Fellowship supporting research into Indigenous-Jewish relations

Zac Roberts, a Yuin scholar from the South Coast of New South Wales, has been awarded the 2022 John Mulvaney Fellowship to support his research into Indigenous-Jewish relations.

Zac Roberts, Yuin scholar and winner of the John Mulvaney Fellowship for 2022

Zac Roberts is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Indigenous Studies at Macquarie University. His PhD explores the relationship between Aboriginal and Jewish communities in Australia since 1788. Combining archive work with a wide-scale oral history project, Roberts’ research highlights the history of interactions between and types of relations formed between Aboriginal and Jewish communities.

In congratulating Zac on his Fellowship, Academy President, Emeritus Professor Lesley Head, said, “It gives the Academy great pleasure to be able to recognise and support the work of a young Indigenous researcher whose research seeks to better understand Indigenous narratives and inter-cultural relationships.”

Upon receiving the Fellowship, Roberts said, “The Fellowship will allow me to access local archives and build connections with community members that would otherwise be unavailable.”

“There’s room to widen the scope and after my PhD, I plan to take an international perspective on the topic and consider the ways Jewish and Indigenous communities globally have formed relations.”

A Special Commendation has also been awarded to Gundungurra woman and University of Wollongong PhD student Crystal Arnold for her research titled, ‘What teachings are being shared by weeds? Lessons from the Shoalhaven River’. This project looks at learning from weeds through observation, and how they respond to and might be considered as a part of Country.

More about Zac

Zac Roberts is a Yuin scholar from the South Coast of New South Wales. His research interests centre on Indigenous histories, with a particular interest in interrogating the unspoken space of Indigenous narratives within the broader national history of Australia. Zac is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Indigenous Studies at Macquarie University, where he is researching the relationship between Indigenous and Jewish communities in Australia since 1788. He Tweets at @isaacjroberts.

More about Crystal

Crystal Arnold is a Gundungurra woman living on Yuin Country on the South Coast of New South Wales. As a researcher and PhD candidate, she is passionate about including Country and nonhumans, such as weeds, as co-researchers and participants. She Tweets at @CrystalGraceA and her LinkedIn page is here.

About the Fellowship

The John Mulvaney Fellowship supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander early-career researchers and PhD students working in any field of the humanities to undertake research or fieldwork. The Fellowship was established to honour 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. John Mulvaney was acknowledged as a world leader in the field of hunter-gatherer archaeology. He was a passionate defender of Australia’s heritage and the rights of its Indigenous peoples. His legacy lives on through his work introducing Australian prehistory into the tertiary teaching curriculum.

Acknowledgement of Country

The Australian Academy of the Humanities recognises Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the traditional owners and custodians of this land, and their continuous connection to country, community and culture.