Rhodes Scholarship for former History student Brigid O’Farrell-White

Warmest congratulations to our former student Brigid O'Farrell-White (pictured left), who has just been awarded a Rhodes Scholarship!

Brigid has won a 2018 Rhodes Australia at Large Scholarship for postgraduate study at the University of Oxford. The details are here:

http://newsroom.melbourne.edu/news/improving-security-and-development-middle-east-wins-australia-large-rhodes-scholarship

We’re immensely proud of Brigid’s success and take this opportunity to look back on her achievements as a History Honours student in 2016.

In 2016 Brigid completed a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) with a double major in History and Politics/IR, receiving First Class Honours. She won the Dwight Prize for History for her Honours thesis, written under the supervision of Associate Professor Barbara Keys.

Brigid’s Honours thesis explored how the rivalry between two senior members of the Nixon administration (Secretary of State William Rogers and National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger), hampered diplomatic efforts to reach an Arab-Israeli peace settlement from 1969 to 1972.

The examiners called the thesis "an insightful and provocative case study which also makes a contribution to the larger historiographical debate concerning the importance of personal relationships in diplomatic history”.

On winning the Dwight Prize, Brigid reflected on the path leading her to study history, and on her experience as a History major at Melbourne:

"I was a late convert to a History major, and transferred across from Art History in my third year after taking 'American History: Revolution to WWII' as an elective.

Some highlights from my time as a history student include participating in the overseas intensive subject 'Town and Country in China and the West' taught by Antonia Finnane, 'USA and the World' taught by Barbara Keys (which inspired me to focus on US foreign relations in my Honours year), and the Honours seminar 'The Writing of Australian History' with Stuart MacIntyre."

Since graduating from Melbourne, Brigid also completed Arabic language courses in Cairo, travelled in the Middle East, and worked for the State Government on the implementation of the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Family Violence.