National Young Historian of the Year

National Young Historian of the Year

Congratulations to Year 10 student Rachel Wang who has won the prestigious National Young Historian of the Year Award.

The Minister for Education and Training Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham presented Rachel with the award in Parliament House Canberra earlier this week.

Rachel’s 2000-word essay required extensive research on a topic of her choice to correlate with the competition theme of triumph and tragedy. She chose to explore the Australian artist Albert Namatjira.

‘I explored how his life was framed by tragedy yet he was a very successful Indigenous artist and fought for Indigenous rights’, Rachel said.

Minister Birmingham said, ‘Rachel’s description of Namatjira as the “first bridge between two vastly different cultures” is fitting and serves as a lesson to us all about the importance of mutual understanding and reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians’.

Through her research Rachel gained a more nuanced understanding of the artist’s life as well as learning how to use archival records and write an essay with an annotated bibliography and footnotes.

‘It was a very worthwhile experience both writing the essay and winning the four-day trip to Canberra’, she said.

Rachel won the award competing across all categories and ages including Year 11 and Year 12 students from across Australia. With the same essay she also won NSW Young Historian of the Year, as well as the Year 9 and Indigenous categories.

Rachel won a cash prize, several medals and a plaque. The competition is organised by the History Teachers’ Association of Australia and supported by the federal government.