The Hazel de Berg Award 2017 for Excellence in Oral History
Awarded to Dr Karen George
Dr Karen George’s extensive career exemplifies all that is inspiring about working in oral history. She has spent many years amplifying the voices of those normally overlooked or forgotten by others and has participated as an oral historian in some of the most important national projects in Australia, such as the ‘Bringing Them Home’ Oral History project (1999-2002) and the ‘Forgotten Australians and Child Migrants Oral History project’ (2009-2012). These two projects underline her strong commitment over time to Indigenous people and children vulnerable to abuse in state institutions.
Karen developed important relationships working with Indigenous South Australians through her research for Link-Up SA on the history and records of homes into which members of the Stolen Generations were placed as children. As a measure of trust, she has also been employed by Nunkuwarrin Yunti of South Australia over the last few years and carried out 30 oral histories to write a history of their community centre. In relation to children, Karen has worked for the South Australian section of the Find and Connect Website where she was made a Research Fellow from 2011-2014. From 2005 to 2007 she worked as research historian and writer for the South Australian Government’s Children in State Care Commission of Inquiry.
As a professional historian and researcher, Karen has given papers at national conferences, and published widely utilising oral history research for her many projects. She also worked as the Oral Historian for the City of Adelaide from 1993-2001. Finally, as a long-time volunteer member of OHA South Australia, she has served as president and committee member for over 20 years, regularly presented workshops on oral history ethics and practice, generously sharing her expertise and mentoring others. Karen George has spent much of her working life and time volunteering over the last two decades, tirelessly promoting and building the profile of oral history both in South Australia and nationally.
The Hazel de Berg Award 2017 for Excellence in Oral History - Certificate of Commendation
Awarded to Kevin Bradley
This Oral History Australia certificate of commendation is awarded to Kevin Bradley in recognition of his role for many years as Oral History Curator at the National Library of Australia, and his dedication to raising the profile of oral history in this country. First, Oral History Australia commends his implementation of several large and important projects which have helped to amplify the voices of those traditionally unable to speak in public and have contributed to public debates about social issues. Second, we commend his farsighted leadership in preservation and archiving at the national library, which has ensured that oral histories are preserved and accessible now and for subsequent generations. Finally, we acknowledge his advocacy for Oral History Australia conferences over a number of years.
Below: OHA conference opening night September 13 - (L-R) Award presenter Diana Ritch, Kevin Bradley, OH NSW president Anisa Puri, National Library of Australia's Margy Burn who opened the conference, Dr Karen George, then-OHA president Sue Anderson.