Lesley Synge, 2022 Lorna McDonald Essay Prize winner

Congratulations to Lesley Synge, author, friend of the Fryer Library, and winner of the Lorna McDonald Essay Prize for 2022 supported by Arts Central Queensland Inc. 

Read Lesley’s winning essay The Earth and Sea Furnishes Them online about the Keppel Island Group on the Tropic of Capricorn.  The title is also a quote from James Cook's HMB Endeavor Journal.

Lesley Synge (left), Roger McDonald (middle) and Art Central Queensland Inc. President Jodie van de Watering (right).

About Lesley

Lesley Synge is the author of several books, short stories, and poetry. A significant part of Lesley’s work is creative non-fiction on Central Queensland, the region where she grew up. 

Lesley pictured with her third collection of poetry – Signora Bella’s Grand tour, -published in 2019. 

In addition to her 2022 win, Lesley has also won the Lorna McDonald prize in: 

The Lesley Synge Papers (UQFL470) are held in the Fryer Library and include reports, photographs, memorabilia, and meeting minutes relating to civil and women’s rights in Queensland. 

About the Lorna McDonald Essay Prize

The annual Lorna McDonald Essay Prize (established in 2017) celebrates Lorna McDonald’s efforts in collecting, interpreting, recording, and writing the history of the Central Queensland region.

Entrants submit essays of 3000 to 5000 words exploring any aspect of Central Queensland’s Story. The Prize is supported by Arts Central Queensland Inc

Lorna McDonald OAM 

Lorna McDonald was a historian in Queensland between 1976 and 2011.  

Lorna studied at The University of Queensland as a mature-age external student and completed undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. She gained her PhD in 1986.

She was Rockhampton City Council Historian between 1976 and 1980 and Gladstone City Council Historian between 1984 and 1987.  

In 1995 Lorna was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for history services to the community, in 2000 a Doctor of Literature from Central Queensland University, and in 2007 the John Douglas Kerr Medal of Distinction, Royal Historical Society of Queensland and Professional Historians' Association (Queensland).

She worked as a professional and freelance public historian until 2011. Lorna passed away in 2017 in Rockhampton. 

The Lorna McDonald Papers (UQFL551) are held in the Fryer Library and include diaries, research notes, personal papers and photographs from 1963 to 2013. 

Tell us what you think 

Did Lesley's prize-winning essay evoke any part of Central Queensland that resonates with you? 

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Last updated:
14 November 2022