Monday, 6 February 2012

Acknowledgements, the long version

As I try to finish this thing, I think more and more of the people I should acknowledge. Not wanting to be too self-indulgent, I restricted my official acknowledgements in the thesis to one page, double spaced. Of course there are more. I will still miss people, for various reasons, but here goes for the long version.

Most of all (this is at the end of the official version, here at the start) I am grateful to my partner Thomas and my son Cooper. Their roles were the most difficult and their support the most important. To say that both were wonderful is a serious understatement. They went without the elegances of life while I left us poorer. They provided emotional, financial and domestic support on a too-regular basis. They understood this to be important. Thomas listened patiently to accounts of ideas, archives and conferences. Cooper dealt with countless school holidays, bored while I worked. They are both brilliant and much-loved.

Sincere thanks are owed to my supervisor, Stephen Garton, whose insightful, disciplined and generous guidance kept me from becoming too absorbed in details, distracted by tangents or impatient with tasks. In fact, I do not believe anyone else could have helped me do this particular project: I was fortunate indeed to have his help. More, despite other significant pressures, he was always available to me. I owe him a truly enormous debt.

As associate supervisor, Geoffrey Sherington not only shared his encyclopaedic knowledge of educational history but also kindly gallanted me to conferences and dinners, offering warm, supportive comments at every step. I am so grateful that he made himself so much more available than an associate supervisor normally should be required to do. I could not have done this project without his help.

The Sydney History Department provided a vibrant and nurturing – and yet intellectually exacting – research environment, for which I am grateful. In particular, Julia Horne regularly came to my presentations, discussed my project and offered friendly advice. Richard White did similarly, but also met me for a beer whenever a friendly chat would help me out. Alison Bashford, Penny Russell, Frances Clarke, Andrew Fitzmaurice and plenty of others offered thoughts and advice on papers, conferences, ideas, approaches and strategies. Mike McDonnell helped me in a thousand different ways, but particularly in cheering me on when things were at their worst.

My postgraduate colleagues have been a godsend: Emma Dortins, Sophie Loy-Wilson, Dave Earl, Matt Allen and so many others.

The Sydney Education Faculty has also provided important support, not only in my associate supervisor, but in other colleagues: Craig Campbell, Helen Proctor and my former colleagues at CoCo have helped in many different ways.

At conferences and in coffee shops, scholars from a variety of disciplines gave advice and commented on my ideas. I should thank Blake Stephens, Rohan Cahill, Mary-Helen Ward, Dick Selleck, Kim McShane, Iain Mason, Rebecca Sheehan, Tamson Pietsch, Yoni Ryan, Zora Simic, Phoebe Palmieri, Anna Clark, Kate Bower and so many, many more: their insights at all sorts of stages of my project helped to shape it.

Several people reviewed drafts and gave advice. In particular, thanks are owed to Lewis d’Avigdor, Peter Hobbins and Terry Irving for reviewing sections relevant to their work. David Rolph read drafts of the chapter on intellectual property twice, giving crucial advice to this very grateful non-lawyer.  John Hirst and members of the writing group he hosted were very useful: thanks to Judith Bonzol, Greg Murrie, Emma Dortins, Penny Nash and others for their critiques and suggestions.

Mary Jane Mahony deserves particular acknowledgement, for she read and provided detailed comments on the entire second draft. She also acted as proofreader for a chapter, along with Amanda Kaladelfos, Dave Earl, Nicole Davis, Ruth Laxton and Judith Bonzol.

The project would have been impossible for me to complete without the financial support provided by the ARC, the University of Sydney Postgraduate Research Support Scheme, History Department grants-in-aid, ANZHES bursaries, a CSAA bursary and an AHA/CAL bursary. I have been very fortunate in my employers throughout and thank Ann Applebee, Yoni Ryan, Alison Bashford, Andrew Fitzmaurice and Mike McDonnell.

Of the many archivists to whom I am indebted, Julia Mant at the University of Sydney archives has provided the most support. Thanks also to staff at the National Archives of Australia and the Australian National Library. I am grateful to university archivists at the ANU, CSU, RMIT, UNE and UNSW as well as the Universities of Adelaide, Melbourne, Monash, Macquarie and Wollongong. Thanks too, to the NTEU for granting permission to access the FAUSA archives and to Don Aitkin, David Penington and Robert H.T. Smith for interviews.

In addition to my immediate family, thanks also to my extended family, colleagues and friends who were understanding and helped me in so many different ways. I have leaned on them heavily and appreciate their support.

3 comments:

M-H said...

I didn't expect to see my name there. I won't hold it against you if I don't make it into the short version. I am so impressed with your persistence and diligence. Congratulations on reaching this final stage.

Mary Jane said...

thank you for the mention. But, you know, ... I got a lot out of it!

Yoni Ryan said...

Hannah I've just come across this in a google search! So glad it's 'all finished' & I hope you have got to wear the lovely cap!
And lovely of you to acknowledge me. It's good to know you've had an influence for the good on someone!
Just to fill you in: we're starting to publish some articles now on the e-load work, has taken an age to get through ALTC/OLT.
We've called the report 'Out of Hours' & it will come up in a google.
Hugs to you
Yoni