W.K. Hancock Prize

The biennial W.K. Hancock Prize recognises and encourages an Australian scholar who has recently published a first scholarly book in any field of history.

The W.K. Hancock Prize was instituted in 1987 by the Australian Historical Association, to honour the contribution to the study and writing of history in Australia by Sir Keith Hancock. Since his death in 1988, it has served to commemorate his life and achievements.

The next W.K. Hancock prize will be made in July 2024 for a work published in 2022 or 2023.

Applications closed 31 January 2024.

Terms and conditions

The Prize of $2,000 and citation will be awarded biennially at the AHA Conference. If two winners are chosen, the cash prize will be shared between them.

A ‘first book’ means the first book to appear under the sole name of the nominee published anywhere in the world and does not include previous edited or joint works.


Applicants must be a citizen or permanent resident of Australia and normally reside in Australia. The work must have been primarily produced in Australia and published during the two years preceding the year of the Award.

Applicants must be members of the AHA at the time of application.


An intention to submit email, outlining the author, title and publisher of the nominated text, should be sent by 30 September 2023, prior to the application deadline, to executive@theaha.org.au.

Nominations may be made either by the author or, with the nominee’s permission, by the book’s publishers or by any member of the Australian Historical Association.

Full entries must include three copies of the book and be accompanied by a completed application form, giving author’s full name and postal address.

The AHA strives to conduct its activities sustainably. Please note that, subject to the preference of the judging panel, this prize may require digital submissions, hard copy submissions, or a combination thereof, in order to reduce its environmental impact.

Applications are due by 31 January in the year of the Award.

Selection process

A panel of three judges will be appointed by the AHA Executive Committee. The decision of the panel will be final.

Previous winners