Lord Mayor's Helen Taylor Research Award for Local History

The Lord Mayor’s Helen Taylor Research Award for Local History supports history students and independent researchers undertaking history or heritage projects which have a focus on informing or educating the public about local history or heritage.

About Helen Taylor

Helen Taylor was a historian who worked for Brisbane City Council from 1990 until 2004. She made significant contributions to the history and heritage initiatives in Brisbane. As Senior Historian in Council's Heritage Unit, she was responsible for developing studies and publications that identified and documented the city's heritage. She produced a number of social history exhibitions such as:

  • Brisbane Remembers: The Home Front 1939-1945 (1995)
  • Brisbane 100 Stories (1997)
  • Afraid of the Dark (1999)
  • The Million Pound Town Hall (2000).

As Senior Historian in Council's then Community and Lifestyle branch, Taylor initiated the Local History Grants Program and Brisbane's Living Heritage Network. Taylor was also a driving force behind the development of the Museum of Brisbane. From 2002 until her retirement in 2004, Taylor was Curator of Social History at the Museum where she was responsible for the exhibitions Bite the Blue Sky: Brisbane Beginnings (2003-04), and Brisbane At War (2004-05).

Helen Taylor passed away on 30 June 2006.

Award recipient 2020

For the 2019-20 round, Brian Rough was awarded $22,000.

Brian Rough

Brian Rough - Award Recipient

Brian Rough is an independent Brisbane historian and writer. He worked as an historian and heritage officer within local government and has been actively involved with community history organisations and local museums over the last three decades. Brian has published numerous articles and papers on Queensland history and co-authored and edited a number of publications, notably A Most Promising Corps (2010) and Brisbane 150 Stories (2009). Two recent major research projects included the provision of interpretative content for the Gallipoli to Armistice Memorial in Maryborough (2018), and the Fraser Coast Military Trail (2018).

The Capturing Brisbane project will identify and record professional photographers operating in Brisbane from the mid-1850s to the end of the nineteenth century. In excess of 160 professional photographers operated in Brisbane during that time. They have made a significant contribution towards our understanding and interpretation of the city’s past by recording the people and places around them.

This project will interrogate library, museum and archival resources to explore and document the development of professional photography in the city; it will produce biographies of the photographers and photographic studios operating during that period, and provide examples of their work. It will also examine the evolution of familial, social and business connections between the individuals and studios. Accurate dating of Brisbane’s 19th century photographic images will be a significant outcome for this work. A limited-run publication and a website delivering simple, well-structured and searchable information about nineteenth century Brisbane photographers will ensure this research adds new dimensions to the story of Brisbane's past.

Last updated:29 January 2020