AFSAAP Postgraduate Prize

The Cherry Gertzel Bursary Award

The Cherry Gertzel Bursary Award is an annual award to assist female post-graduate students to complete study or research in African Studies.

Funds would ideally be used within 12 months of the date of the award. However, given the uncertainty presented by COVID-19 in regards to international travel, this period can be extended to 2 years from the date of the award

Applications for 2022 are now closed. Please check here for updates in 2023.

Application Details

Postgraduate Prize

AFSAAP has sponsored the Postgraduate Prize since 1998.  At the 2015 AGM of AFSAAP, members renamed the annual AFSAAP Postgraduate Prize in honour of the late and former President of AFSAAP and Editor of the Australasian Review of African Studies, Professor Cherry Gertzel.

Please see the guidelines for submission below.


Any student enrolled in a tertiary institution in the Australasia-Pacific region may submit a paper read at the AFSAAP Postgraduate Workshop or the annual conference for consideration for the AFSAAP Annual Conference Postgraduate Prize.

  • The paper must be related to African Studies.
  • The paper should not exceed 4,500 words (references and bibliography not included in the word count).
  • The paper must be a complete essay, with references and bibliography. Footnotes or in-text citations are acceptable.
  • Papers must be sole-authored.
  • Research proposals are not eligible.
  • Papers must not have been submitted for formal review by or for an editor of a book, journal, or working paper series, nor should they be previously published. Final papers must be submitted as electronic copies (in Word format) on the same day of your presentation at the conference – email to – see submission details below.

Papers will be judged by a panel selected by the Executive Committee, to include at least two senior academic members of the Association. The decision of the panel is final, and if in their opinion, no entry is regarded as of high enough standard, they may decide not to award a prize.

Papers will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  • definition and justification of the topic and/or problem within the broader context;
  • understanding of the topic – including use of appropriate references;
  • analysis of key issues – including presentation of argument, discussion and conclusion;
  • level of scholarship – including originality and/or contribution to knowledge;
  • clarity of writing and structure;
  • accuracy – including completeness and consistency in presentation and referencing.

All entrants will be advised of the winner, and a notice will be placed in the AFSAAP Newsletter Habari kwa Ufupi subsequent to a decision having been made by the judges.


The 4500 word essay should be prepared in Word format – A4 size with double or one- and-half point line spacing and a 12 point Arial or Times new Roman font typeface.

Standard conventions for academic publishing should be followed.

All papers should be accompanied by the following declaration-“I certify that the text, research, ideas, analysis and conclusions drawn in this essay are entirely my own work, except where acknowledged by citation. I also certify that this essay has not been previously submitted for any other publication. Signature of Student_____________ date_____________”An electronic copy of your submission must be forwarded to the AFSAAP Secretary ( on the same day as your presentation at the Annual AFSAAP Conference.We strongly encourage students to discuss a draft of their paper with their supervisor before submission, to ensure that submissions meet rigorous academic standards.


Rachael Gross (ANU) – The crossroads of African elephants, climate change and community-based management

Kirsty Wissing – Environment as justice: Akwamu reflections on river justice in Ghana

Hanna Jagtenberg (University of Adelaide) – Afrikaner émigrés in Australia: Perception vs. Reality in Human Decision-Making

Naomi Thompson (Macquarie University) – Surviving vs. Living: the Importance of resilience in the Transformative Redefinition of Ghanain Breast Cancer Survivors

Charlotte Mertens (University of Melbourne) – Sexual Violence in the Congo Free State: archival Traces and Present Reconfigurations

Christopher Hills (Sydney University) – Gendered reintegration in Liberia: A civilized ‘(Kwi)’ failure? – Read Chris Hills’ Final Report on his Trip to Monash South Africa here

Thomas McNamara (University of Melbourne) – The intersection of witchcraft and development in Malawi

Christina Kenny (Australia National University) –
The ‘liberatory value of indigenous institutions’? Cultural practice as resistance in the British Colony of Kenya

Solomon Peter Gbanie (University of New South Wales) –
‘The diamond of Western Area is land’: Narratives of land use and land cover change in post-war Sierra Leone

Stephen O’Brien (University of Queensland) – THE MONASH / AFSAAP PRIZE
A qualitative study of impressions and experiences of HIV in Zimbabwe
A summary of Stephen’s trip to South Africa to present his paper can be found here.

Samuel Muchoki (La Trobe University) – THE AFSAAP PRIZE
‘[In Australia] what comes first are the women, then children, cats, dogs, followed by men’: Exploring narratives of men from the Horn of Africa

Michael Oliver (Flinders University) – THE MONASH / AFSAAP PRIZE
Standing up, reaching out and letting go: Experiences of resilience and school engagement for African high schoolers from refugee backgrounds

Clare Buswell (Flinders University) – THE AFSAAP / UNISA Prize
Moral authority, power and women’s identity in colonial Kenya

Samantha Balaton-Chrimes (Monash University) – THE MONASH / AFSAAP PRIZE
The Nubians of Kenya and the emancipatory potential of collective recognition

Susana Saffu (Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education) – THE AFSAAP PRIZE
Adult education and community capacity building: The case of African-Australian women in the Northern Territory

Matthew Doherty (La Trobe University) – THE AFSAAP PRIZE
Subsistence amid turmoil: Daily life in Central Africa during the rubber plunder

Tarekegn Chimdi (Monash University) – THE AFSAAP PRIZE
Systematic repression and rampant human rights abuses against the Oromo people in Ethiopia

Ruth Jackson (Deakin University) – THE AFSAAP PRIZE
The three delays as a framework for examining safe motherhood in Kafa Zone, SNNPR, Ethiopia

Jennifer Badstreubner (Australian National University) – THE AFSAAP PRIZE
Rape and the Tikoloshe. Sexual violence and fear in a South African township

Samantha Balaton-Chrimes (Monash University) – THE AFSAAP PRIZE
Challenging the state in Africa

2004 – 2006
No prize awarded

Edith Miguda (University of Adelaide) – THE AFSAAP PRIZE
Global impulses / Local politics: Comparing two eras of constitution-making in Kenya

Clare Buswell (Flinders University) – THE AFSAAP PRIZE
Women’s power and farming in Colonial Kenya 1830-1950

Carlos Arnaldo (Australian National University) – THE AFSAAP PRIZE
Provincial differences in age at marriage in Mozambique

May Raidoo (University of KwaZulu-Natal) – THE AFSAAP PRIZERebuilding local economies: The case of foreign importers in Durban’s CBD

Elizabeth Le Roux (The Africa Institute of South Africa) – THE AFSAAP PRIZE
Breaking through the text: Women writers in Francophone Africa

Jacob Malungo (Australian National University) – THE AFSAAP PRIZE
Institutional responses to HIV/AIDS epidemic: Care for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) and health seeking behaviour in Zambia

Andrew Honey (University of New South Wales) – THE 1st AFSAAP PRIZE
Apartheid South Africa and the White Australia policy: Domestic jurisdiction versus Human Rights