The Macquarie-PHA Applied History Award

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 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.

Submissions can take varied forms, including:

  • an essay of 2,500–3,000 words written for a wide audience
  • documented evidence of an exhibition and an exegesis (1,000 words) explaining context, purpose and any audience metrics
  • documented evidence of a website and an exegesis (1,000 words) explaining context, purpose and any audience metrics
  • multi-media submission of any form including podcasts, videos and social media campaigns, with an exegesis (1,000 words) explaining context, purpose and any audience metrics.

The winner receives β€‹a citation and a prize of $1000​ at the Annual History Lecture during NSW History Week. Winners will also be promoted via social media, online and in the PHA’s newsletter.

The 2020 Applied History Award will be announced online at 6:30 pm on 6 November 2020.
Click this link to view the Award presentation.

Prior to 2020, the PHA (NSW & ACT) sponsored an annual Public History Prize. This prize was open to NSW and ACT students engaged with the field and practice of public history. The winner received a certificate and prize of $500, presented at the PHA NSW & ACT’s Public History Prize awards night.


Winner – Debbie Waddell, University of Newcastle 
To flush or not to flush?: Can an artificial channel help save the Tuggerah Lakes?

Highly commended – Chloe Haywood-Anderson, Macquarie University
Erko Archives


Alix Biggs, University of Sydney 
Building Mosques, Building Community: Australian Mosque Establishment and the Muslim Migrant, 1967–1990

Highly commended – Daniel McKay
Silent Empire: Empire Unity and the First Observance of Two Minute’s Silence on Armistice Day, 1919


Winner – Imogen Dixon-Smith, University of Sydney 
Keeping up with the times: Complicating understandings of gender at the historic house Meroogal

Highly commended – Claire Ogle, University of Sydney 
Gumine Oral History Archive


Nathan Fallon, Macquarie University
Transmitting the memory of the Holocaust to the Australian Public: the cultivation of prosthetic memory in the Sydney Jewish Museum


Nathan Stormont, University of Sydney
Challenging Helsinki: Human Rights-Agitation National Aspirations and Socialist Legality in Soviet Ukraine 1965–1980


Sarah Gregory, Macquarie University
Understanding Shades of Grey: The Testimonies of Two Former Auschwitz-Birkenau Sonerkommando Survivors: The Gabbai Brothers

Brett Seymour, University of Sydney
Robben Island: Histories, identities and futures


Rosa Grahame, Australian National University
Mountains out of molehills: Black Mountain and the Human Imagination


Megan Walford, University of NSW
Protest and memory: the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

Gary Boyce, University of New England
Understanding the heritage of the City of Sydney Fire Station


Joanna Laidler, University of NSW
What roles do Museums play in shaping our understanding of the holocaust?

Lena Hattom, University of NSW
Coming to Australia: Voices from the SIEV-4


Ilana Cohn, University of NSW
The Holocaust Since 1945

Bethan Donnelly, University of NSW
Villawood Migrant Hostel