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.

Premier’s Spirit of Anzac Prize

For Year levels: Victorian students in Years 9, 10, 11 and 12
Topic: Explore the significance of Victoria's Shrine of Remembrance or a local community’s war memorial in honouring Australians who have served in war and peacekeeping.
Competition Format: Online submission via the Grants Gateway portal.
Accepted entry modes: essay, artwork, poem, short story, audio, video, musical composition, web page.
Deadline for entries: Monday 29 April 2024
Prizes: Twelve prize recipients will join a funded overseas study tour in 2024.
Coordinating and/or Sponsoring Organisation: Department of Families, Fairness and Housing.
Special Features: Offers Victorian students the opportunity to explore Australia’s wartime and peacekeeping history and be awarded a funded international study tour.
Opportunities for HTAV members: Teacher chaperone positions for the study tour available.
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 Sunday 31 March 2024. Competition held Monday 27 – Friday 31 May.
Prizes: Cash prizes
Coordinating and/or Sponsoring Organisation: HTAA, Historicool Magazine
For more information:

Robert Menzies Institute Speech Competition

For Year levels: 9–12; Australian students
Topic: "How has post-war immigration contributed to Australia's development and prosperity?"
Competition Format: Speech filmed as a video
Deadline for entries: Sunday 14 July 2024
Prizes: The winner will be invited to deliver their speech at the Robert Menzies Institute Annual Conference in November 2024. The winner will also receive $250 worth of vouchers.
Special Features: Finalists will be selected and will be invited to deliver their speeches at the Robert Menzies Institute Annual Conference.
Opportunities for HTAV members: N/A
For more information:

National History Challenge

For Year levels: F–12, nationwide
Topic: 2024 Theme – Crisis and Response
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 23 August 2024
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:

The Simpson Prize

For Year levels: 9–10, nationwide
Topic: ‘Australia’s relationship with Great Britain explains why Australia and individual Australians went to war.’ Discuss the accuracy of this statement with reference to either World War One OR World War Two?
Competition Format: Online submissions
Accepted entry modes: Essay
Deadline for entries: 5.00 pm Friday 8 November 2024
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: On hiatus. Check back for future competition details.
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:

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Sponsors & partners

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