2009 essays

 The Prize for the 2009 Australian Legal History Essay Competition has been awarded to Isabelle Urbano, a Year 9 student at Camberwell Girls’ Grammar School in Victoria whose work was supervised by Mr James Fiford, the Head of History at the School.

Isabelle’s essay was entitled, “The People’s Land”. It will be published in the Australian Bar Review and, following that publication, posted on this website. Isabelle will receive a personal prize of $250, together with a $250 book voucher from Abbey’s Bookshop of Sydney and a certificate commemorating her success. Her school will receive $500 together with a $500 Abbey’s book voucher.

The Forbes Society has also awarded a commendation to Andrew Long of St Pius X College in Chatswood, NSW, for his essay. Andrew’s supervisor was Mr Michael Lane, the History Coordinator at St Pius. Andrew will receive a prize of $250 together with a $250 Abbey’s book voucher and a Certificate of Commendation.

The Society congratulates both Isabelle and Andrew and their respective schools. The question for the 2009 Australian Legal History Essay Competition was:

“Who owns this land, anyway? … Discuss whether Australian history has any lessons for us, today, about the meaning or significance of ‘land ownership’. Do so by reference to one or more of: (a) Australia as a ‘settled’ or ‘conquered’ territory, and Aboriginal Land Rights; (b) the land titles system (known as the ‘Torrens System’) devised by Robert Richard Torrens; and/or (c) debate about whether Australia should, as a modern sovereign nation, be a republic.”

Read the Description, Conditions of Entry and Essay Guidelines for the 2009 Competition and the associated General Outline.

The Forbes Society published four “Background Research Papers” to assist participants in the competition.

Paper one: Living with “Property”. Living in “Community”

Paper two: Folklore Rules: The Origins and Growth of Australian Law

Paper three: Snapshots in the Mirror: Paradigms for Australia Day

Paper four: By your Deeds Be Known: Episodes in Australasian Legal History

Tony Cunneen, the Senior Studies Coordinator at St Pius X College, provided a teacher’s perspective on the Background Research Papers for the 2009 Essay Competition.