CEW Bean Prize

The aim of the C.E.W. Bean Prize for Military History is to foster and encourage the study of military history and heritage at a tertiary level. The prize was named after prominent Australian military historian, Charles Edwin Woodrow Bean (1879-1968). It was established in 2004 to mark the 10th anniversary of the Australian Army History Unit.

The prize is aligned with the biennial Chief of Army History Conference. The next conference is scheduled for 16 November 2023 and closing date for 2023 submissions is 1 September 2023.

The prize is judged by external historians appointed by the Australian Army. Winners are notified at the conclusion of the assessment and all applicants receive feedback from the assessors.

The prize consists of:

  • $500 in cash 
  • an inscribed medallion
  • return travel (where possible) for winners to attend the Chief of Army History Conference and the Conference dinner
  • two years’ complimentary attendance to the Chief of Army History Conference.

How to apply

Applications should focus on the history of the Australian Army. Theses must have been submitted for examination to an Australian university.

The Australian Army History Unit will invite applications from Honours and Postgraduate students who have completed their thesis in the previous three calendar years. E.g. the 2023 prize will be open to all theses submitted in 2021, 2022 and 2023. However, if submitting an application in the Honours Division, Postgraduate theses are still eligible for submission at a later stage.

Application form, thesis, examiners’ reports, and all enquiries are to be submitted to ahu.enquiries@defence.gov.au.

CEW Bean Prize for Military History 2023 Flyer (PDF 2.15 MB)

Previous recipients

The prize was not awarded in 2021.

2020 C.E.W. Bean Prize jointly shared by:

  • C.E.W Bean Prize Award Citation (Honours Division) – Elizabeth Heffernan; ‘Oh for Places – Green Oases’: Australian Soldiers and the Environment of the First World War
  • C.E.W Bean Prize Award Citation (Postgraduate Division) – Bryce Scott Abraham; 'Valore Australis: Constructions of Australian Military Heroism from Sudan to Vietnam, 1885-1975'
2020 Honours award (PDF 389.1 KB) 2020 Postgraduate award (PDF 316.35 KB)

2019 C.E.W Bean Prize jointly shared by:

  • C.E.W Bean Prize Award Citation (Honours Division) – Mr Robert Wyse; ‘Suspicious Minds: Official Australian Attitudes Towards Korean War POWs’
  • C.E.W Bean Prize Award Citation (Postgraduate Division) – Dr Gregory Blake; ‘The Australian Army’s Independent Companies and Commandos 1940-1945’
2019 Honours award (PDF 116.82 KB) 2019 Postgraduate award (PDF 215.11 KB)