The task

Photo: 2015 Overall Winning Entry ‘The Palette of Nora Heysen’ by Ineka Voigt

Photo: 2015 Overall Winning Entry ‘The Palette of Nora Heysen’ by Ineka Voigt

Entries can be presented in the following formats:

  • Museum Exhibit (individual or group, years F-8)
  • Research essay (individual, years F-12)
  • Other formats (individual or group, years F-12)
    • Performance
    • Multi-media
    • Website
    • Other

Focus on one key person or group and include evidence from a primary document. You must use at least one primary document such as a speech, historic document, newspaper or interview to support your entry. Remember, the National History Challenge rules say that you need to use a variety of primary and secondary sources. All entries must be researched and referenced with an annotated bibliography. We encourage you to make use of our website as a starting point for your research.

Full competition information including word length, presentation requirements, referencing and registration is available from the National History Challenge website.

Registrations open after 31 January 2016.

Consider the ways you could approach the Challenge

  • Democracy is the voice of the people — what did this individual, organisation, event or document say or do?
  • What tragedy or triumph was demonstrated in this event?
  • How has the tragedy/triumph continued to influence contemporary democracy?
  • Has the influence of the event waned significantly over time?

Consider why it’s important…

  • How has this tragedy/triumph influenced Australia and the world?
  • What was the significance of the tragedy/triumph of this individual, group, event or document for democracy?
  • Was this event unanimously viewed as tragedy/triumph, or is it a matter of perspective?
  • What contribution does this event/figure continue to make to democracy?

Put it into context

  • What was happening in Australia and the world at the time?
  • How was this tragedy/triumph perceived by others?
  • What were the outcomes or implications of decisions and actions taken?
  • Are there links to contemporary issues?
  • Is there continuing relevance today?

Use at least one primary source document in your research

  • Clearly describe the document.
  • What is it?
  • Where is it from?
  • How is it relevant to the theme?
  • Consider: does the document tell the whole story or is it biased?
  • Use the document along with secondary sources to give evidence supporting your entry.

The National History Challenge is a research-based competition for students. More information is available on the National History Challenge site.

Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House

18 King George Terrace
Parkes ACT 2600

Open daily 9 am – 5 pm (closed Christmas Day)


Emma Diamond
Learning Officer

Phone:02 6270 8114

Research Library
Australian Prime Ministers Centre