Margaret Medcalf Award recognises innovative research using State Archives

2020 Award is presented to Tiffany ShellamThe State Records Commission and State Records Office WA congratulate nominees and this year’s winner of the Margaret Medcalf Award for excellence in research.

The winner of the 2020 Margaret Medcalf Award is Tiffany Shellam for The Collective Nyungar Heritage of an “Orphan Letter”, published by the Johns Hopkins University Press in the Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History.

The 2020 Margaret Medcalf Award received the highest number of nominations since 2004, with fourteen high quality entries covering a very wide range of topics of broad interest to the community. These including the voices of Aboriginal people in early colonial Western Australia as recorded in the archives, investigation of the background of a murder in the Government House Ballroom in 1925, stories of marginalised women in 19th century WA, and the design of Perth Council House. The Award was presented by the Information Commissioner on behalf of the State Records Commission at a ceremony at the State Library/State Archives on 2 December.

Fiona Stanley representing winner Tiffany Shellam, Margaret Medcalf and nomineesThe Margaret Medcalf Award honours the second State Archivist, Ms Margaret Medcalf OAM, and recognises excellence in research and referencing using the State Archives Collection – the largest archival collection in Western Australia. State Archives chronicle the development of Western Australia, revealing the experiences of communities and individuals that affect us today and shape our state’s future.

The State Records Office also congratulates Ms Shellam for winning the 2020 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Australian History for Meeting the Waylo: Aboriginal Encounters in the Archipelago, announced on 10 December 2020.