A LAWYER turned historian has been recognised with a Victorian Community History Award for his book on part of Maldon's history.
Brian Rhule's book - Maldon: A New History 1852-1928 - was picked by judges for its contribution to "the ever-expanding body of work on the Victorian goldfields".
"The book covers a rich spectrum of material, shining a light on many elements of everyday life in this early mining town," judges said..
"Skilfully contextualised, this account covers the vicissitudes of mining and the local economy, while providing insight into the rich fabric of social life, the political sphere, and labour issues."
Mr Rhule's interest in Maldon's history was sparked while living there for 24 years and being involved with its heritage committee over two decades. He has been researching his book for a number of years and also written thesis papers on historical aspects of the town.
"Writing local history not easy. You need to put a lot of effort in," he said. "It started with my masters on the Maldon Miner's Association. I finished that in 1997 and have since commenced a PhD on the Temperance Movement and which I did in 2015."
The Temperance Movement aimed to reduce the amount of drinking in early-20th Century Australia.
Mr Rhule said the book touched on the Temperance Movement but was more focused on the social, cultural and political aspects of Maldon's history.
The book won most outstanding history publication (and) beat out more than 170 other entries.
Mr Rhule said he was very proud of the acknowledgments the book has received.
"Pride, I like to think, isn't about swollen heads. There were plenty of good entries," he said. "But it is about pride in your work (and) trying to achieve that excellence. So it is an acknowledgment of all the work that was put into it. It makes it very worthwhile."
Mr Rhule's book has also received good reviews from his peers.
"Professor David Goodman (a history professor at University of Melbourne) did a book review in the Royal Historical Society of Victoria's journal and it was very favourable," he said.
"I have always admired his book Gold Seeking about the relationship between the California and Victoria gold rushes. When you receive an accolade from someone who is one of my peers and whose work I admire, it's even better."