Professors Tessa Morris-Suzuki and Sue O'Connor (pictured) have won two Laureate Fellowships in the latest round of major research funding from the Australian Research Council (ARC).
The two academics from the School of Culture, History and Language in the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific represent 50 per cent of The Australian National University’s total Laureate Fellowships haul. College Dean Professor Andrew MacIntyre said that the fellowship wins were an incredible academic achievement.
“These are the highest awards the ARC currently bestows. Anyone familiar with Tessa and Sue, their records of scholarly achievement and the esteem in which they are very widely held, will know just how richly deserved these awards are. They represent many, many years of hard work and inspired dedication.
“Along with being wonderful news for the School of Culture, History and Language, this underscores the heights of the College’s scholarly achievement. We now have four Laureates in the College, Sue and Tessa, together with professors Margaret Jolly and Hilary Charlesworth.
“Congratulations to Sue and Tessa and to all the people who have worked behind the scenes to make this wonderful outcome possible.”
Professor Sue O’Connor is a leading light in the world of archaeological research. Her recent work discovering the world’s oldest evidence of deep sea fishing rewrote the history books about how hunter gatherer societies in the Southern hemisphere functioned more than 40,000 years ago. Her project will look at understanding modern human dispersal, adaptation and behaviour en route to Australia.
In winning her fellowship, Professor O’Connor also has the special honour of being named the 2012 Kathleen Fitzpatrick Australian Laureate Fellow. The Fellowship is awarded to a highly-ranked female from the humanities, arts and social sciences, and carries with it an ambassadorial role to promote women in research.
Professor Tessa Morris-Suzuki is widely recognised as a leading expert on recent and modern Japanese history, as well as conflict and resolution on the Korean peninsula and migration issues across the region. She is highly respected in her field, both in Australia and throughout the region. Her project will aim to develop a new framework for observing emerging forms of political activity in our region.
By winning four out of this year’s 17 fellowships, ANU has topped the nation for 2012 Laureate Fellowship funding. The other two fellowship winners from ANU are Professor David Lindenmayer and Professor Eelco Rohling (currently based at the University of Southampton). The four ANU winners will receive a total of $11.8 million to further their research.