Incorporated in 2003, HCSA evolved from an informal ‘History Alliance’ initiated by the History Teachers Association of SA in the mid-1990s. Past presidents have included Professor Emeritus Alison Mackinnon AM, Professor Emeritus Wilfrid Prest and former Premier of South Australia Dr John Bannon AO.
Advocacy has been wide-ranging and has involved frequent consultation with members, meetings with MPs and Ministers and state and local government officers, media releases and letters.
The HCSA has advocated for reinstating history as a subject in school curricula, preserving the last working boatyards at Port Adelaide, gaining government support to commemorate SA’s 175th anniversary, keeping National Archives in Adelaide, establishing a Museum of Adelaide, and reinstating former levels of state funding for history and heritage in SA.
Distinguished Australian historians who have presented the HCSA’s Annual Lecture include Susan Magarey, Eric Richards, Henry Reynolds, Stuart Macintyre, Angela Woollacott and Barbara Santich.
The HCSA’s inaugural annual Historian Awards were presented in 2012 to Skye Krichauff (Emerging Historian of the Year), Dr Susan Marsden (South Australian Lifelong History Achievement), and Professor Eric Richards (South Australian Historian of the Year).