Roslyn Lawry Award
In 1987, what promised to be an outstanding career in Museum Studies was tragically cut short. Roslyn Lawry (1962–1987) was an exceptional student of Museum Studies at Victoria College (now Deakin University) and worked as a freelance museum curator after graduation. In this period her enthusiasm and passion for excellence in museums and cultural heritage flourished and it is in this spirit that the Roslyn Lawry Award is made each year.
The Roslyn Lawry Award was established in 1989 to commemorate Roslyn’s life and passion for museums. It is now offered annually to an outstanding graduate from Deakin’s Master of Cultural Heritage. In selecting award recipients, the committee looks for those demonstrating academic excellence as well as a personal and professional commitment to cultural heritage and museums.
The award is presented at an event attended by the museum community of Victoria. It is recognised as honouring the goal of ‘establishing new careers full of hope and promise’.
Every year the process of selection becomes difficult because of the many outstanding students who are eligible. I have been privileged each year to participate as a member of the selection committee and it is an honour to be able to make this award to others with a passion and dedication in this field, in the memory of my daughter, Roslyn.
The winner of the 2021 Roslyn Lawry Award is Maddi Moore. Like all the finalists, Maddi’s academic performance was excellent, with an overall average above a High Distinction. This is an outstanding outcome, demonstrating both ability and commitment. The story that impressed the Roslyn Lawry Award Committee, however, was a story of hard work leading to constant improvement. Maddi was inspired to pursue study in the museum and cultural heritage fields after attending a talk by Boon Wurrung Elder N’arweet Carolyn Briggs on International Woman’s Day in 2018, and she pursued volunteer work with the Boon Wurrung Foundation before enrolling in a Master of Cultural Heritage at Deakin University. Internships at the City of Whitehorse followed, as well as a mentorship program with ICOMOS Australia, followed by a part-time position in the finance department with the National Trust, where she quickly took up opportunities to contribute to work on the Trust’s first Climate Action Plan, as well as to support a partnership with Pentridge Prison where the Trust is developing a new visitor experience. All of these experiences fed into her excellent research project in which she investigated the McCrae Homestead and the opportunities it presents for a more inclusive interpretation of Indigenous perspectives alongside its colonial history, using a Shared History perspective.
Maddi is currently working at the National Trust as a Heritage Advocacy Advisor, where she hopes to contribute to their current work on dealing with difficult histories. The Roslyn Lawry Award Committee was impressed with her ability for reflection on her own learning, and her capacity to take each position and opportunity to a new level. She clearly has a bright future within the cultural heritage and museums sectors. Mrs Fay Lawry presented Maddi with the 2021 Roslyn Lawry Award at the Victorian Museums and Galleries Awards ceremony at the State Library of Victoria on 4 October 2022.
The winner of the 2020 Roslyn Lawry Award is Isabelle Meister. Isabelle completed a Bachelor of Arts with Honours at La Trobe University, majoring in History and Philosophy. Her thesis explored the influence of ‘Victory Culture’ on the US home-front during and after World War II. Between 2018 and 2020 she completed a Dual Masters in Cultural Heritage/World Heritage Studies. These two master degrees are part of a competitive, international program undertaken at Deakin University in Melbourne, as well as the Brandenburgische Technische Universität (BTU) in Cottbus, Germany. Isabelle’s research project was of an exceptional academic standard. It investigated the interpretive practices of the Brecht-Weigel Museum in Berlin, using an existing assessment framework for historic house museums.
Alongside her studies, Isabelle has gained experience and expertise in a range of volunteer and professional roles at Brandenburgische Technische Universität, the Royal Historical Society of Victoria, Public Record Office Victoria and the Heide Museum of Modern Art. The Roslyn Lawry Award Committeehighlighted Isabelle’s academic achievements, her willingness to pursue and develop opportunities for professional growth and employment, and her obvious passion for the heritage and museums sector.Since graduating from Deakin University she gained a position as a Museum Attendant at the Futurium in Berlin.
Mrs Fay Lawry presented Isabelle with the 2020 Roslyn Lawry Award in a virtual ceremony on 5 October 2021 as part of the 2021 Victorian Museums and Galleries Awards online presentation.
The winner of the 2019 Roslyn Lawry Award is Justin Croft. Justin has exemplified the values of excellence at the heart of this award in his academic contributions throughout his Master of Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies and in his personal and professional initiative outside of his studies. Already Justin has made a strong contribution to the broader museum community by drawing upon the experience and expertise gained through various roles across the GLAM sector, including working as a Museum Officer at the Kyneton Museum and a Property Manager (Portable Iron Houses) at the National Trust of Australia (Victoria). He also gained collections and research experience through roles at the National Sports Museum, the University of Melbourne, the Public Record Office Victoria, the Old Melbourne Gaol and Como House, as well as the Sandringham & District Historical Society, the Yarraville Community Centre and Footscray Historical Society.
Justin holds a Bachelor of Arts majoring in History from La Trobe University and, since graduating from his Master of Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies, has taken on a range of roles for AMaGA (Victoria). Mrs Fay Lawry presented Justin with the 2019 Roslyn Lawry Award in a virtual ceremony on 8 December 2020 as part of the 2020 Victorian Museums and Galleries Awards online presentation.
This year, Deakin celebrates the 30th anniversary of this prestigious Award in our field. Fay and Jim Lawry established the award in 1989 as a tangible memorial to their determined daughter. The Roslyn Lawry Award for Excellence in Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies has awarded 31 deserving students, 6 whom were able to be present at the AMAGA Victoria Awards Night this year. The Award was presented this year by Deakin’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education), Professor Liz Johnson.
The recipient for 2018 is Amy MacKintosh. Amy’s academic performance was outstanding, demonstrating both ability and commitment. She is the first recipient of the Roslyn Lawry Award to have completed the dual award masters program with Germany’s Brandenburg Technical University at Cottbus-Senftenburg. She was the third Deakin student to complete this program which allows students to study in Melbourne and Germany, receiving two masters degrees. Deakin is very proud of this unique collaboration toward internationalisation of qualification in cultural heritage.
Before joining Deakin’s Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies program, Amy completed degrees in Arts and Law at Monash University. During her studies at Monash and Deakin, Amy worked as a ‘GoUNESCO’ intern, and a volunteer at a range of local cultural institutions, including the National Trust of Victoria, Glen Eira Historical Society, and Melbourne Museum. These gave her opportunities to work with visitors, create new content, work with children and family groups, and to gain experience in cataloguing and recording oral histories. Throughout her studies in Australia and Europe, Amy developed an interest in interpretation for children that led her to complete her masters dissertation on ‘Engaging Casual Children Visitors to Historic House Museums’.
Amy is currently working across tours and community engagement at the Parliament of Victoria. The Roslyn Lawry Award Committee was impressed with her ability for reflection on her own learning, and her ability to take each position and opportunity to a new level.
Amy clearly has a bright future within the cultural heritage and museums sectors. We look forward to continuing our involvement with her and congratulate her on her achievements.
Like all the finalists for 2017, Rachael Cottle’s academic performance was excellent, with an overall average of ‘high distinction’. This is an outstanding outcome, demonstrating both ability and commitment. Before joining Deakin’s CHMS program, Rachael completed a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Religious Studies at Griffith University. While she always had a passion for heritage, she found her way to Deakin only after a chance encounter with Deakin’s Dr Linda Young and a group of our students visiting Schwerkolt Cottage in Mitcham, where she had been working as a community volunteer.
Rachael was the recipient of a scholarship from Graduate Women Victoria (Philippa McCall scholarship) and served as a student representative on the Academic Advisory Board for Deakin’s Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies program. Her passion for museums made a major impression on her teachers and fellow students. While her life took some twists and turns before bringing her to her Master in Cultural Heritage studies, we could all see that she had found her place in the world once she began. Her determination to finish her studies and perform to the highest possible standards was apparent to all, even though she had the added challenge of ill-health at times. She took every opportunity for networking, engaged with every conversation, conquered every assignment and relished every class.
During her studies at Deakin, Rachael worked as a volunteer at various local cultural institutions, including the Victoria Police Museum, El Dorado Museums Association, Upper Yarra Museum, and the Whitehorse Historical Society. She assisted with exhibitions, collections, guiding, policy development and school programs, as well as helping with meeting minutes, editing and administration tasks. Toward the end of her studies, she secured an internship in the Humanities Department of Melbourne Museum, and continued her research work there as a volunteer. She has been able to develop her experience in collections research and museum education, and wrote several stories for Victorian Collections.
Rachael has begun to work professionally in the museums field in Victoria. We look forward to continuing our involvement with her, and congratulate her on her achievements, including this long-standing and prestigious award which honours the memory of Roslyn Lawry.
The Roslyn Lawry Award recognises excellence in Deakin’s Master of Cultural Heritage program and commemorates the life of an outstanding student and graduate, Roslyn Lawry (1962-1987).
The recipient for the 2016 academic year is Eugenia Pacitti. Before joining Deakin’s Cultural Heritage & Museum Studies program, Eugenia achieved a First Class Honours in History at the University of Melbourne. Not only did she achieve an outstanding academic record at Deakin University, but she also took every opportunity to gain experience across a diverse range of contexts. These included: Freemason’s Museum and Library of Victoria, National Gallery of Victoria, ACMI, Melbourne Museum and the Shrine of Remembrance, enabling Eugenia to gain experience in guiding, public programs, audience research, objects research, condition reports and exhibitions.
She published an article in University of Melbourne Collections based on her work at the Harry Brookes Allen Museum of Anatomy and Pathology; and was one of four post-graduate students worldwide selected for an ICOMOS Young Professionals program, enabling her to join the World Heritage evaluation mission to Taputapuatea in French Polynesia.
In accepting the Award, Eugenia stressed the value of internships for students and paid tribute to the professional colleagues and institutions that ‘open their doors’, providing critically important experiences.
The Roslyn Lawry Award was presented by Mrs Fay Lawry and Deakin University’s Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies Professor Andrea Witcomb.
The recipient for the 2015 academic year is Gavan O'Connor.
Gavan represents a specific students cohort that has always been part of our program – but one that has not been recognised before the this award. That is, the portion of our students that choose CHMS in midlife, marking a chosen shift from a previous career direction, often following considerable professional successes in other fields.
In Gavan’s case, he returned to study after a successful 30 year career in journalism. After establishing his career in South Africa, Gavan came to Melbourne in 1989 and worked for The Age for nearly 20 years, including as Chief Sub-Editor. Gavin came to Deakin’s CHMS program to study the Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies, but after successfully completing this in 2013, continued onto his Master of Cultural Heritage.
Like all the finalists in the Rosyln Lawry Award, Gavan achieved impressive academic results throughout his studies. Beyond this however, he is remembered by fellow students ash lecturers as an especially engaged and generous participant in the program, particular in the intensive on-campsuy classes held for most units. In his reflections prepared for the the Award Committee, Gavan commented on how these interactions with peers, visitors, places and ideas assisted him to delve more deeply in the various facets of cultural heritage, always connecting those to people, narrative and contemporary society.
As with many of our students, Gavan has taken every chance to build his professional experience, skills and networks while studying. He is a member of Museums Australian (Victoria) and has worked as a volunteer at the Chinese Museum, and the Mission to Seafarers in Melbourne, and working on the Victorian Collections database.
Gavan will take a break now, before working to find opportunities to combine his journalism and cultural heritage skills. We look forward to hearing more about this, and wish him every success for the future.
The recipient for the 2014 academic year is Susan Fayad, who is the Heritage Strategy Coordinator at the City of Ballarat. The award was presented to her by Professor Andrea Witcomb, Director of Deakin’s Cultural Heritage Centre for Asia and the Pacific, and Mrs Fay Lawry.
Susan Fayad came to post-graduate study at Deakin in 2011 because she wanted to deepen her expertise in cultural heritage. Before working for the City of Ballarat, she had a varied work and educational background across a number of sectors, including the arts, music, communications and education.
In her work with the City of Ballarat, Susan has had particular success in exploring UNESCO’s Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape (HUL) and applying it to the challenges of creating a new city strategy for Ballarat – a city facing significant growth and change. This work has been extraordinarily far-reaching, involving the City of Ballarat forming a relationship with the World Heritage Institute for Training and Research in the Asia-Pacific region (WHITR-AP) - the first local government entity to become part of UNESCO’s pilot program for the implementation of the ‘HUL’.
Susan Fayad had made many presentations about this work in Paris, China and Ecuador, and has begun to write about her experiences. Two different academic book chapters about the HUL in Ballarat will be published in 2015. The success of the change management work that Susan has initiated can be seen in the large circle of academics, professional colleagues and community activists that she has encouraged to join this work, and share equally in its progress. The ‘HUL’ is found throughout the recently-completed City Strategy, an enormous achievement for Susan and many others.
In selecting Susan Fayad for the 2014 Roslyn Lawry Award, the Award Committee recognised her high standard of performance throughout her studies, and her achievements and breadth of interests and engagement with cultural heritage.
The recipient for the 2013 academic year is Amy Barclay.
Amy Barclay brought to her studies an impressive record of experience and achievement in the arts and galleries, and combined her cultural heritage and museum studies subjects with those from Deakin's Arts Management program. She now works in Cultural Development for the City of Stonnington. She has served on the Academic Advisory Board for the Deakin Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies program - first a student representative, and as a graduate of the Masters course.
Amy came to the Master of Cultural Heritage with previous qualifications that demonstrate the breadth of her interests, including the Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies (Deakin University), Postgraduate Diploma of Arts (Art History) (Monash) and Bachelor of Arts in Media Arts (Fine Art Photography) (RMIT). In selecting Amy Barclay for the 2013 Roslyn Lawry Award, the Award Committee recognised the high standard of performance throughout her studies, and her achievements and breadth of interests and engagement with museums, art galleries and cultural development.
The Roslyn Lawry Award for 2013 was presented to Amy at the Museums Association (Victoria) Awards Night at Melbourne Museum on 8 August 2014. The Award was presented by Professor Andrea Witcomb, Director of the Deakin's Cultural Heritage Centre for Asia and the Pacific. The Lawry Family, and the staff of the Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies program at Deakin University warmly congratulate Amy on this achievement and look forward to her continuing achievements in the arts, cultural development, cultural heritage and museums.
The recipient for 2012 is Jennifer Rowe. Jennifer not only maintained an excellent level of performance throughout her study for the Master of Cultural Heritage (2009-2012), but found opportunities offered by the coursework to undertake project-oriented work in her local community, and to volunteer at Queensland University's Anthropology Museum and the State Library of Queensland to further her professional development. She participated in the 2012 Field School held in the Kelabit Highlands in Borneo, and served as a curator of the exhibition about the Field School at the Phoenix Gallery at the Burwood Campus of Deakin University - 'World Within' No More.
Jennifer holds a Bachelor of International Relations with Honours from Griffith University. She lives in Brisbane and completed most of her course part-time with Deakin as an off-campus student. She has a particular interest in issues of culture, heritage, community development and social justice, and has worked with the Tibetan community in Brisbane in a voluntary capacity.
The Roslyn Lawry Award for 2012 was presented to Jennifer at the Museums Association (Victoria) Awards Night at Federation Square on 8 August 2013. The Award was presented by Associate Professor Andrea Witcomb, Director of Deakin University's Cultural Heritage Centre for Asia and the Pacific. The Lawry family, and the staff of the Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies program at Deakin University congratulate Jennifer on this achievement and look forward to her further participation in the broad fields of museums and cultural heritage.
Dr Anna Welch received the 22nd annual Roslyn Lawry Award at the Museums Australia Awards night held at the State Library of Victoria on 2 August 2012.
Anna completed her PhD on a medieval manuscript, but saw her future less in academe than working with collections, so she enrolled in Deakin's Master of Cultural Heritage. She undertook an internship at the National Gallery of Victoria, on tiny votive panels, with Matthew Martin - the findings will be published soon; and she did volunteer work at Melbourne Museum with Ruth Leveson, who seized her to work on wax seals. Anna is now working in several different jobs, including as a Curatorial Assistant at the State Library and Acting Curator of Prints at the National Gallery.
The winner of the 21st Roslyn Lawry Award is Luke James. Luke studied Arts-Law at the University of Melbourne, majoring in Architectural History and English, and worked as a planning, environment and heritage lawyer before undertaking an Australian Youth Ambassador for Development posting to Samoa, where he worked with Chief Justice of Samoa and experienced Pacific culture first-hand. The experience inspired him to enrol in Deakin's Master of Cultural Heritage, with an eye to becoming a cultural heritage professional. In a busy period, he completed coursework while working as an intern and then consultant with the Bangkok office of UNESCO.
There he worked on the Asia Pacific Heritage Awards for Culture Heritage Conservation, research into museum training needs and a research project based on a successful heritage conservation and revitalisation project in a Thai canal town. Luke has since taken up a position with the International Heritage Section of the Dept of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities in Canberra.
Carmel O'Keeffe, winner of the 2009 Roslyn Lawry Award received a cheque for $750, a framed certificate and many hugs when the prize was presented on 20 July at the Museums Australia Awards night. It was held in the galleries of Melbourne Museum, under the gaze of Phar Lap and the Minister for the Arts, the Hon Peter Batchelor MP, followed by elegant nibbles and celebratory drinks.
Carmel O'Keeffe, graduated in 2009 as a Master of Cultural Heritage. A journalist by profession, she decided her story-telling skills could find a new application in the museum field, and she began part-time studies. She relished the course so much she took long service leave to finish it fulltime. She is yet to win a museum job but remains in touch with the contacts she made via course site visits and assignments, poised to seize the right position.
The 19th annual Roslyn Lawry Award for outstanding achievement in Deakin's Museum Studies & Cultural Heritage program was presented to Helen Hunter, BA(Hons), at the Museums Australia (Victoria) Museum Awards on 23 July 2009.
Helen is a history graduate from Melbourne University, who took to Museum Studies after an undergraduate internship at Sovereign Hill. Before returning to study, she lived in France in 2005, where she volunteered to produce English-language visitor leaflets and inventories relating to Gallo-Roman ruins and prehistoric antiquities near Toulouse.
During her course, she provided a conservation report to the Coburg Historical Society, assessed a collection of Chinese market-gardening objects, and reviewed Melbourne Museum's 'The Mind' exhibition forMuseums Australia Magazine. She volunteered with the Conservation Volunteers Hands On Heritage program, taking part in excavations at Schwerkolt Cottage in Mitcham, and maintenance work at Heide.
Having just completed her Graduate Diploma, Helen and Wayne produced baby Niamh in 2008. Now living in Ballan, Helen is involved with community projects; she is secretary of the local Community House, a member of the 'Wombat Arts' network, and of the Moorabool Shire 'Arts, Culture & Events Committee'.
The 18th annual Roslyn Lawry Award for outstanding achievement in Deakin's Museum Studies & Cultural Heritage program was presented to Sally Patfield, Grad.Dip.Mus.Studs, at the Museums Australia (Victoria) Museum Awards on 24 July 2008.
Sally received a University of Newcastle Medal for her degree in teaching, with electives in history, visual arts and music. Her volunteer work at a local art gallery with young children and school groups inspired her to seek qualifications for a career in museums.
She chose the Deakin off-campus program in order to combine work, volunteering and study. As she wrote in appreciation of the professional orientation of the course: 'Due to my volunteer work at the gallery, I [was] offered consultancy as an education specialist, and was able to use this as the basis for an assignment, to research and write a set of education resources that linked the themes and content of an exhibition to the primary school curriculum'.
After a further consultancy stint in collections management at the National Museum in Canberra, she took up the position of Local Studies Collection Officer at the Marrickville Council History and Archival Research Centre in Sydney. Sally has now re-enrolled to upgrade her Diploma to a Masters degree.
Helen Laffin, Grad.Dip.Mus.Studs 2006, was presented with the CH&MS program's Roslyn Lawry Award at the annual Victorian Museum Awards event, held at the State Library of Victoria on the 28th of June 2007. Helen studied off-campus and part-time, while she working on the Performing Arts Collection at the Arts Centre, Melbourne, and caring for a young family.
On 25th May 2006 the Victorian branch of Museums Australia hosted the Museum Industry Recognition Awards (MIRAs) at the National Gallery of Victoria. As in previous years, the presentation of the Roslyn Lawry Award for Excellence in Museum Studies, undertaken at Deakin University during 2005, was a highlight on the night. This year Janelle Mikkeslon was awarded the award. The award is a book prize to the value of $350.
The winner of the 2004 Roslyn Lawry Award was Ms Roana O'Neill. In addition to studying towards the Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies, Ms O'Neill is Public Programs Officer at the Bundaberg Arts Centre and is the Queensland Representative for the Interpretation Australia Association. Ms O'Neill's award was presented at the Museum Industry Recognition Awards ceremony, held at the Melbourne Museum in May 2005.
On 21 May 2004, as part of the national conference of Museums Australia, Deakin University announced the latest recipients of its major award for outstanding achievement in the field of Museum Studies. The Roslyn Lawry Award for Excellence in Museum Studies is named in memory of one of Deakin's most outstanding graduates in Museum Studies. It is awarded each year to the student/s who achieve excellence in the Graduate Diploma of Museum Studies.
The joint winners of the 2003 Award were Meredith Blake and Fiona Salmon. Both women studied part-time over 2 years, and both are now well established on their chosen career paths. Meredith is the Assistant Curator at the City of Port Phillip, while Fiona is the Co-Manager of the Museum Accreditation Program at Museums Australia (Victoria).
The Faculty of Arts provided generous sponsorship for the awards night of the Museums Australia conference, which this year was held in Melbourne. The sponsorship demonstrated the importance Deakin attaches to its links with the museum sector, and acknowledged the 25th anniversary of Deakin's teaching in Museum Studies. The Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Professor Joan Beaumont, made a short speech and announced the winners of the Award. Dr Jim Lawry presented each winner with their certificate and book prize.
Members of the Committee that organises the Roslyn Lawry Award were in attendance and extended their congratulations to the latest winners. Also present were several past winners of the Award: Elyse White, Aileen Ellis, Eve Almond, Ruth McLean, and Brian Hubber.
International Museums Day is the occasion at which Deakin University announces its major award for outstanding achievement in the field of Museum Studies.
On 14 May 2003 we awarded the Roslyn Lawry Award for Excellence in Museum Studies to Mr Brian Hubber. Brian completed his Graduate Diploma of Museum Studies in 2002. He is the first person to win the Award as an off-campus student. When Brian commenced the course with us, he was the Rare Books Librarian at the State Library of Victoria. He is now the Curator at the Geelong Art Gallery. Congratulations, Brian.
2000 & 2001: Brett Clowes
1999: Clare Watt