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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 inaugural prize was awarded at the PHA’s 2021 conference.

The 2023 winner will be decided and announced at the PHA’s biennial conference to be held on 31 October-4 November 2023 at Deakin University’s Warrnambool Campus.

The prize is for a conference presentation. Finalists will be shortlisted on the basis of an essay submitted prior to the conference.

Students and emerging scholars planning to present at the PHA conference are invited to submit a draft paper 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 paper should also broadly be in keeping with the 2023 conference theme: Truth Telling in the History of Oceania.

The shortlisted finalists will be grouped together in a single conference session which will be attended by the judging panel. Co-authored and joint presentations are welcome provided that both authors meet the eligibility criteria.

The judging panel will be selected by the PHA President from members of the PHA’s Committee and from conference delegates with standing in the field.

The 2023 winner will receive a prize of $AUD 1000.

Eligibility: Students enrolled in a postgraduate course of study in 2023, as well as emerging scholars not appointed to a full-time academic position within 2 years (in 2023) of the completion of an MA, PhD or other degree course or diploma.

Submission guidelines: 

  • Intending entrants should submit an abstract/paper proposal by the deadline set in the general CFP (closing on 30 April 2023).

  • Entrants should then submit their draft paper by email to Dr Adrian Muckle, PHA Secretary (adrian.muckle[at], by no later than: 15 September 2023 (23.59pm NZ time). Late submissions will not be accepted.

  • Word limit: 3500 words, including full citations.

  • Papers should be double spaced in 12 pt. font with minimal formatting.

  • Submit two copies of the paper: one “blinded” and one with full author identification, including the author’s university affiliation and supervisors’ names.


For queries about the competition contact Dr Adrian Muckle (adrian.muckle[at]

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, 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.

The 2023 Gunson Essay Prize winner will be announced at the PHA conference at Deakin University’s Warrnambool Campus on 31 October – 4 November 2023.

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
– to: jph[at] by 1 October 2023 (23:59pm, Australian Eastern Standard time).


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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