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Outstanding contributions to preserving history recognised in annual awards

Outstanding contributions to preserving the Far North’s rich history recognised in annual awards

Three respected researchers have been recognised by the Cairns Historical Society and Museum for their contributions to bringing the rich and diverse stories of Far North Queensland’s history to light. At its recent Annual General Meeting, the Cairns Historical Society and Museum awarded Life Membership to Debra Ferguson, and the S.E Stephens Awards going to Gordon Grimwade and Dr Ruth Kerr.

Congratulations Debra Ferguson, winner of the Life Membership Award! 

It is not always that the Society acknowledges the quiet achievers who work in the background of our organisation. 

However, this time we respond to a well-earned nomination for a much deserving recipient, whose hard work and efforts over the last seven years has been above and beyond her role. 

Dedicated, motivated, and with her finger on the pulse of the Cairns Historical Society and Cairns Museum. 

Accounts, Marketing and Sales Manager, Debra Ferguson has been awarded Life Membership of the Society for her dedication, commitment to excellence, financial acuity and desire to see the Cairns Historical Society succeed in all aspects of its operations. 

Congratulations from everyone at the Cairns Historical Society and Museum!

Congratulations Gordon Grimwade, winner of a S.E Stephens Award!

There is not many in far north Queensland who do not know local researcher, historical archaeologist and geographer – Gordon Grimwade.  

Long-time Society member, contributor, and frequent visitor to the Research Centre, Gordon has spent over forty years working across far north Queensland as a heritage consultant with a focus on mining, historical cemeteries and military history.

He is also well known for his work on conservation management, heritage assessments and migration history and researched and written extensively about two of his passions – Chinese settlement in northern Australia and early north Queensland military history. 

He has contributed and is represented by over 50+ articles in the Society archives, and published widely on a range of topics, and disciplines.

The Society acknowledges his efforts through the S.E Stephens Award 2023, congratulations Gordon! 

2023 S.E Stephens recipient Gordon Grimwade
2023 S.E Stephens recipient Dr Ruth Kerr

Congratulations to Life Member and S.E Stephen’s Award winner Dr Ruth Kerr! 

This year, the Cairns Historical Society is happy to honour and celebrate long-time Society member, friend and well known Queensland historian, Dr Ruth Kerr, was awarded both the Life Membership and S.E Stephen’s Award 2023. Since 1975, Dr Kerr has been a member of the society and committed to the preservation, conservation and dissemination of north Queensland history. 

She has contributed 60+ documents, reports, books and papers to the Research Centre and is well known for her writings on Ah Toy’s Garden, John Moffatt at Irvinebank, railways and the Stannary Hill tramways throughout the far north. 

Unable to be at her presentation at the AGM, Dr Kerr will receive her awards at the Cairns Historical Society Christmas luncheon later this year

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