Yvonne Perkins assisted historian, Alan Atkinson with some research and referencing work on his award-winning book, The Europeans in Australia, Volume Three: Nation.
This work involved Yvonne doing further research into the history of direct democracy in Australia. She had already researched Queensland’s ‘Bible in State Schools Referendum’ of 1910 for her thesis. She did further research into the history of referendums organised by the Australasian colonies prior to 1910 as well as some work on municipal referendums, also known as ‘local polls’.
Many of the referendums during the ‘Federation period’ (roughly 1890 to 1914) reflected tensions between the growing tide of secularism and the still very strong religious beliefs of many people in Australia and New Zealand. Yvonne had started exploring these tensions in her thesis which was about a Queensland referendum in 1910 which reversed an earlier decision to remove religious education from state schools in Queensland. Yvonne’s thesis, ‘Queensland’s Bible in State Schools Referendum 1910: A Case Study of Democracy’ is available for download from the University of Sydney’s eScholarship Repository.
Skills and Experience Used on the Project
- History of referendums
- History of beliefs
- Archival research
… Yvonne Perkins has made a very significant difference, tying her own perceptive research on the Federation period, its moral and religious dimensions, to my own inquiries.
Alan Atkinson, Europeans in Australia: Volume Three: Nation, p. xxii.