the International Australian Studies Association (InASA) executive makes the award each year. The prize committee for the 2013 awards comprised:

  • Professor Amanda Nettelbeck (University of Adelaide)
  • Associate Professor Kate Douglas (Flinders University)
  • Dr Noah Riseman (Australian Catholic University: Melbourne)

John Barrett Award: Open Category


Lyndall Ryan, 2013 ‘The Black Line in Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania), 1830’, Journal of Australian Studies, Vol.37 No.1, pp.3-18

This essay makes a significant contribution by reconceptualising the history of the Black Line within a larger historiographical frame of British imperial history. While often understood as a key moment that was unique to Tasmanian colonial history, Ryan persuasively demonstrates that the history of the Black Line holds an important wider place within the transnational context of imperial military strategy.


John Barrett Award: Highly Commended (Open Category)

The judging panel identified two essays for High Commendation from the special issue ‘The Family in Australia’ (Vol.37 No.3), but wish to make note of the high quality of this special issue overall.

Amanda Kaladelfos, 2013, ‘The Dark Side of the Family: Paternal Child Homicide in Australia’, Journal of Australian Studies, Vol.37 No.3, pp.333-348.

This essay addresses an important and innovative field of research. In drawing on cases of child homicide to reconsider historical understandings of manliness, fatherhood and domestic responsibility, Kaladelfos raises important new questions about the classed and gendered history of the family.

Yorick Smaal, 2013, ‘Keeping it in the Family: Prosecuting Incest in Colonial Queensland’, Journal of Australian Studies, Vol.37 No.3, pp.316-332.

This essay raises fascinating questions about sexual relations and prosecutions of ‘morality’, using colonial Queensland as an effective case study to open new lines of inquiry. It makes an important contribution to the cultural history of domestic ideologies and of how they were reflected in the history of the law.

NB: There being no eligible articles for the postgraduate category, there is no John Barrett award in this category for 2013.