‘The Carceral Colony’ Wins the 2021 Margaret Medcalf Award

A challenging re-examination of Western Australia’s Convict System has won the 2021 Margaret Medcalf Award.
MM Award 2021

‘The Carceral Colony’, an edition of Studies in Western Australian History produced by the Centre of Western History at the University of WA, is a very significant and comprehensive collection of research papers that help us to think more broadly and better understand the connections between all people impacted by the penal system in colonial WA. ‘The Carceral Colony’ is edited by Emeritus Professor Jenny Gregory and Dr Louis Marshall and includes research by Bruce Baskerville, Shane Burke, Ann Curthoys, Joanne Hyland, Louis Marshall, Hamish Maxwell-Stewart, Kellie Moss, B’geella Romano, Katherine Roscoe and Denise Young. The work is mainly based on archival sources, much of which is held as State Archives by the State Records Office.

This annual Award for excellence in referencing and research honours Miss Margaret Medcalf OAM, the second State Archivist for Western Australia (from 1971 to 1989), for her valuable contribution to the development of archives in Western Australia.

Works nominated for the Award must demonstrate use of archival sources and substantial (but not necessarily exclusive) use of State Archives held by the State Records Office (SRO).

Nominated works may be fiction or non-fiction and may comprise any format (i.e. book, article, conference paper, website, index, etc) and may be published or unpublished. Nominations may be submitted by anyone, including the author of the work. Nominated works must have been completed or published during the previous calendar year.

The judging panel this year comprised Dr Leigh Straw, Deputy National Head of the School of Arts Sciences at the University of Notre Dame Australia, State Records Commissioner Mr Alan Ralph, and Mr Damian Shepherd, Director State Records.

Seven entries were received for the Award in 2021 and the nominations were:

  • The Edward Street Baby Farm (book) by Stella Budrikis

  • ‘Emilliah’: the ‘utopian’ suffragist settlement scheme proposed for Denmark, Western Australia (article) in ‘Studies in Western Australian History (33)’ by Miriam Crandell

  • Depicting Boom Urbanism: A Critical Investigation of Kalgoorlie and Boulder, Western Australia, 1893–1903 (PhD Thesis) by Philip Goldswain 

  • The Carceral Colony (Journal Edition) ‘Studies in Western Australian History (34)’ edited by Jenny Gregory and Louis Marshall

  • A Bridge Between: Spanish Benedictine Missionary Women in Australia (Book) by Katharine Massam

  • Lieutenant-Governor Stirling's Proclamation of the Colony, 1829 (Essay) in 'Collecting the West: "99 Collections That Made Western Australia"' by Rebecca Repper.

  • Unnatural Womanhood: Moral Treatment, Puerperal Insanity and the Female Patients at the Fremantle Lunatic Asylum, 1858–1908 (article) in ‘Lilith: A Feminist History Journal (26)’ by Alexandra Wallis

The Award ceremony took place on Friday 19 November, and the Chair of State Records Commission, WA Ombusdman Mr Chris Field, along with Ms Margaret Medcalf OAM, presented the Award to Emeritus Professor Gregory who accepted it on behalf of the editors and authors.

MMA 2021
Page reviewed 24 November 2021