Independent News For The Australian Public Service
Edition Number 398f. Updated Friday, 28 February 2014

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Archives announces research grants

The National Archives of Australia has announced the winners of its 2013 research grants.

Winning topics for the $25,000 in grants include Australia's little known refugee program in Latin America in the 1980s and Commonwealth Aboriginal policy in the Northern Territory from 1930 to 1950.
Director-General, David Fricker said: "We are delighted that our grants have gone to such talented researchers and that their efforts in delving into the National Archives' collection will provide all Australians with a wider knowledge of our nation's history."

The $15,000 Frederick Watson Fellowship for established scholars was awarded to Dr Alison Holland, Department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations at Macquarie University for her project Exploring Commonwealth Aboriginal Policy in the Northern Territory from 1930-1950.

Aboriginal policy in NT

By exploring Commonwealth Aboriginal policy at this time, the project will refocus national attention on a formative period of Commonwealth control in the Northern Territory.

The 20 years leading up to the post-war period saw a potent mix of issues including justice, policing and the law, health and disease, Aboriginal labour, the status and condition of Aboriginal girls and women, inter-racial conflict, a humanitarian critique and even national defence.
Research Associate at the Andrew and Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at the University of NSW, Dr Claire Higgins received the $10,000 Margaret George Award for emerging scholars to research Australia's little-known refugee program in Latin America.
During the 1980s, the Australian Government ran a discreet in-country refugee program out of Chile and El Salvador, resettling several hundred people each year who were at risk of persecution or death at the hands of their own governments.

Former Immigration officials have described this work as "life-saving" and a genuine "rescue mission" yet there is little reference to the program in Government publications.
The National Archives' research grants program is currently under review.

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