InAsa John Barrett Noticeboard

Winners of 2017 John Barrett Award for Australian Studies

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). The award is administered by the International Australian Studies Association.

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 two year 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 2017 awards comprised:

  • Associate Professor Noah Riseman (Australian Catholic University)
  • Associate Professor Anne Collett (University of Wollongong)
  • Dr Shino Konishi (University of Western Australia)

The prize committee was impressed with the outstanding quality of scholarship and originality of articles across all four issues. The judges all come from different disciplines and found the articles in Journal of Australian Studies to be exemplary representations of the strength of Australian Studies as a discipline for its very interdisciplinarity.


John Barrett Award: Open Category


Austin, Catherine and Farida Fozdar, ‘“Team Australia”: Cartoonists Challenging Exclusionary Nationalist Discourse’, Journal of Australian Studies, Vol.41 No.1 (March) (2017): 65-80.


This article presents a striking and nuanced analysis of political cartoonists’ response to former Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s contentious and controversial evocation of “Team Australia”, which was intended to harness exclusionary attitudes towards Muslim and other minority Australians. Reading these nationalist discourses through the prism of political cartoons opens up an innovative yet highly accessible analysis of the assumptions underlying Abbott’s discourse, and reveals how such cartoons ‘represent, challenge, and reconstruct’ notions of Australianness. As the authors admirably demonstrate, political cartoons are layered with symbolic meaning, and have the capacity to persuade and shift public opinion. Moreover, as their examples illustrate, satirical cartoons also reflect the particular ‘tenor of Australian humour’. Catherine Austin and Farida Fozdar’s article is imaginatively conceived and displays a sophisticated engagement with diverse scholarship. Its structural soundness, clarity of argument and nuanced reading of political cartoons makes it a worthy recipient of the 2017 Barrett Prize.


John Barrett Award: Highly Commended (Open Category)

Brett, André, ‘Australia and the Secretive Exploitation of the Chatham Islands to 1842’, Journal of Australian Studies, Vol.41 No.1 (March) 2017: 96-112.

This fascinating, original research on Australian individuals’ involvement in the exploitation of the Chatham Islands and Moriori people makes an excellent case for stronger links between Australian and New Zealand history. It exemplifies the new historical interest in imperial networks and is a welcomed intervention that highlights the importance of moving beyond national histories. The extensive footnotes attest to the strong critical engagement with scholarly literature.


John Barrett Award: Postgraduate Category

No award or commendation was made in this category


Congratulations to the winners!