Award-winning author and historian Professor Jane Lydon has been appointed inaugural Wesfarmers Chair in Australian History at The University of Western Australia.
An Australian Research Council Future Fellow, Professor Lydon's research centres upon Australia's colonial past and its impact on the present.
"I'm driven by our colonial past and especially cultural exchange between Indigenous people and settlers and how this continues to shape Australian society now," she said.
Professor Lydon recently won the history book category of the Queensland Literary Awards for her photographic work The Flash of Recognition: Photography and the Emergence of Indigenous Rights.
UWA Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Johnson said Professor Lydon's appointment would guide fresh historical research from a Western Australian perspective.
"An appreciation of Australian history is essential to an understanding of ourselves as Australians and our place in the world. Professor Lydon is well-qualified to take on this important role given her research focus on Australia's Indigenous and colonial history," Professor Johnson said.
The announcement of a Professorial Chair in Australian History was made in March this year following a $5 million gift from Wesfarmers to UWA.
Wesfarmers Managing Director Richard Goyder welcomed Professor Lydon's appointment, which he said would help UWA deliver leadership in the study and teaching of Australian history at regional, national and international levels.
"Professor Lydon will also enable a greater focus on the study and teaching of Western Australian history, adding depth to the national curriculum," he said.
Professor Lydon will take up her appointment in January.