Debbie Williamson – Librarian Special Collections
BIS, Charles Sturt University.
Debbie commenced at Curtin University Library in 2012, transferring into archives and special collections in 2016. Debbie began her career as a volunteer in a primary school library before progressing into a public library and then into academic libraries.
Phone: +618 9266 4490
Emeritus Professor David Black AM – Historical Consultant
MA, Dip Ed, A.MUS.A., Hon DLitt (Curtin)
Phone: +618 9266 4205
Fax: +618 9266 4185
Postal Address: GPO Box U1987, Perth, Western Australia, 6845
Professor Black has a distinguished academic reputation within Western Australia, nationally and internationally, for his contributions to the study and teaching of history and politics.
Professor Black joined the Western Australian Institute of Technology as a lecturer in history and politics in 1968, in the very early days of the institution. At WAIT, later Curtin University of Technology, he went on to hold positions as senior lecturer, Head of School of Social Sciences, Associate Professor and Professor of History and Politics before his retirement in 2002. In these roles, Professor Black has been both an inspiration and a mentor to countless students, both undergraduate and post graduate.
Professor Black’s research interests centre around Australia’s history and politics, with a particular focus on Western Australia’s parliamentary scene. He has made, and continues to make, a very notable contribution to this field of knowledge. He has been author, joint author or editor of more than twenty books over the past thirty years, many of which have international significance, as well as being important within state and national contexts.
His publications include definitive works on the WA Parliament and its members, such as the two volume Biographical Register of Members of the Parliament of Western Australia (with Professor Geoffrey Bolton), The House on the Hill: A History of the Parliament of Western Australia 1832–1990, House to House: the story of Western Australia’s Government and Parliament Houses over 175 years (with Phillip Pendal), Making a Difference: Women in the Western Australian Parliament 1921–1999, (with Harry Phillips) and A mirror of the people: Members of the Western Australian Parliament 1890–2007 (co-authored with Phillip Pendal and Harry Phillips). These works provide core reference sources for scholars of Australian history and politics both within Australia and abroad.
Since 1984, Professor Black has been Chairperson of the Parliamentary History Advisory Committee in WA, responsible for the academic and financial oversight of the Parliamentary History Project of the WA Parliament. In 2004 he was appointed as a Parliamentary Fellow (History).
Appointed to the honorary position of Foundation Historical Consultant to the JCPML in 1998, Professor Black has contributed significantly to the body of knowledge about Prime Minister John Curtin since then, writing In His Own Words. The Speeches and Writings of John Curtin and Friendship is a Sheltering Tree: John Curtin’s Letters 1907 to 1945, as well as co-authoring (with Lesley Wallace) John Curtin. Guide to Archives of Australia’s Prime Ministers. These works are of value to scholars worldwide with an interest in John Curtin as a player on the world stage in the dark days of World War Two. The Guide to Archives won the Australian Society of Archivists’ prestigious Mander Jones Award in 2004 ‘for the best finding aid to an archival collection held by an Australian institution or about Australia’ and gained national and international recognition within the archival profession. It remains the core reference work for scholars researching John Curtin’s prime ministership. In addition, Professor Black has researched and authored a number of works, including the 2006 publication The General and the Prime Minister: Douglas MacArthur and John Curtin which have been published on the JCPML website, enabling his works to reach larger and more diverse audiences world wide.
Professor Black is an unstinting supporter of the JCPML and its programs. Apart from providing advice to JCPML and Curtin staff, visitors and researchers on historical issues, he has helped to develop the five major exhibitions the JCPML has presented in the John Curtin Gallery.
In continuing his association with Curtin, Professor Black was first an Adjunct Professor with the Division of Humanities and then with the John Curtin Institute of Public Policy. The University awarded him the honours of Emeritus Professor and Honorary Doctorate of Letters in February 2008 in recognition of his significant commitment and contribution to Curtin, his profession and the community.
On the 26 January 2010, Professor Black was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia ‘for service to education and to the social sciences, particularly through the promotion and preservation of the political and parliamentary history of Western Australia’.