The Academy is delighted to announce the launch of the inaugural John Mulvaney Fellowship in 2019.

This award honours the outstanding contribution to Humanities scholarship, the Academy and the cultural life of the nation of one of our longest serving Fellows and former Academy Secretary John Mulvaney AO CMG FBA FSA FRAI FAHA.

Fondly known as the “father of Australian Archaeology”, John Mulvaney was an acknowledged world-leader in the field of hunter-gatherer archaeology and a passionate defender of Australia’s heritage and the rights of its Indigenous peoples. He not only introduced Australian prehistory into the tertiary teaching curriculum, but also fundamentally changed the way archaeological fieldwork was practised in Australia.

In keeping with Professor Mulvaney’s deep commitment to Indigenous people and cultures, The John Mulvaney Fellowship is an award for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander early career researchers working in any area of the humanities. The recipient of the John Mulvaney Fellowship will receive $4000 towards undertaking research or fieldwork in Australia or overseas, including accessing archives and other research materials and connecting with researchers and networks.

The inaugural recipient of the John Mulvaney Fellowship

Photo: Griffith University

Dr Harry Van Issum is the recipient of the Australian Academy of the Humanities’ inaugural John Mulvaney Fellowship.

Dr Van Issum is a Woppaburra man from the Darambal Language Group of Central Queensland. He was previously a secondary school teacher before moving to the tertiary sector. He is currently Senior Lecturer in Indigenous Studies in the School of Humanities, Languages and Social Science at Griffith University. He will travel to the United Kingdom to assist in the repatriation of Woppaburra skeletal remains presently held in the collections of the Natural History Museum in London.

See the full announcement.

This Fellowship will be tied to the literal return of our ancestors’ skeletal remains, along with strong community-based consultations. I’m sure that the late Professor Mulvaney as a historian and conservationist would support such a project to detail the history of our repatriation narrative but also for our cultural heritage and spiritual restoration.Dr Harry van Issum, 2019 recipient


Applications will open in February 2020 and the rules of the Fellowship to be released soon.

Further information

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