History competitions are a great way to motivate and reward your students and raise the profile of History in your school community. There are strong links to the curriculum, and students can often use school assessments and projects as their entries.

If you have ever had the chance to attend an awards ceremony or travel with competition winners, you will know the profound impact the competitions have on their learning and their personal development. There are great travel and competition-judging opportunities for teachers, too!

We have summarised the key elements of each of the competitions below, and you can find out a little more by click on the tabs to the left. We have also produced a flyer on the competitions, available for download below:

  • 2021 History Competitions Flyer (coming soon)

The Simpson Prize

For Year levels: 9 and 10, nationwide
Topic: New topic question released each year
Competition Format: Online submissions
Accepted entry modes: Essay
Deadline for entries: TBA
Prizes: One winner and one runner-up from each state and territory will attend a Canberra study tour. Winning students will travel to key battlefields overseas.
Coordinating and/or Sponsoring Organisation: HTAA, Australian Government Department of Education
Special Features: National Competition
Opportunities for HTAV members: Teacher Chaperone positions available
For more information:

HTAV Historical Fiction Competition

For Year levels: 5 to 10; Victorian students or students of interstate/overseas school members of HTAV
Topic: A piece of engaging Historical Fiction, focus on both writing and historical accuracy
Competition Format: Online submissions
Acceptable entry modes: Short Story
Deadline for entries: Monday 2 August 2021, 5pm
Prizes: Winning students will each receive a cash prize of $150 and a certificate
Coordinating and/or Sponsoring Organisation: HTAV, History Council of Victoria, Eureka Centre Ballarat and Fremantle Press
Special Features: Competition categories are banded across two years
Opportunities for HTAV members: Competition judging
For more information:

National History Challenge

For Year levels: F-12, nationwide
Topic: 2020 Theme – CONTESTED hiSTORIES
Competition Format: Submitted entries to a State Coordinator
Acceptable entry modes: Research essay, museum exhibit, multimedia, performance, website, ANY other form of creative representation
Application process: Schools must register for a Welcome Kit prior to deadline
Deadline for entries: TBA
Prizes: Cash prizes and a behind-the-scenes trip to Canberra to receive their award at Parliament House
Coordinating and/or Sponsoring Organisation: HTAA, Australian Government, Department of Education and Training
Special Features: Individual or group entry (max. four students)
Opportunities for HTAV members: Competition judging
For more information:

1-Minute Film Competition

For Year levels: Australian and New Zealand primary and secondary school students
Topic: 2020 Theme: The Second World War and Your Community
Competition Format: Online submissions
Acceptable entry modes: Short film or animation
Deadline for entries: TBA
Prizes: Prize packs for two primary school categories and two secondary school categories
Coordinating and/or Sponsoring Organisation: Australian Teachers of Media (ATOM)

Australian History Competition

For Year levels: 7-10, nationwide
Topic: Two papers broadly based on the Australian Curriculum: Years 7-8, Years 9-10
Competition Format: Assessment held on one day
Acceptable entry modes: Test format, multiple choice questions, tests history skills rather than prior content knowledge
Deadline for entries: Registrations close Wednesday 31 March 2021. Competition held Sunday 30 May – Friday 4 June.
Prizes: Cash Prizes
Coordinating and/or Sponsoring Organisation: HTAA, Historicool Magazine
For more information:

Sponsors & partners

  • National History Challenge - Sponsor Logo
  • Education Victoria - Sponsor Logo
  • Latitude Group Travel

We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Australians and Traditional Custodians of the lands where we live, learn and work. The HTAV Office is located on the lands of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. These lands were never ceded. We pay our respect to their ancestors and Elders, past and present.

Please note: Indigenous Australians are advised that the HTAV website may include images or names of people now deceased.