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.

Details for the 2023 year of student competitions are yet to be made available. Please keep an eye on this webpage for any updates.

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: Friday 4 November 2022, 5pm
Prizes: One winner and one runner-up from each State and Territory will participate in a three-day program in Canberra.
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: Tuesday 2 August 2022, 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: 2022 Theme – Causes and Consequences
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: Friday 26 August 2022
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:

Lynette Russell Prize for First Peoples' History in Schools

For Year levels: 7-10, applicants must be from a Victorian school
Topic: The history of Australian First Peoples
Competition Format: Applications must include a copy of the project in hard or digital form
Accepted entry modes: Project: written, visual, digital or performative.
Deadline for entries: Extended to Friday 19 August 2022
Prizes: Cash prize of $500 and a certificate presented to the school
Coordinating and/or Sponsoring Organisation: History Council of Victoria

Premier’s Spirit of Anzac Prize

The opening of the 2022 competition is yet to be announced.

For Year levels: Victorian students – Years 9,10 and 11
Topic: To be announced
Competition Format: Online submission
Accepted entry modes: essay, artwork, video, audio, music, webpage or poetry
Deadline for entries: To be announced
Prizes: In 2021, winning students received a $2,500 scholarship to support their education.
Coordinating and/or Sponsoring Organisation: Veterans Branch, Department of Families, Fairness and Housing
Opportunities for HTAV members: Competition judging
For more information:

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 Thursday 31 March 2022. Competition held Monday 30 May – Friday 3 June.
Prizes: Cash prizes
Coordinating and/or Sponsoring Organisation: HTAA, Historicool Magazine
For more information:

Events Calendar

Sponsors & partners

  • National History Challenge - Sponsor Logo
  • Education Victoria - Sponsor Logo

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.