Michael Green accepted the award on behalf of the creators (Michael Green, Andre Dao, Angelica Neville, Dana Affleck, Sienna Merope) at a ceremony at the Royal Historical Society of Victoria on Thursday 27 October. Behind the Wire is an oral history project documenting the stories of men, women and children who have been detained by the Australian government after seeking asylum in Australia. It brings a new perspective on mandatory detention by sharing the reality of the people who have lived it. Through in depth interviews with current and ex-detainees, Behind the Wire captures narrators’ histories, experiences of seeking protection in Australia and the detailed reality of mandatory detention. Working with narrators, these interviews are edited into first person narratives that take the form of literary short stories. The project comprises a website, Facebook channel, book, audiobook, podcast, listening parties, videos, portrait photography and a museum exhibition. Further details at http://behindthewire.org.au/
This year the OHV judges shortlisted four wonderful entries for our annual Innovation Award. Each of the four was an outstanding example of a project working with memories to make histories with contemporary relevance. The following three shortlisted entries were Highly Commended for innovation in creating and using oral history.
The Chungking Legation: Australia’s diplomatic mission in wartime China (Sophie Couchman, Jean Chen, Kate Bagnall). Further details at http://chinesemuseum.com.au/
Expectant (Somebody’s Daughter Theatre Company). Further details at www.somebodysdaughtertheatre.com
“Who are we now?” An oral history project for the Australasian College of Dermatologists (Emma Russell, History at Work). Further details at www.historyatwork.com.au
Further details about all four projects at https://oralhistoryvictoria.org.au/ohv-awards/