Professor Margaret Jolly bestowed with University’s most prestigious honour

26th November 2020

Professor Margaret Jolly has had a highly distinguished career at ANU, where she has achieved outstanding national and international recognition in the fields of anthropology, Pacific and gender studies. So, it’s only fitting that she was recently announced as the recipient of the Peter Baume Award, recognising her illustrious contribution to the University (received jointly with Professor Rodney Baxter).

Throughout the Awards history, Professor Margaret Jolly is the second woman to receive this honour. This award recognises Prof Jolly’s illustrious career at ANU, where she has achieved outstanding national and international recognition in the fields of Anthropology, Pacific and Gender Studies. She has transformed our understanding of gender relations in Oceania, combining the perspectives and methods of anthropology and history in a transdisciplinary approach characteristic of both Pacific and gender studies.

Over her remarkable career, Margaret has successfully supervised 55 PhD students, 10 Postdoctoral Fellows (several supported by ARC grants), mentored many more early-career scholars and produced many hundreds of scholarly publications. Margaret has also played a pivotal role in the foundation of the cross-Campus Gender Institute at ANU, which was launched in 2011. This has had a tremendous public impact on the ANU community and beyond, with a vibrant series of public conferences, lectures and outreach events, involving policy makers and practitioners alongside scholars in public debates. Margaret was appointed Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in January 2020 for her services to education on gender and Pacific Studies.

In her own words, Professor Jolly states, “I am both thrilled and humbled by this award – a welcome culmination for me in what has been a challenging year for us all. I especially give heartfelt thanks to those people of the Pacific – interlocutors, teachers, students – who have taught me so much over many decades. From the communities of southeast Pentecost Vanuatu where I did my first research, to those with whom we are working in our current ARC Discovery Project on gender and climate change in Oceania. I honour their Indigenous knowledge and embodied practice. Although many writings bear my name as author they are, in fact, co-creations.

I have also benefitted from the brilliance, generosity and warmth of many colleagues: Simon Haberle, our Director who nominated me, superb archaeologist and citizen scientist of pollen; all the fine professional and academic staff and students of our stellar School of Culture, History & Language; and Sharon Bell Interim Dean of the College of Asia & the Pacific (and an old Sydney friend) who has shown acumen and grace in that role. And thanks to so many other colleagues across the several schools of CAP and CASS and the College of Law. I have relished the intellectual vibrancy of the ANU’s cross campus Institute’s – the Gender Institute, the Climate Change Institute and the Pacific Institute. I applaud the innovative vision of those currently in our Chancelry – Brian and his team –and celebrate how ANU has dealt with the cascading crises of 2020 with compassion and wisdom.

Finally, let me say how honoured I am to receive this award in the name of our erstwhile Chancellor Peter Baume, who along with the late Senator Susan Ryan initiated the Sex Discrimination Act of 1984. But, I must observe that in the last 15 years there has only been one other woman, Susanne von Caemmerer in 2016, for her work on photosynthesis. We now have Julie Bishop as our first woman Chancellor, and so I trust there will be many more women nominated and awarded the Peter Baume in the decades to come.”

Updated:  7 July 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, Culture, History & Language/Page Contact:  CHL webmaster