Murdoch student wins prestigious prize for dissertation on Pauline Hanson

Leeming resident Andrea Byrne celebrates winning the Geoff and Lynn Field Prize with honours supervisor Dr Kathryn Trees.
Leeming resident Andrea Byrne celebrates winning the Geoff and Lynn Field Prize with honours supervisor Dr Kathryn Trees.

A MURDOCH University PhD student who wrote about Pauline Hanson’s campaign during the 2017 WA State Election for her honours dissertation, has won a prestigious student prize.

Leeming resident Andrea Byrne received the Geoff and Lynn Field Prize in Australian Studies at Murdoch’s School of Arts Prize Night last week.

Her thesis told the story of Hanson and One Nation as they attempted a historical comeback with the hope of influencing the future direction of WA.

It also analysed Ms Hanson’s relationship with the public and her campaign strategy, as described by the news media.

Ms Byrne found that coverage of the preference deal between One Nation and the WA Liberal Party led to significant brand damage for both parties.

“It was characterised as an unprincipled, desperate effort on the part of an unpopular government to retain power, and, as a ‘sell-out’ by One Nation leadership of their candidates and support base,” she said.

“Voter anger was reflected in a transfer of support to the WA Labor party, who remained focused and ‘on message’ throughout the campaign.”

Ms Byrne, who graduated earlier this year with an Honours in Communications and Media alongside her son Nicholas, who studied Radio and Sound, has just begun her PhD.

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