UK-born University of Wollongong scholar Simon Ville has spent half of his life in his adopted homeland of Australia.
Nearly 20 of those 31 years have been in Wollongong, a place Senior Professor Ville has come to love.
That's why the renowned historian in economics and business was ecstatic at being the first UOW scholar to be awarded the prestigious position of the Gough Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser Chair in Australian Studies, by Harvard University.
Prof Ville will take up the role for the 2022-2023 academic year.
The honour will see him relocate to Harvard University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he will teach, deliver seminars, undertake academic research, and promote Australian studies at Harvard and universities throughout the United States.
The Thirroul resident was happy to share the honour with Wollongong and UOW.
"I'm really pleased for Wollongong as well as for myself because this sort of stuff normally goes to the high profile Melbourne and Sydney universities. It is the first time we've had someone from Wollongong Uni get it. It's fantastic," Prof Ville said.
Based in UOW's Faculty of Business and Law where he is Associate Dean of Research, Prof Ville has published extensively on big business, foreign investment, the primary industries, the history of transportation and trading, and the Vietnam War.
He said he was thrilled to learn he would take up the Chair, which has previously been held by, among others, Tim Flannery, Paul Kelly, Mick Dodson, and Alison Bashford.
"I am delighted to be offered this very special career opportunity and equally pleased for what it means for the University of Wollongong," Prof Ville said.
I am delighted to be offered this very special career opportunity and equally pleased for what it means for the University of Wollongong.Senior Professor Simon Ville
"This is the first time the appointment has gone to a UOW scholar, as commonly, the position goes to the Group of Eight universities.
"We are increasingly recognising the importance of America to the study of Australia's past. Our experiences have stretched far beyond the British colonial connection.
"Spending a year at Harvard will enable me to understand more about our historic, as well as contemporary, relationship with America and to spread the message about how Australia fits into American perspectives."
The Gough Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser Chair in Australian Studies was officially established in 1976, a gift from the Australian Government to Harvard University in celebration of the United States' bicentennial.
The position was renamed in 2010 in honour of two of Australia's former prime ministers from opposing sides of politics, who brought to fruition this important initiative.
Prof Ville will be located in the Department of History at Harvard but will also be involved in the work of their economics and history of science departments together with the Harvard Business School and the Museum of Comparative Zoology.
He previously visited Harvard Business School in 2012 as a Chandler Visiting Fellow.
"Hopefully COVID is under control and we can travel," Prof Ville said.
We depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.