Peter is the recipient of two major awards for his next major research project relating to Queensland’s cultural heritage. He is the 2022 winner of the Lord Mayor’s Helen Taylor Research Award for Local History. Valued at $20,000, this award provides funds towards both the research and publication of some major outcomes. In addition, Peter has also been nominated as the Fryer Library Honorary Fellow at the University of Queensland. This is only the third time this position has been awarded.
Peter is now in the process of documenting and evaluating the legacy of Mayne Hall. For 30 years from its opening in 1973, it was one of our major cultural venues. Mayne Hall was clearly much more than the University of Queensland’s ‘great hall’ for graduations and other institutional events. The project came to fruition during the vice-chancellorship of Sir Zelman Cowen. The eminent local architect Robin Gibson was commissioned to design this groundbreaking modernist building. Since 2005 the building has been re-purposed as the UQ Art Museum’s gallery and renamed as the James and Mary Emilia Mayne Centre. The fiftieth anniversary of Mayne Hall approaches in 2023. It is therefore timely to document the huge diversity of events that were held there. It is also important to capture the memories of those who experienced performances at Mayne Hall, either on stage or as an audience member.
Peter’s project will culminate in the publication of his sixth book. Like his 2021 monograph on Brisbane’s Albert Hall, this will be a major contribution to the story of our local cultural heritage. An exhibition highlighting Mayne Hall’s contribution as a public venue is also being planned. This will feature photographic images accompanied by audio extracts from the oral history aspect of this project. Peter welcomes any memories and memorabilia from those who knew Mayne Hall as a major venue.