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The PHA Teresia Teaiwa Prize


The Pacific History Association (PHA) established the Teresia Teaiwa Prize in 2018 to honour the profound legacy of Teresia Teaiwa, former President and Secretary of PHA. The prize is awarded for a conference presentation by a student or emerging scholar on a topic relating to the history of Pacific peoples and their islands, and which promotes the innovation, originality and critical creativity that characterized Teresia’s work.


The winner of the inaugural Teresia Teaiwa Prize at the PHA’s 2021 conference was Talei Mangioni (Australian National University) for her presentation entitled, ‘Creative Histories of the Niuklia Fri Pasifik’.

In 2023 the prize was awarded to Jasmine Ali (Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne Law) for her presentation entitled, ‘The transnational legal life of an anticolonial lawyer: Manilal Doctor’.


The prize will next be awarded at the PHA’s next conference to be held at the National University of Sāmoa in 2025. Prize guidelines for 2025 will be released in conjunction with the conference call for papers. 

The Gunson Essay Prize


Established in 2012, the Gunson Essay prize (AU$1,000) is awarded by The Journal of Pacific History every two years in conjunction with the Pacific History Association’s biennial conference.

The prize promotes the work of scholars at the early stages of their research. It also pays tribute to Dr Niel Gunson (1930-2023), from the Australian National University, for mentoring so many students and scholars over a lifetime of dedication to Pacific history.

The past prize winners are: 

  • 2012. Nicholas Hoare (then at Victoria University of Wellington), “Harry” Holland and Samoa: the Labour leader’s “Samoa complex”.

  • 2014. Kristie Patricia Flannery (then at the University of Texas at Austin), Battlefield Diplomacy and Empire-building in the Early Modern Pacific World.

  • 2016. Benjamin Sacks (then at the University of Western Australia), “Running Away with Itself”: Missionaries, Islanders and the Reimagining of Recreation in Samoa, 1830–1939.

  • 2018. Elyssa J. Santos (then at University of Hawai’i at Manoa), “More Better” Ideas: Chamorro Resistance to U.S. Development Projects on Guam, 1898–1941.

  • 2021. Harry Needham (then at the Australian National University), "A Story of Our People's Triumph": Nauruan Histories of Angam.

  • 2023. Joint Winners. 

    • Anaïs Duong-Pedica (Åbo Akademi University), “Ponochement Vôtre”: Kanak Women’s Exploitation through the Anti-colonial and Anti-capitalist lens of Kanak Women Militants.

    • Steven R. Talley (University of Otago), “A Very Remarkable Development … Has Taken Place on Tanna:” The Albatross Scheme, 1915-1922.

The next Gunson Essay Prize winner will be announced at the 2025 PHA conference. Prize guidelines for 2025 will be released in conjunction with the conference call for papers. But applicants can expect the following: 

Postgraduate or senior students from any country are invited to submit an essay

– in English
– between 5,000 and 8,000 words
– on any topic relating to the pasts of the Island Pacific and its peoples


Each entry must consist of two documents: one with the author’s name, contact details, essay title and abstract of 150 words; the other consisting of the essay itself, anonymized, with title, abstract and text. Referencing should be consistent, accurate and complete, but authors do not need to follow any one particular set of conventions for presentation.

The essay submitted for the prize should not have been published or accepted for publication in any outlet by the closing date for entries.

The winning entry will, in the eyes of the judges, make the most valuable contribution to our historical knowledge, draw convincingly from relevant sources, and communicate effectively.

The judging committee will consist of three members, including a special speaker at the PHA Conference, a representative of PHA and a representative of The Journal of Pacific History.

For further details, contact The Journal of Pacific History, jph[at]


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