Professor Clive Moore from The University of Queensland has been awarded the John Douglas Kerr Medal of Distinction by The Royal Queensland Historical Society.

In accepting the award on Queensland Day, 6 June, Professor Moore, who is McCaughey Professor of Pacific and Asian History at UQ’s School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry said that he was honoured to receive the prestigious medal. 

“I knew John Kerr and had close knowledge of his book on the sugar industry, and regarded his 1980 book Pioneer Pageant, a history of the Pioneer Shire, as one of the most important books on the Mackay region,” Professor Moore said.

Professor Moore is probably best known for forty years of writing on the history of Australian South Sea Islanders, the descendants of Pacific indentured labourers brought to Queensland in the nineteenth century. Like John Kerr, he is also an historian of Mackay and the Pioneer Valley.

Professor Moore has also written on New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, and in 1984 he presented the Clem Lack Memorial Lecture of the Royal Queensland Historical Society on Queensland’s failed annexation of southeast New Guinea a century earlier.

“It’s important that The Royal Queensland Historical Society has always placed a stress on the Pacific Islands and their long historical relationship with Queensland,” Professor Moore said.

Professor Moore has also researched the gay history of Queensland. 

“The award is great acknowledgement of the importance of Queensland’s gay and lesbian community,” he said. 

“To my knowledge this is the first time that The Royal Queensland Historical Society of Queensland and the professional Historians’ Association (Queensland) has honoured the history of this important community.”

The John Douglas Kerr Medal of Distinction is awarded annually by The Royal Queensland Historical Society of Queensland and the Professional Historians’ Association (Queensland) for excellence in historical research in the fields of Queensland and Australian history.

John Kerr was an esteemed historian, statistician and writer.  He is remembered for his work in commissioned public history, particularly on Queensland’s railways and sugar industry. 

The medal is presented to historians who have demonstrated excellence in historical research. 

One of the criteria is demonstrated objective analysis, distillation and interpretation of historical sources leading to the formation of historical arguments.

The Governor, Patron of The Royal Queensland Historical Society of Queensland, presented the Kerr Medal to Professor Moore at a dinner to mark Queensland Day at the Commissariat building in North Quay, Brisbane’s oldest functional building, once the stores building for the Moreton Bay convict colony and now headquarters of The Royal Queensland Historical Society.

 

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