A big congratulations to one of the Centre's environmental history postgraduate students, Ruby Ekkel, who has won the 2023 Ken Inglis Postgraduate Prize.
The Ken Inglis Prize is awarded by the Editorial Board of the journal Australian Historical Studies and the publisher Routledge/Taylor & Francis to the best paper presented by a postgraduate student at the Australian Historical Association conference. Ruby's winning essay is titled, "‘Thrills! And More Thrills!!’ The Meanings of a Bushwalk with the Melbourne Women’s Walking Club, 1922–1945".
The judges' citation reads: The skilfully crafted opening of this paper immediately captured the judges' attention. The engaging writing style is sustained throughout, bringing to life the attractions, and the discomforts, of bushwalking for this group of women in the first half of the twentieth century. Far from an antiquarian exercise in commemorate club history, this paper makes an original and valuable contribution to the rich history of bushwalking in a settler society, particularly where it intersects with changing attitudes to gender, the environment and leisure. Deep research and a serious vein of scholarly enquiry underpin the vivid narrative detail, tying the women's experiences to a variety of broader trends while giving full expression to the particularity of their voices. Exploring sequentially themes of escape, domesticity, conservation, dress, harassment and emotional bonds, this paper quietly builds a layered and richly textured analysis, demonstrating the analytic potential of social history at its best.
Well done, Ruby!