Research article on Indigenous storytelling wins best paper award

Published 07 December 2016
L-R: A/Prof. Nick Reid UNE; Prof Patrick Nunn University of Sunshine Coast and President of the Society Prof Phil McManus from the University of Sydney.

L-R: A/Prof. Nick Reid UNE; Prof Patrick Nunn University of Sunshine Coast and President of the Society Prof Phil McManus from the University of Sydney.

A paper by University of New England researcher Associate Professor Nick Reid and co-author, Professor Patrick Nunn has been awarded the Australian Geographer’s Best Paper Prize for 2016.

A/Prof. Reid, a linguist in the School of Behavioural, Cognitive and Social Science, and Prof. Nunn, University of Sunshine Coast, was presented their prestigious award at the Council of the Geographical Society of NSW Award’s night this week.

The paper entitled Aboriginal memories of inundation of the Australian coast dating from more than 7000 years ago was published In March 2016 and promptly broke all journal records to become ‘most downloaded article’ with over 23,000 downloads to date. It is also the ‘most read’ paper in the 114-year history of the Australian Geographer.

In an earlier editorial of the Australian Geographer, Professor Chris Gibson described the double-length paper as a landmark piece of scholarship that bridges geography, coastal science, anthropology and Aboriginal studies.

The paper presents convincing evidence that Australian Aboriginal people kept telling stories across thousands of years that seem to record events we now know were real – the inundation of Australia’s continental shelf on which Aboriginal people had previously been living.

The paper can be read at: www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00049182.2015.1077539.