Dr Ian Howie-Willis

Dr Ian Howie-Willis is an independent professional historian with more than five decades of experience in the research and writing of Australian history. He has published in four separate domains – Indigenous history; military history; pre-hospital history; and the history of Papua-New Guinea. He is the author or co-author of more than twenty books, and has also been an active contributor to the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

Dr Howie-Willis has served as an editor for the Australian Bicentenary History Series, Australians: A Historical Library, was an editor of The Encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia and also held the position of editor with the scholarly journal Aboriginal History. He contributed over 500 entries to The Encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia.

In addition to his vast personal scholarship, he has helped and encouraged scores of colleagues who sought his counsel and help. His books on military medical history are reference works for military doctors and other healthcare professionals, and commanders of armed forces. In particular, Dr Howie-Willis’s work on malaria and venereal disease, which caused so much discomfort to Australian soldiers, are ground-breaking works.

Ian, who cheerfully admits to being ‘fascinated by history since childhood’, has been recognised for his ‘significant contributions to historical studies’. He is an esteemed scholar who has made major contributions based on rigorous primary history research. Dr Howie-Willis is a worthy recipient of the 2022 John and Ruth Kerr Medal.

Dr Rod Kirkpatrick

Dr Rod Kirkpatrick is a professional historian, best known for his research and publications in Australian newspaper history, but also a prolific editor of scholarly items. He has written seventeen books and multiple journal articles, and is regarded as one of the leading scholars in Australian media and newspaper history.

Rod’s employment as an editor in Queensland and New South Wales newspapers, which gave him extensive personal knowledge of important participants, has been complimented by academic positions in media history. He has brought a high level of scholarship to the practice and history of journalism, compiling an extensive database of Australian journalism and newspaper history.

His extensive use of government archives and company records has informed his arguments about the value of newspapers as hallmarks of Australian cultural, economic and political history. Dr Kirkpatrick has consistently shared the information that he gathered with other researchers and with the public, and those who researched during the pre-Trove era will fondly recall his detailed and invaluable contributions to our knowledge of newspapers. He is a worthy recipient of the 2022 John and Ruth Kerr Medal