Historian of the Year Award

Professor Philip Payton SA Historian of the Year 2017.

Flinders has made more history at the annual SA History Week Awards.

Professor Philip Payton, an expert in the State’s rich Cornish history, has been made SA Historian of the Year 2017 at a History Council of SA award ceremony attended by His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le, the Governor of SA, on Wednesday.

One of the winners of the Life-Long Achievement Award was Dr Bernard Whimpress, a graduate of Flinders University and the leading sports historian in SA. The winner of the Wakefield History Essay Prize was Dr David Faber, a School of Education researcher at Flinders.

Professor Payton, an Honorary Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, also edited the collection, Emigrants and Historians – Essays in Honour of Eric Richards, published in 2016 by Wakefield Press.

The collection brings together a distinguished team of international specialists to explore the entwined themes of Emigrants and Historians. The collection is published in honour of Eric Richards, Emeritus Professor of History at Flinders University and himself a former winner of the Historian of the Year Award.

Professor Payton’s latest Wakefield Press book, One and All: Labor and the Radical Tradition in South Australia, is a vivid account of the radical tradition in the Labor movement in South Australia. It describes how thousands of people who emigrated from Cornwall brought their political views and way of life with them to the newly-established colony in the nineteenth century.

ANU Associate Professor Frank Bongiorno has written that “Philip Payton brings his incomparable knowledge of Cornish and South Australian history to this important and lively account, revealing a South Australian Labor Party shaped powerfully by migration, Methodism and mining.

“At last, we have a book that does justice to a political organisation that has exercised a remarkable and surprising influence over the making of modern Australia. A distinguished contribution to Australian Labor history.”

In 2015 Professor Payton published the book Australia in the Great War (Robert Hale, London), a compelling history of Australia and its people during the global conflict of 1914–1918. It charts the experiences of ordinary men and women against a backdrop of momentous events on the international stage, and shows how war helped shape an emerging Australian national identity.

He is currently the editor of the Journal of the Historical Society of South Australia, and regularly gives community talks in the popular ‘Talking History’ series.

Professor Payton, who also is Adjunct Professor in the National Centre for Australian Studies at Monash University, is Emeritus Professor of Cornish and Australian Studies at the University of Exeter where he was director of the Institute of Cornish Studies from 1991 to 2013.

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