2014 Margaret Medcalf Award Presentation

Gerard Foley Wednesday, June 25, 2014 - 09:54


Penelope Hetherington's book The Marriage Knot has won the 2014 Margaret Medcalf Award.

The 2014 Margaret Medcalf Award was presented on 18 June 2014 to University of Western Australia history research fellow Penelope Hetherington for her book The Marriage Knot: Marriage & divorce in colonial Western Australia 1829–1900. In presenting the Award to Dr Hetherington, the Minister for Culture and the Arts, Hon. John Day MLA, said that the book had been meticulously researched and would form an excellent reference work on a topic that little had been written about. The Marriage Knot is published by UWA Publishing.

A Special Commendation was also presented to author Annie Boyd for her book Koombana Days, which documents the loss of the S.S. Koombana in a cyclone off the North West coast in March 1912. Koombana Days is published by Fremantle Press.

Since 2003 the State Records Office has hosted the Margaret Medcalf Award which rewards excellence in referencing and research of archival materials. Named after Margaret Medcalf OAM, the second State Archivist for Western Australia (from 1971 to 1989), it honours 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. The Award is unique is that is enable works, produced by students and amateurs, and in any format, to be considered alongside books by professional authors.

The Award is a prize of $1000 and nominated works may be fiction or non-fiction, published and unpublished, and may comprise any format (i.e. book, article, conference paper, website, index, etc.). Nominated works may be submitted by anyone, including the author of the work and must have been completed or published during the previous calendar year – this year from 2013.

The judging criteria for the Award comprise; the level of use of the State archives collection including original use of archival material; how well archives are referenced in the work; level of contribution to knowledge and presentation of the work. The judging panel for 2014 comprised State Records Commissioner Justine McDermott, State Archivist Cathrin Cassarchis, and Professor Jenny Gregory AM from the University of Western Australia.

This year six nominations were received for the Award. Apart from The Marriage Knot and Koombana Days, the other nominations were:

Phil Bianchi - “Work completed, Canning”: a comprehensive history of the Canning Stock Route 1906 – 2010, published by Hesperian Press.

Michelle Bunn and David J. Gilchrist - "A few good men": public sector audit in the Swan River Colony, 1828-1835, a journal article in Accounting History. Volume 18, number 2.

Cliff Burns and Arlene Collings; with special assistance by Lyn Myles - Darlington and Surrounds: Historic Structures and Buildings of Darlington 1829 – 1925, published by the Darlington History Group. 

Ingrid van Bremen - Western Building Construction. Roofs, published by the National Trust of Australia (WA).