Oral History Australia
Giving Voice to the Past

Hazel de Berg Award for Excellence in Oral History

Every two years, in conjunction with our national conference, Oral History Australia (OHA) presents an award to recognise a person who has made an outstanding contribution to the field of oral history over a considerable period of time.

The award is named after Hazel de Berg (pictured left), one of Australia's pioneering and most prolific oral historians, who recorded just over 1300 interviews during her lifetime.

From 1957, Hazel de Berg documented Australia's social history by recording poets, novelists, historians, painters, musicians and scientists - people who were contributing to the ongoing intellectual life of Australia.

A significant number of her interviews are now held in the oral history collection of the National Library of Australia as the Hazel de Berg Oral History Collection, a collection which comprises approximately 1300 hour-long taped interviews.

The inaugural Hazel de Berg Award was presented to Beth Robertson at the International Oral History Association Conference in Sydney 2006.  The OHA's national committee determines the winner of the award based on nominations. It is an open award and is not restricted to OHA members.

The De Berg family has generously offered to provide this award and arranged for its design by a glass artist. Each award is inscribed with the recipients name and the date and accompanied by a citation. 

Find out more about Hazel de Berg Find out more about Hazel de Berg.

Latest winner—2017 

Karen George (pictured above, right) with Diana Ritchie,
the daughter of Hazel de Berg.

Find out more about Karen and previous winners.

Previous winners 

2017 - Karen George

2015 - Jill Cassidy

2013 - Francis Good

2011 - Frank Heimans

2009 - Janis Wilton

2007 - Michael Clarke

2006 - Beth Robertson


Anyone can make a nomination and there is no impediment to a person nominating themself. This national award presents the opportunity to give public recognition and encouragement not only to the recipient but to the important role of oral history.

Relevant activities are many and varied and include:

  • Promotion and raising of awareness of oral history, within the oral history profession, with historians, with organisations and within the general community.
  • Volunteer work  with communities, not-for-profit groups and with oral history associations.
  • Initiation of and contribution to oral history projects documenting Australia's past and contemporary history.
  • Recording and documentation of oral history.
  • Preservation and archiving of oral history collections.
  • Research involving assessing oral history.
  • Publication of papers, journal articles and books.
  • Education and/or teaching including conduct of seminars and workshops.
  • Mentoring
  • Such other contributions to oral history considered worthy of recognition.


Nominations for the 2019 Award have not yet opened.

The 2017 documents below provide an indication of the information required.