Awards and Prizes

Now closed.  Submissions for the 2021 Awards and Prizes are now closed. The HCNSW Awards & Prizes celebrate history in all its diverse forms.

From the history makers and its thinkers to collective memory and multicultural history, our Awards & Prizes support and acknowledge contributions towards historical practice and theory, through exploring the past to engage and inform the memories and historical narrative of our present and future communities.

HCNSW Awards 2020 – Studio recording. Photo credit: Catherine Shirley

About the HCNSW’s Annual Awards & Prizes

Our awards and prizes foster excellence in Australian historical writing, showcase and reward best practice, and advance and promote public understanding and appreciation of history.

We offer a number of prestigious annual awards and prizes totaling $4,500 in prize money, with Honorable Mention citations also awarded where appropriate.  The Awards Judging Panel consists of leading academics from NSW universities, representing our Cultural Partners, as well as a delegate of the Professional Historians Association (NSW & ACT).

Winners will be announced and prize presentations made after History Week 2021 (November – date to be announced).  The HCNSW reserves the right to withdraw a prize if there are no eligible entrants or entries of a sufficient standard to receive that prize.

The History Council of NSW also supports Create NSW in its administration of the NSW Premier’s History Awards and Fellowships in partnership with the State Library of NSW. This event, which traditionally signals the start of History Week each year, will be held at the State Library of NSW on Friday 3 September 2021.

HCNSW Awards & Prizes submissions closed on Wednesday 29 September 2021 at 5 pm.  Further details such as the criteria for each award and prize, as well as a link to the Submissions form, can be found below.

 

Click on the relevant tabs below to navigate to each award and prize.

The Addi Road Award for Multicultural History (supported by the Addison Road Community Organisation was awarded for the first time in 2019.

The purpose of the Award is to encourage new and emerging historians to discover, analyse and explore multicultural histories and the history of multiculturalism in Australia, helping to increase academic and public engagement in a topic that has ongoing relevance to Australian history and society today.

In 2021, the winner receives a citation and a prize of $1,000, twice the amount awarded previously. The winning entry (essay or multimedia) makes an original argument using primary historical sources and demonstrate the capacity to develop complex arguments linking the past to contemporary, multicultural issues that have, or are currently impacting on the Australian community. 

Co-authored or collaborative works are eligible for submission.

Opening date:  19 May 2021

Closing date:  Tuesday, 31 August 2021 at 5 pm

Submissions will be processed online.

Previous winners –

  • 2020 Addison Road Community Centre Organisation Award for Multicultural History was awarded to Dr Alexandra Dellios for her entry: Unsettling Post-War Settlement: Remembering Unassimilable Families in the Space of the Migrant Camp’.
  • 2019 Addison Road Community Centre Organisation Award for Multicultural History was awarded to Charlotte Ward for her entry:  ‘Captain Cook: A Catalyst for Contestation’.
Aboriginal History Prize

Corroboree on the Murray River, 1858, image by Gerard Krefft, courtesy SLNSW

The First Nations History Award was first awarded in 2016.   Previously named the Aboriginal History Award , it is the generous gift of an anonymous donor.

Its purpose is to encourage students and other beginning historians (up to post-doctoral career) in the writing of Australian Aboriginal history, including Torres Strait Islander history, from original sources. First Nations Australians are strongly encouraged to enter.

In 2021, the winner receives a $2,000 cash prize (an increase of $500 from that awarded in 2020), with the winning entry demonstrating excellence in addressing its subject, proficiency in the use of original materials and clarity of exposition.

Opening date:  19 May 2021

Closing date: Tuesday, 31 August 2021 at 5 pm

Submissions will be processed online.

Previous Winners –

  • 2020 Aboriginal History Prize was awarded to Sally Bourkarim-Ghattas for her entry: ‘Black Power, Aboriginal Genocide, and the Politics of Identity’
  • 2019 Aboriginal History Prize was awarded to Deirdre O’Connell for her entry: ‘American Boomerang: Searching Aboriginal Sydney, 1928’
  • 2018 Aboriginal History Prize was awarded to Meg Foster for her essay: ‘The Forgotten War of 1900: Jimmy Governor & the Aboriginal People of Wollar.’
  • 2017 Aboriginal History Prize was awarded to Ruby Arrowsmith-Todd for her essay: ‘Spectacle, Spectators and Critics: Mid-century Indigenous cinema-goers and Shell’s travelling films’.
  • 2016 Aboriginal History Prize was awarded to Rachael Simons for her essay: ‘“We Will Protect Ourselves”: William Ferguson’s Critique of the Policy of Aboriginal Protection in NSW, 1937-1938’.

The Max Kelly Award of $500 is given annually to a ‘beginning’ historian for a work of excellence in any aspect of Australian history. The Award was established as a tribute to Associate Professor Maxwell John Kelly (1935-1996), the first elected President of the History Council.

The History Council of NSW was grateful to Mr Geoffrey Jones for his continuing support and generous donation of the prize money for the 2021 Max Kelly Prize.

Opening date:  19 May 2021

Closing date: Tuesday, 31 August 2021 at 5 pm

Submissions will be processed online.

Previous Winners –

  • 2020 Max Kelly Award was awarded to Elizabeth Heffernan for her entry: ‘‘Oh for places – green oases – ’: Australian Soldiers and the Environments of the First World War’.
  • 2019 Max Kelly Award was awarded to Robert Mason for his entry: ‘The (First) “Battle of the Wasser”, 2 April 1915: A Footnote in History?’
  • 2018 Max Kelly Medal was awarded to Jessica Urwin for her entry: ‘Physicists in the Fields of Thunder: Ernest Titterton and Britian’s Empire in the 1950’s Australia.’
  • 2017 Max Kelly Medal was awarded to Marian Lorrison for her entry ‘Reduced to the Lowest Pitch of Want and Starvation’
  • 2016 Max Kelly Medal was awarded to Daniel McKay for his entry: ‘Loyal Children: The Australian Factor in the Birth of the Imperial Federation Movement’.
  • 2015 Max Kelly Medal was awarded to Rohan Howitt for his entry: “The Making of a Maori Working Class: Trans-Tasman Migration and Colonial Development in New South Wales, 1806-40″.
  • 2014 Max Kelly Medal was awarded to Sydney-Clare Abba for her entry: “In History’s Page: A Comparative Historiography of the ‘Stolen Generations’ and the ‘Forgotten Australians’ Or A Study on the Need for Further Study”.
  • 2013 Max Kelly Medal was awarded to Harriet Mercer for her entry ”The Responsibility that rests on our shoulders’: Ideas of Race, Gender and Citizenship in Interwar Australian Feminist Activism’.
  • 2012 Max Kelly Medal was awarded to Haidee Ireland for her entry: ‘The case of Agnes J.: Tracing Aboriginal presence in Sydney through criminal Justice records’.
  • 2011 Max Kelly Medal was awarded to Rose Cullen for her entry: ‘Empire, Indian indentured labour and the colony: the origins of the debate over ‘coolie’ labour 1836-37’.
  • 2010 Max Kelly Medal was awarded to Agnieszka Sobocinska for her entry: ‘The language of scars’: POWs’ bodies and the overturning of the colonial order’.
  • 2009 Max Kelly Medal was awarded to Isobelle Barrett Meyering for her entry: ‘Abolitionism, settler violence and the case against corporal punishment: A reassessment of Sir William Molesworth’s contribution to the transportation debate’.
  • 2008 Max Kelly Medal was awarded to Grant Mansfield for his entry: ‘The Costs of War: patriotism and price-fixing during the opening months of the Great War in Australia’.
  • 2007 Max Kelly Medal was awarded to Timothy David Castle for his entry: ‘Watching Them Hang: Capital Punishment and Public Support in Colonial New South Wales, 1826-1836′.
Darling and lower Murray during the flood of 1886, Image courtesy State Library of NSW

Darling and lower Murray during the flood of 1886, Image courtesy State Library of NSW

The Macquarie-PHA Applied History Award is jointly sponsored by the Macquarie University Centre for Applied History and the Professional Historians Association (NSW & ACT). 

The purpose of the Award is to encourage historians to produce a creative work of applied history drawing on their research. It aims to promote the value of public history and the pursuit of history as a rewarding professional career.

Individuals and groups are eligible to apply. The award is open to historians at all stages of their career, including those inside and outside of academic institutions; undergraduate, diploma, masters and doctoral level students; as well as professional, local, community and family historians. Candidates must have lived and/or created their work in New South Wales or the Australian Capital Territory over the 12 months preceding the deadline for submissions.

The winner receives a citation and a prize of $1,000. The winning entry will demonstrate excellence in writing or other media, and the ability to use original source materials, or demonstrated originality of interpreting the past in a contextual way. This work should engage with the field and practice of professional, public and applied history, using the past to inform contemporary concerns, issues and topics in creative ways.

Opening date:  19 May 2021

Closing date: Tuesday, 31 August 2021 at 5 pm

Submissions will be processed online. 

Previous Winners – 

  • 2020 The Macquarie-PHA Applied History Award was awarded to Martha Ansara and Robynne Murphy for their entry: “Women of Steel”

For 2019, the subject for the Centre of Applied History Award was for works in applied and public history that have the potential to inform good public policy. Co-authored or collaborative works were eligible for submission.

  • 2019 Macquarie University Centre for Applied History Award was awarded to Kieran Bonin for his entry: ‘Rugby in Union?’

(Please note that the above link leads through to an abstract containing a link to the Podcast that formed part of the entry)

Previous Winners of the Applied History Award (previously known as the Deen De Bortoli Award for Applied History) are:

  • 2018 Deen De Bortoli Award for Applied History was awarded to Dr Peter Prince for his entry: ‘Australia’s most inhumane mass deportation abuse? Robtelmes v Brenan and explusion of the Alien Islanders.’
  • 2017 Deen De Bortoli Award for Applied History was awarded to Jodie Stewart for her entry: ‘Emotions, Stories, Pasts: Feeling the Settler and Aboriginal Past on the Bundian Way’.
  • 2016 Deen De Bortoli Award for Applied History was awarded to Dr Hannah Forsyth for her entry: ‘Dreaming of Higher Education’.
  • 2015 Deen De Bortoli Award for Applied History was awarded to Meg Foster for her entry: ‘Online and Plugged In?: Public History and Historians in the Digital Age’.

If you have any questions please contact us and subscribe to our e-newsletter to receive announcements.

 

Award Criteria

Annual History Citation

Each year the History Council of NSW, via nominations from General Council members, awards the Annual History Citation to an eminent historian to honour a lifetime of service to history.

The Citation recognises individuals for outstanding research and scholarship and acknowledges their broader contribution through teaching, leadership, mentoring and community involvement.

Recipients

  • 2020 Professor Paul Aston: In recognition of his outstanding contribution to the study of Australian history and the international practice of public history.
  • 2019 Max Solling:  In recognition of his outstanding contribution to the study and practice of urban social history.
  • 2018 Lyndall Ryan:  In recognition of her research and teaching in women’s and Indigenous history, and her service to the profession in contributing to the development of Australian Studies and Women’s Studies.
  • 2017 David Carment: In recognition of his outstanding contributions to historical scholarship, and his generosity and unwavering commitment to supporting the history community, including mentoring its emerging professionals.
  • 2016 Carol Liston: In recognition of her contributions to researching and teaching history and heritage, and her service to the community and local history organisations.
  • 2015 Alan Atkinson: In recognition of his outstanding contributions as a historian to teaching, scholarship and the community.
  • 2014 Shirley Fitzgerald: In recognition of her outstanding contributions as a historian to teaching, scholarship and the community.
  • 2013 Ann Curthoys: In recognition of her outstanding contributions as a historian to teaching, scholarship and the community.
  • 2012 Ros Pesman: In recognition of her outstanding contributions as a historian to teaching, scholarship and the community.
  • 2011 Beverley Kingston: In recognition of her outstanding contributions as a historian to teaching, scholarship and the community.
  • 2010 Kate Cameron: In recognition of her outstanding contribution to the teaching and learning of History.
  • 2009 Bruce Pennay: In recognition of his contribution to history as a historian and practising heritage consultant, in particular his service to heritage and community history in regional New South Wales and Victoria.

Dr Kiera Lindsey awarding Professor Paul Ashton the Annual History Citation – Winner of the 2020 Annual History Citation. 

Mr Max Solling – Winner of the 2019 Annual History Citation. Photo credit: TWH Photography

  • 2008 Baiba Berzins: In recognition of her significant contributions to the professional practice and interpretation of Australian history.
  • 2007 Brian Fletcher: In recognition of his outstanding and lifelong contribution to the study and teaching of Australian history.
  • 2006 Malcolm Sainty & Keith Johnson: For outstanding achievement and contribution to history and genealogy in Australia for over forty years.
  • 2005 Bruce Mansfield: For his achievements as an outstanding teacher and scholar of history in Australia for over fifty years.
  • 2004 Patricia Grimshaw: For her outstanding and lifelong contribution to the profession and practice of history.
  • 2003 Terry Irving: For his contribution to the study of labour and political history in Australia.
  • 2002 Clem Lloyd: For his role in fostering interdisciplinary approaches to Australian scholarship, and for his contribution to enhancing historical understandings of the Australian media, politics and public policy.
  • 2001 Heather Radi: For her devotion to Australian history not only as a scholar but also as an organiser of ideas and events and a supporter of younger scholars.
  • 2000 Bede Nairn: For his contribution to Australian Labour history.
  • 1999 Gavin Souter: For his contribution to the writing of Australian history across a diverse range of subject matter.
  • 1998 Faith Bandler: For her role in making and documenting the history of reconciliation, her contribution to the writing of indigenous history and enhancement of Australian historical understanding.
  • 1997 Justice Rae Else Mitchell: For his encouragement of the practice of history in the community and his contribution to the vitality of history institutions.

Create NSW Funding & Support

The HCNSW is supported by an annual grant from Create NSW through the Arts & Cultural Development Program which enables it to manage the Awards & Prizes program, among other History Professional Development programs.

Information about funding and support available about this program can be accessed here.

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