Faculty Honours Prize Finalists with Professor Lisa Adkins

Arts and Social Sciences students shine at the Honours Showcase

14 June 2024
Prize winners unveil their research through stellar presentations
The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences celebrates the brilliance and accomplishments of six outstanding Honours students from the 2023 cohort at the Faculty Honours Showcase and Award Ceremony.

Hosted by Professor Lisa Adkins, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, six exceptional Honours students from the 2023 cohort unveiled their research through a mix of exhibitions and presentations at the Refectory, Holme Building, on 6 June. From the diverse disciplinary areas of Economics, Classics and Ancient History, English and Writing, Government and International Relations, Art History, and Political Economy, each finalist captivated the audience with their remarkable presentations, sparking a big round of applause to recognise their achievements. The recipients for the first and second prizes were determined through live voting by the selection committee and audience, and announced by Professor Adkins and Professor Stephen Whelan, Associate Dean (Undergraduate Programs) and Chair of the Selection Committee.

Lila Daly

Lila Daly, Winner, Faculty Honours Prize 2024

Lila Daly, Discipline of Classics and Ancient History, School of Humanities, won the first prize of $5,000 for her thesis titled ‘Liberta et Uxor: Manumission for Marriage in Rome’, reconsidering representations of manumissio matrimonii causa in Ancient Rome and bridging the gap between the ancient and modern world by considering spectrums of unfreedom and gender-based violence through a trans-historical lens.

“I am honoured to have received the first prize. I hope my research can help regain a past which has not been fully acknowledged and obtain new perspectives to interrogate responses to women’s experiences of coercive institutions and relationships," Lila expresses.

Zamela Gina, second-prize winner, Faculty Honours Prize 2024

Zamela Gina, second-prize winner, Faculty Honours Prize 2024

Zamela Gina, Discipline of Political Economy, School of Social and Political Sciences, won the second prize of $3,000 with her thesis titled ‘Wage Determination in Australia's Early Childhood Sector’. Her thesis investigated wage determination and bargaining processes, arguing that improved salary conditions support increased workforce attraction, retention, social equity and inclusion, and provided a rationale to build alternative pathways for effective, sustainable change in the sector.

"I've seen how early education and early intervention can change lives and want to empower the workforce that empowers Australia's children," Zamela shares.

The prize of $1,000 each was awarded to four finalists, recognising their remarkable research:

  • Alexandra Michielsen (Economics) – 'Generational Echoes: Intergenerational Elasticity and its Transmission Channels in Australia'.
  • Stuart Rich (English and Writing) – 'Textuality, Transformation, Transmission: The Spirit and the Scribe in _Solomon and Saturn I_'.
  • Davina Nair (Government and International Relations) – 'Unravelling Western Dominance in IR Teaching: Strategies and Responses from Academics Around the World'.
  • Georgia Horsley (Art History) – 'Women's Works: Waistcoats and the Fashioning of Women's Identities in England, 1590-1630'.
Faculty Honours Prize Finalists with Professor Lisa Adkins

From left: Professor Lisa Adkins, Alexandra Michielsen, Davina Nair, Georgia Horsley, Zamela Gina, and Stuart Rich.


While working on an archaeological excavation in Italy, Lila expresses her interest in pursuing further education.

I hope to pursue higher degree research to continue exploring the histories and lived experiences of vulnerable populations in Ancient Rome.
Lila Daly, winner, Faculty Honours Prize 2024

Zamela is already taking further steps to implement her thesis to bring a positive impact to the sector.

I'm applying my thesis in practice to drive industry partnerships and support women in centring their voices in the sector so that when change happens, we can work together to sustain it.
Zamela Gina, second-prize recipient, Faculty Honours Prize 2024

Reflecting on their Honours degree experience, Lila and Zamela emphasise the support received from their community and share their top tips to future Honours students.

“The highlight of my Honours degree was the strong connections I formed with my peers and academic staff in Classics and Ancient History. Their consistent support and enthusiasm for my research reinforced my passion for my topic,” Lila expresses.

“The feedback I got, the confidence I gained, and the connections I've built with a supportive community have carried me into the future,” Zamela echos.

Don’t be afraid to evolve with your research – be flexible and let the process itself guide you. The best advice I received is that the ideal thesis is not waiting to be found - You build it.
Lila Daly, winner, Faculty Honours Prize 2024
Be realistic with your time frames. Prioritise the energy and the passion you have for your thesis because it's an important piece of work that will be in your name.
Zamela Gina, second-prize recipient, Faculty Honours Prize 2024

The Faculty congratulates all our prize recipients on their outstanding accomplishments and wishes them continued success in their research, careers, and educational journeys.

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