RDHP team member Josh Newham awarded – twice!

Josh Newham, a PhD student in the ANU School of History’s Rediscovering the Deep Human Past (RDHP) Laureate Program received two awards for his 2018 Honours Thesis at La Trobe University last week.

Josh received both the Richard Broome Indigenous History Prize, awarded to the highest mark for an Honours thesis on an Indigenous theme from any region of the world; and the Allan Martin Prize, awarded for the best interdisciplinary Honours thesis from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Josh’s Honours thesis was entitled ‘An Enduring Blindness: Colonial Myopia and Indigenous Agency in the Burragorang Valley’ and combined a traditional historical essay structure exploring early contact histories with interspersed chapters of creative writing to evoke a sense of place, connection, loss and shared history in the region.

The Burragorang Valley, now Lake Burragorang is an area of enduring interest today as the NSW state government is considering raising the Warragamba Dam wall, further inundating 1,000 hectares of World Heritage listed wilderness and drowning hundreds of significant Aboriginal sites, beyond those lost previously when the Warragamba Dam was initially completed in 1960 to ensure the city of Sydney’s ongoing water needs were met.

Josh hopes to continue to engage with and challenge the enduring legacies of Australia’s colonial past through his research into the deep history of Aboriginal occupation of South Eastern New South Wales, including the Burragorang and the Canberra region, with the RDHP team at ANU.