Justice: a history of the Aboriginal Legal service in Western Australia by Fiona Skyring has been awarded the 2012 Margaret Medcalf Award.
Hon. John Day MLA, Minister for Culture and the Arts, presented the Award at a special ceremony on 13 June 2012. In presenting the Award to Dr Skyring, the Minister said Justice explores the history of the Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia from its beginnings in the early 1970s.
“This book makes a significant contribution to increasing our understanding of the changes in criminal justice and policing, and to attitudes about racial discrimination and land rights that have occurred in recent times in Western Australia,” he said.
“Dr Skyring has produced a fine research work, is accessible, and doesn’t shy away from examining the difficulties inherent in running an organisation devoted to Aboriginal justice in a complex political context.
“The judges decided this book situates the story of the Aboriginal Legal Service within the broader context of race relations in WA and the experiences and desires of Aboriginal people. The result is a major contribution to our understanding of WA history – it is a powerful work and a compelling read.”
Justice was published by UWA Publishing in 2011
A special commendation was also awarded to Dr Jeremy Martens for his book Government House and Western Australian Society 1829 – 2010 also published by UWA Publishing in 2011.
Other nominated works were Settlement to City : a history of the Armadale district and its people by Jennie and Bevan Carter, and The Marwicks of York by Bill Marwick.
For photographs from the presentation ceremony see the SRO's Facebook page