This year, the highest academic award in Australia, the ARC Laureate Fellowship, was awarded to Greek-Australian Joy Damousi, history professor and head of the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies at the University of Melbourne.
Damousi is the first female academic of the University of Melbourne to receive the prestigious scholarship, the Kathleen Fitzpatrick award.
The subject of her 5 year research, which will be funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC), is based on the history of child refugees in Australia, from 1920 until today. She decided to deal with the issue of child immigration after an earlier research on the history of child removal to Australia during the Greek Civil War – the “paidomazoma.”
Damousi told Australian newspaper “Neos Kosmos” that in a previous research, she had dealt with the Greeks’ personal experiences, children and adults who lived in Greece during the troubled 40s, the Second World War and the Civil War, and later migrated to Australia, as well as the way they got influenced and formed their identity as citizens of another country.
Commenting on her award, she said: “I’m very excited and enthusiastic about it and I’m looking forward to building up on that research more in the next five years.”