RHSV applauds new history grants

The Minister for Education, Dan Tehan, announced on Monday 27 January that $12 million was earmarked for academics to pursue research on Australian issues, focussing on Australian culture, society and history.

The Royal Historical Society of Victoria (RHSV) applauds the greater attention given to Australian history, society and culture with these additional grants.

“For too long Australian history has been seen by many as uninteresting and unimportant. However, it is the site of a massive human drama in which the oldest living culture was disrupted by one driven by ideas of private property, and a belief in progress and the superiority of European industrial and scientific achievements. These supposed virtues are not now so evident. An added drama was that  European culture developed an Australian signature on this continent, which is worthy of study. 

Understanding both human dramas – black/white interactions and the growth of an Australian response to the world is worthy of study, to understand our present and plan our national future.”

Richard Broome AM

President Royal Historical Society of Victoria

Emeritus Professor in History La Trobe University


The minister’s press release further noted that, “Between 2011 and 2020, just three per cent of grants under our primary competitive grant scheme – the Australian Research Council’s (ARC) Discovery Grants – were in the areas of Australian society, history or culture.”

“We want to ensure our record funding in research benefits the Australian community, and this $12 million in ARC grant money will do exactly that.

“The scheme will look at the way in which we live today and how the past has contributed to Australian society and culture, including how our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and culture is understood and has impacted modern Australian society.

“We hope this new initiative will bring a greater understanding of our Australian Indigenous history, our heritage and the success of multiculturalism.”

The ARC Special Research Initiative in Australian Society, History and Culture will fund around 40 projects providing between $20,000 to $100,000 each year for up to three years.

Applications for grants will open in February 2020 with funding commencing from October 2020.

More information about the Special Research Initiative is available on the ARC website.