The Minoru Hokari Scholarship for fieldwork

Funding available for fieldwork in Australian Indigenous History

The Minoru Hokari Memorial Scholarship has been established in honour of the pathbreaking scholar and inspiring colleague, Minoru Hokari (1971-2004) who made outstanding contributions towards ‘cross-culturalising' historical practice and towards developing a respectful collaborative research strategy with Indigenous Australians.

From 2024, one scholarship to the amount of $6,000 will be on offer annually to assist a postgraduate student to conduct research in Australian Indigenous history.


Applications for 2024 will open on 8 April and will close at midnight on 17 May 2024. All other application criteria is available here


You must be a currently enrolled tertiary student, studying at any Australian university as a postdoctoral student or have completed your degree in the past three years.

Criteria for Selection

The Committee will take into account the:

  • the merit of the proposed project;
  • the applicant's ability to conduct appropriate research on Indigenous Australian history; and
  • the applicant's more general scholarly potential.

How to Apply

The following documentation is required:

  • A letter addressing the criteria for selection and must include in the following order:
  • Research overview
  • Budget; clearly state what the funds from this scholarship are being requested for and the amount; indicate any other sources of funding
  • Indication that supervisory support is available and that you meet eligibility criteria as outlined above.
  • Current curriculum vitae.

Further Information

Applications and enquiries should be sent to

About Minoru Hokari

A graduate of Hitotsubashi University (MEc 1996) and The Australian National University (PhD 2001), Minoru conducted fieldwork amongst Gurindji elders, who he acknowledged as exceptional historians in their own right. His untimely death in 2004 curtailed a very promising career.

His colleagues and friends in the Australian Centre for Indigenous History in the Research School of Social Sciences, ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences at The Australian National University decided to establish a scholarship as a memorial to him.


2024 Minoru Hokari Scholarship Winner

The 2024  Minoru Hokari Scholarship was awarded to Alexandra Dixon (Griffith University).

Previous recipients


The 2023  Minoru Hokari Scholarship was awarded to Kath Apma Travis Penangke, a proud Imarnte woman of the Arrernte people of Central Australia, PhD Candidate at Victoria University, Melbourne. The Scholarship contributed to the development of the concept at the heart of her doctoral project: 'Talkin’ Blak: Finding and Owning First Nations Voice, Belonging and Connection Through the Archives'. This project draws on her own lived experience as a First Nations Arrernte woman and stolen generations survivor, exploring the gaps within her family story.


The 2022  Minoru Hokari Scholarship was awarded to Seka Binaramali Seneviratne (PhD candidate at the Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation at the University of Melbourne).


The 2021  Minoru Hokari Scholarship was awarded to Jessica Urwin (ANU School of History) for her project 'Chain Reactions: Nuclear Colonialism in South Australia'. Her project aimed to chart a history of nuclear colonialism in South Australia. Jessica has been working hard over the course of her PhD to develop essential relationships across communities and as a result has recorded oral histories and written endorsements from community members who are vocal about nuclear issues. Her research has been presented to and endorsed by the Maralinka Tjarutja Council. Prior to the pandemic, Ms Urwin participated in the Aboriginal-led Australian Nuclear Free Alliance (ANFA) meeting, and intends to continue her work there by meeting with key elders and community members.

Ms Urwin's research has previously been selected for various awards such as the 2018 History Council of NSW's 'Max Kelly Medal for excellent work from a 'beginning historian', and this year as well Jessica's research has also earned her the Australian Historical Association's Jill Roe prize for the best unpublished postgraduate paper.Jessica will utilise the funds from this scholarship to continue with the fieldwork that the COVID-19 pandemic impacted greatly, and aims to conduct interviews in Port Augusta where she hopes to meet with elders and community members. This scholarship will cover her travel costs for this essential fieldwork.


The 2019  Minoru Hokari Scholarship was awarded to Elizabeth Muldoon from La Trobe University (Melbourne). Elizabeth is in her second year of her PhD candidature and her research seeks to explore the contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to the Black Movement in Redfern, Sydney between 1968 and 1973, focusing on their role in founding the first Aboriginal community-controlled services. Ms Muldoon's methodology draws upon Indigenous, decolonizing and critical research methodologies that emphasise the importance of Aboriginal community control over the research from start to finish. Elizabeth's research aimed to fill a major gap in the historical literature on Aboriginal political struggle. Such literature has to date been heavily biased towards male activists, leading to misconceptions about gender relations within Aboriginal politics and Aboriginal communities more broadly. She hopes to elevate the status of Aboriginal women's knowledge and political contributions and highlight the historical significance of the Redfern Black Movement.


The 2018  Minoru Hokari Scholarship was awarded to Sarah Yu for her project Window to the Soul. Sarah worked with renowned Mayala pearl shell artist Aubrey Tigan to tell how the Mayala people rode their galwa rafts among the islands of the Buccaneer Archepelago, through the treacherous waters of the King Sound to collect pearl shell for trade and art. The project seeked connections between the country, the sea, the collected pearl shell and the people who imbued them with spiritual, practical, economic and scientific meaning. Window to the Soul will tell a story of the pearling industry through the gaze of Yawuru, Mayala, Bardi, Jawi and Karajarri people. Sarah draws on Hokari’s insights, experiences and approach to history to write stories that show how some saltwater people think about and ‘pay attention’ to the world through the story of pearling. The scholarship will fund Sarah’s return to the north west coast communities where she will seek further insights, approvals and critiques to write, with the local historians, a look at the world through Aboriginal eyes.

Sarah recently curated the award-winning Lustre: Pearling & Australia exhibition in partnership with the Yawuru community and the Western Australian Museum. She is Doctoral candidate at the Heidelberg University in Germany. Her project is a part of The Transcultural Heritage of Northwest Australia: Dynamics and Resistances.


The 2017 Minoru Hokari Scholarship was awarded to Ms Rebecca Richards of the University of Adelaide. Rebecca, of Adnyamathanha and Barngala descent, proposes to carry out research  on ‘rethinking Adnyamathanha Aboriginal histories via critical engagement with the State Library of South Australia and the South Australian Museum (Mountford and Tindale) photographic collections, utilising oral history collection, photo-elicitation interviews and interpretative artistic responses’.

Rebecca held a series of 8 workshops to work with community leaders and members to generate collaborative support for an exhibition and her thesis. The grant will enable her to participate in these meetings. Rebecca is a tremendous scholar and in 2010 made history when she became Australia's first Indigenous Rhodes Scholar. This prestigious and exclusive scholarship enables recipients to study at Oxford University.


Tjanara Goreng Goreng has been awarded the 2016 Minori Hokari Scholarship.Tjanara's proposed project is concerned with: "The Road to Eldership and the Impact of Sacred and Visionary Eldership on Community Transformation". This subject will be researched through fieldwork research conducted in Western New South Wales and Central Queensland as a part of her current PhD Research.

Tjanara intends to undertake further historical research with two senior Indigenous cultural knowledge holders in Australia. This will involve recording biographical accounts from these two Elders to assist in the completion of the biographical content of her doctorate. The research will take place in two locations, Rockhampton in Central Queensland with Mrs. Maureen Stanley Williams one of the oldest Senior Elders and Traditional Custodians of the Wakka Wakka Wulli Wulli Peoples, and Dr. Paul Collis, a cultural educator and knowledge holder of Barkindji men's business, lore and Law.

Tjanara is an academic teacher and researcher who is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Indigenous Studies at the University of Canberra while completing her PhD at ANU through the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research.


The 2015 Minoru Hokari Scholarship was awarded to Ms Jessa Rogers. Ms Rogers is an Indigenous Doctoral Student at the Australian Centre for Indigenous History in the School of History, ANU. The award will assist Ms. Rogers to undertake fieldwork with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander boarding school students in New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory. Because there is such limited research in Australia, the study also includes a Māori girls' boarding school in Napier, Aotearoa that has an Indigenous-centred curriculum. The committee was impressed with Ms. Roger's previous experience in and commitment to Indigenous education, ethical research practices and the use of Indigenous research methodologies that uphold the principles of Indigenous research including reciprocity and respect for Indigenous ways of being, doing and knowing.


Ms Priya Vaughan for her project Aboriginal Art Making in New South Wales. There has been relatively little anthropological and historical research into Aboriginal art practice in south-east Australia; this project promises to make a major contribution to redressing this neglect. A vital element of Priya’s research into what she describes as a ‘vivacious art scene’ is her engagement with practising artists to document their processes, experiences, motivations and explanations regarding the art they make. The Hokari Scholarship will help Priya cover costs involved in travelling to speak with artists and facilitating meetings with them. The Committee was especially impressed with Priya’s commitment to ethical research practices. She has previously demonstrated the fruits of working in this way with Bidjigal artists from La Perouse in Sydney.

Priya is currently undertaking a PhD as part of the Interdisciplinary Cross Cultural Research Program (Department of Archaeology and Anthropology) at the Australian National University. She recently completed a Masters of Philosophy in Social Anthropology at University of Oxford.


Mr Philip Adgemis, a doctoral student in arts and Australian Indigenous Studies at Monash University. The award will assist Mr Adgemis to undertake fieldwork in and around the Northern Territory town of Borroloola as part of his research project, 'Yanyuwangala: change, resilience and identity'.

Mr Adgemis' proposal stood out from an unusually strong field by virtue of his emphasis on working with younger members of the community, a willingness to engage new technologies in the transmission of cultural knowledge and his finely nuanced appreciation of strategies to repatriate cultural materials, material and non-material. As his application stated,‘cultural knowledge asemanating from past ways of being, often termed as ancestral knowledge, is communicated in vastly changing ways, in vastly changing social contexts.’The panel was impressed by his aspirations to build on pre-existing relationships with community members and his understanding of the challenges and rewards of fieldwork in an Indigenous community setting. The panel saw much in his application that might have resonated with Mino Hokari, not only in his willingness to watch, listen and learn from Yanyuwa intellectuals, but his appreciation of his teachers as historians,‘in that they re-narrate past incidents and experiences in the present, re-enact them, apply their moral, political, spiritual and philosophical analyses and thereby try to learn something from history and communicate that something (Hokari, p. 47).


Ms Shannyn Palmer
Australian Centre for Indigenous History at the Australian National University.
Topic:  ‘Thinking History Through People and Place: Mobile and situated historical narratives in southwest Central Australia’


Associate Professor Glen Stasiuk - Murdoch University
topic: ‘The first five years of settlement in Perth [1829-1834] exploring the transition period where peaceful cohabitation between Nyoongar and Settlers turned into a war of extermination’.


Yuriko Yamanouchi - Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning, University of Technology, Sydney
Topic: Interactive Ethnic Interface in Northern Australia:  Japanese Migratory Workers and Indigenous Australians     


Abby Cooper - Australian Centre for Indigenous History, Australian National University
Topic: sporting history of the Wimmera and southwestern Victoria and the development of Indigenous identities


Pamela McGrath - Centre for Cross-Cultural Research, Australian National University
Topic: Redocumenting the making of 1950s films of the Ngaanyatjarra people of Western Australia and the role of such films in the representation of Aboriginal people
Pictured: Tjukuria artist Nyarapai Giles, who was filmed by Keith Adams in the late 1950s for his film "Northern Safari" and Pam McGrath 


Crystal McKinnon - School of Historical Studies and School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne
Topic: Indigenous Arts and Music and its Historical and Political Significance


Lorina Barker - School of Classics, History and Religion, University of New England
Topic: People, Place and Time: the Weilmoringle Community

Pictured: Lorina accepting award. Photograph by Neal McCracken, ANU Photography


Updated:  15 July 2024/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications