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Grace Blake wins grant to research rowing history

The English-Speaking Union Victoria Branch (ESU) today announced that Adelaide University Boat Club member, Grace Blake, has won its 2020 Minor Project Grant of $2,000.

The grant will enable Grace to embark on a project that will help record the heritage and identity of young Australians who volunteered from South Australia to serve in the First World War. Grace’s particular focus is on enlistees who were also connected with the Adelaide University Boat Club (AUBC).

Grace is an Adelaide-based heritage professional with a strong track record in researching the history of rowing. She is an alumna of the University of Adelaide and is currently completing a Master of Cultural Heritage at Deakin University.

Grace will investigate an aspect of Australia’s First World War legacy by examining the University of Adelaide’s archives for letters written by university staff, graduates and students who were also members of the AUBC.

Using digital online media, Grace aims to recognise this military service by creating an Honour Roll for the Boat Club and by telling the stories of its members’ wartime participation,

Grace’s research will also feed into a proposed history of the Boat Club and its members’ contributions to the English-speaking community in South Australia.

As many of our community may know, AUBC was established in 1881 on the River Torrens as Adelaide University’s first sporting club. It has been a cornerstone of the University’s extra-curricular activities throughout its history. Now in its 140th year, AUBC has embarked on a 10-year project to showcase its history, including international, national, state, inter-varsity, local and inter-collegiate rowing.

ESU Branch President, Robert Furlan, a member of the award judging panel said,“The ESU judging panel considered Grace’s project proposal to be well developed, with clear timelines and tangible outcomes.

“The ESU is excited to support Grace’s innovative research, aiming to reconstruct the First World War Honour Roll that is missing from the archives of the Adelaide University Boat Club. We convey our congratulations to Grace and look forward to seeing the results of her work later this year.”