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Medcalf Award winner explores history of ALS

14 Jun 2012

Justice: A history of the Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia by Fiona Skyring has been awarded the 2012 Margaret Medcalf Award.


Culture and the Arts Minister John Day said the book explores the history of the Aboriginal Legal Service of WA from its beginnings in the early 1970s.


“This book makes a significant contribution to increasing our understanding of the changes in criminal justice and policing, and to attitudes about racial discrimination and land rights that have occurred in recent times in WA,” Mr Day said.


“Dr Skyring has produced a fine research work that is accessible and doesn’t shy away from examining the difficulties inherent in running an organisation devoted to Aboriginal justice in a complex political context.


“The judges decided this book situates the story of the Aboriginal Legal Service within the broader context of race relations in WA and the experiences and desires of Aboriginal people.


“The result is a major contribution to our understanding of WA history - it is a powerful work and a compelling read.”


A special commendation was also awarded to Dr Jeremy Martens for his book Government House and Western Australian Society 1829 - 2010.


The Margaret Medcalf Award, which is named in honour of the second State Archivist for her significant contribution to the development of archives in WA, pays tribute to the hundreds of people who on a daily basis, use two million archival items held at the State Records Office, whether as research for books or articles, or for personal reasons like exploring family history.