Wakefield Press Essay Prize

Wakefield Press Essay Prize Award 2024

The History Council of South Australia and Wakefield Press welcome applicants for the annual Wakefield Press Prize for the best essay on a topic relating to the history of South Australia. The due date for submissions is Friday, 5 April 2024.

The prize is open to anyone who during the year 2023 has written or published an essay dealing substantially with some aspect of South Australian history. The word length should be between 2,000 and 10,000 words (including footnotes/endnotes).

The prize consists of a $500 book voucher from Wakefield Press. It will be presented at the annual History Council of South Australia awards.

How to submit an essay

Previously published work is accepted, however, we ask that such entries be submitted as Word documents, and not as photocopies of published articles or chapters so that anonymity is maintained. The judges will assess entries according to the originality of their contributions to South Australian history and the quality of their writing and research.

Essays must be submitted by the deadline. The essay should be accompanied by a cover page bearing the essay title, the word count, the author’s signature, contact address and phone number. These details should only appear on the cover page, not on the essay.

Completed nominations must be posted to the Secretary, PO Box 6809, 5-7 Halifax Street, Adelaide 5000 or alternatively you may email your essay to the [email protected], by 5 pm on Friday, 5 April 2024.

Decisions of the judges appointed by the History Council will be final.


The 2023 winner was Susan Arthure. The 2023 judges' commendation was Robyn Dunlop. Read more here.

The 2022 winner was Stephen V Graham. The 2022 judges' commendation was Angela Woollacott. Read more here.

The 2021 winner was Connor Deegan. The 2021 judges' commendations were Maggi Boult and Rita Bogna. Read more here.

The 2020 winner was Susan Arthure. Read more here.

The 2019 winners can be found here.


All Past Winners

The Wakefield Press Essay Prize began in 2005. It was named the 'Wakefield Companion to South Australian History Prize' until 2018.



Winner: Kirsty Seidel, 'Quaker opposition to compulsory military training in South Australia, 1910-1914'



No award.



Winner: Christine Lockwood, 'Immanuel College and Seminary: the Lutheran Church and World War II Misunderstandings'



Winner: Walter Marsh,  ‘Rupert Murdoch’s Political Transformation: From left-learning student to anti-union capitalist at the Adelaide News, 1953-1960’. (Adelaide University)



Joint Winners:

Yianni Cartledge, 'Ikarians in South Australia: the origins of the Pan-Ikarian Brotherhood of SA "Ikaros Inc", and its connections with the community'. (Flinders University)

Carmel Pascale, 'Chinese Immigration Restriction and the Pursuit of Nationalist Ideals in Colonial South Australia’. (Adelaide University)



Winner: Rachel Harris, ‘South Australia's wartime economy and women's welfare in conflict: the experiences of female munition workers and members of the Australian Women's Land Army in SA, 1940-1945’. (Adelaide University)



Winner: Dr David Faber, ‘FG Fantin: An historical legacy retrieved’. (Adelaide University)



Winner: Doug Munro, 'The house that Hugh built: the Adelaide history department during the Stretton era, 1954-1966'. (University of Queensland)

Wakefield Companion to SA History Essay Prize for the most outstanding student essay in 2017 awarded to Sandra Kearney for 'Soldier repatriation and regeneration, World War One'. (Flinders University)



Main Prize: Professor Phillip Deery, ‘Spying in South Australia: "Comrade Anne" and ASIO's infiltration of the South Australian Communist Party’. (Victoria University)

Second Prize: Anita Stelmach, ‘Mrs Gleiber's Boarding House: a “rendezvous for the lowest characters” in early twentieth-century Adelaide’. (Flinders University)



Winner: Susan Arthure, 'Kapunda's Irish Connections'. This article is from a chapter in 'Irish South Australia: New Histories and Insights'.  (Flinders University)



Winner: Connor Deegan, '’Setting the pioneer legend in stone: The memorialisation of Captain Charles Sturt in the early twentieth century’.

Judges’ Commendations:

Rita Bogna, ‘Under siege: The Spanish flu in South Australia, 1919-1920’.

Maggi Boult, ‘Smallpox and the office of the Colonial Surgeon in South Australia, 1839-1855.’ (Adelaide University)



Winner: Stephen Valambras Graham, ‘Open Doors: The Art of Charity in the Promised Land’. (University of South Australia)

Judges’ Commendation: Angela Woollacott, ‘1968 and the Fight for Democracy in Australia: Don Dunstan, student activism and the end of the South Australian ‘Playmander’’. (Australian National University)



Winner: Susan Arthure, 'Rage and Resistance: Remembering the Women of Baker's Flat'

Judges' Commendation: Robyn Dunlop, 'A Painted Landscape: Hans Heysen, Aroona and Aboriginal History in the Flinders Ranges, South Australia, 1927-28'