History Council of South Australia Fellowship


The HCSA Fellowship is open from 1 October until 30 November each year, submissions may be made by email to [email protected] The successful recipient will be notified in December.

Fellowship applications for 2022-2023 are now open.


Fellowship Description

The History Council of South Australia (HCSA) Fellowship provides support for all Australians researching and writing in an area of South Australian history. The HCSA Fellowship was launched on 21 August 2020 in association with the State Library of South Australia and through the generous support of donors, including the Marsden Szwarcbord Foundation.

Fellowship holders will be expected to make use of the resources and support of the State Library of South Australia and, where appropriate, other South Australian cultural institutions and repositories in pursuing a dedicated program of historical research. Access to relevant resources and support will be facilitated by the HCSA in collaboration with the relevant institution(s).

The duration of the research work undertaken will be determined by the Fellowship holder in consultation with the HCSA and relevant institutions. It is a requirement of the Fellowship that the holder will make a presentation on the research project at a time and in a format agreed with the HCSA.

Fellowship Details

A key objective of the History Council of South Australia (HCSA) is to promote research, writing and publication specifically in the area of South Australian history. To this end the HCSA is planning to establish an annual Fellowship.

The Fellowship will be funded from the annual interest earnings accrued from a dedicated Fellowship Fund established within the framework of the Australian Cultural Fund.

The Fellowship will be awarded annually to an emerging or established historian. Advertised by the HCSA, it will be open to historians resident in Australia or abroad.

The selection of the annual Fellowship holder will be by a competitive process. A requirement of gaining a Fellowship will be for the holder to give a presentation on the research project and its findings at a time and in a format agreed with the HCSA.

The HCSA, in addition to funding the Fellowship, will also assist in putting appropriate arrangements in place with the institution(s) where the research activity is to be carried out.


2022 HCSA Fellow

We would like to congratulate the 2022 HCSA Fellow: Dr Heidi Ing, Flinders University, 'Examining South Australia's early investors: An analysis of initial purchasers of Adelaide's 'Town Acres'' . 

Dr Ing's Abstract:

The Foundation Act (1834) for the proposed Province of South Australia required the pre-sale of land before the Act could be implemented, causing the land of southern Australia’s Aboriginal Peoples to be sold from antipodean London. Once the site of the colony’s capital had been selected and surveyed, those who had pre-purchased land were able to select their Adelaide ‘Town Acres’ on 23 March 1837 with the remaining acres auctioned four days later on 27 March 1837. Dr Ing's project will flesh out the identities of the men and women who were listed as South Australia’s initial investors. The resultant biographical details will illuminate these preliminary purchasers, linking them to other colonies and countries through the purchasers’ places of origin and the sources of their capital. An analysis of those positioned to become the colony’s initial investors will better place the foundation of setter-colonial South Australia in its international context.

The judges note that Dr Ing's project will build on and enrich the valuable work undertaken for her PhD. By focussing on pre-selection land purchasers and analysing connections between individuals, their geographic mobility and their links with other settler-colonial societies, Dr Ing's project will better place the foundation of South Australia in its international context. The judges appreciated Dr Ing's openness to engage with relevant staff at the SLSA and to provide her research findings in a format that can be utilised by the SLSA. They were impressed with the potential applicability and diversity of the project's outcomes which will be of great benefit to future researchers. Read more here.

Past Fellows

2022: Dr Heidi Ing, ‘Settler-Colonial Land Speculation: Investors in South Australia’s ‘Town Acres’’. Read more here.

2021: Dr Rebecca Jones, ‘Drought, flood, heat and dust: living with extreme weather in arid Australia’. Read more here.

How Can You Help?

Any donation no matter how small is welcome and can be submitted via the DGR (deductible gift recipient) platform coming soon.