Dr Virginia Marshall, the first Indigenous woman to receive a PhD from the Macquarie Law School, recently received the Stanner Award for her manuscript entitled ‘A web of Aboriginal water rights: examining the competing Aboriginal claim for water property right and interests in Australia’.
The manuscript was the unanimous winner in a competition open to all aspiring Indigenous authors of academic works. Virginia was honoured at an event held at Parliament House in Canberra and received $5000 in prize money, an inscribed glass eel trap sculpture, and mentoring and editorial support which she can use to develop her manuscript into a publication.
Through her research, Virginia is aiming to foster a deeper understanding of Aboriginal water rights and interests.
“It was a recurring theme that Aboriginal community representatives and expert Aboriginal speakers on water issues were frequently overlooked as presenters at water conferences across Australia, and the game changer is receiving the national Stanner Prize,” Virginia said. “This squarely addresses the national significance of prioritising Aboriginal water rights for major policy reform and acknowledging outstanding scholarly achievement in this field.”
In regards to the team at the Law School, Virginia said “The Higher Degree Research team provided the critical support necessary to understand what’s expected during your doctoral studies, and HDR staff were approachable and keen when you needed assistance, on or off campus.”
The Stanner Award was created in honour of the late Emeritus Professor W E H (Bill) Stanner who significantly contributed to the establishment and development of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS).