The 2016 National History Challenge award ceremony took place at Parliament House in Canberra today and was attended by Federal Minister for Education and Training, Simon Birmingham, where he presented New South Wales student Rachel Wang with the prestigious 2016 National Young Historian of the Year Award.
Minister Birmingham said the quality of the work undertaken across such a wide range of topics was testament to the students’ historical curiosity and strong research skills.
The National History Challenge encourages students to use research and inquiry-based learning to discover more about the past, where students are the historians.
They can investigate their community, explore their own and their family’s past and consider ideas throughout history. The challenge encourages the use of primary and secondary sources and offers a variety of presentation styles.
The theme for 2016 was Triumph or Tragedy? Minister Birmingham said Rachel’s essay on Albert Namatjira demonstrated a sophisticated understanding of the nuances of tragedy and triumph, and explored the positives of Indigenous achievement while detailing the restrictions imposed on his daily life.
“The government is proud to support these awards, providing $125,000 to competition organisers, the History Teachers’ Association of Australia in this year alone,” Minister Birmingham said.
“The theme for next year’s challenge is ‘Making a Better World’ and I look forward to reading entries from the next cohort of young historians.”