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Sir Richard Baker Senate Prize awarded.

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13 JUNE 2008


A major study of the development of the committee system in the Australian parliament from 1970 to 2006 has been chosen as the winning entry in the Sir Richard Baker Prize, the President of the Senate, Senator the Hon Alan Ferguson, said today.

The President has announced that this year the Prize will be awarded to:

John Halligan, Robin Miller and John Power, for Parliament in the Twenty-first Century: Institutional Reform and Emerging Roles, published by Melbourne University Press, 2007

The Prize, established by then Senate President, Senator Paul Calvert in 2002, is named in honour of the first Senate President, Sir Richard Baker, and is awarded annually for the best essay, article, book or piece of journalism (in any medium) on

the Australian Senate.

The prize covering the year 2007 was widely advertised through educational institutions and in the press. Eleven entries were considered by a judging panel that included senators from across party lines as well as representatives from the Press Gallery, the Parliamentary Library and the Department of the Senate. Entries ranged

in subject matter and format and included a book, journal articles, a book chapter, essays and journalism.

"Sir Richard Baker was President of the Senate for the first six years of its existence (1901-06) and was instrumental in establishing the chamber as a powerful, independent-minded, house of Parliament," Senator Ferguson said.

"It is my hope that through the Sir Richard Baker Prize we can help to increase community understanding of the role and importance of the Senate and also to encourage debate about parliament and democracy in Australia."

The winners will receive an award of $3000. More details on the Prize may be found at

Contact : Gerard Martin 62773300