Eric Fry Labour History Research Grant

Image via Canberra Museum and Gallery: Noel Butlin Archives (behind the scenes)
Image via Canberra Museum and Gallery: Noel Butlin Archives (behind the scenes)

The Canberra Region Branch of the Australian Society for the Study of Labour History (ASSLH) and the ANU Australian Studies Institute (AuSI) are co-sponsors of the Eric Fry Labour History Research Grant. 

We invite students doing an honours or postgraduate thesis of at least 10,000 words to apply for a $1,000 grant to do research at the Noel Butlin Archives Centre (NBAC) based at ANU in Canberra.

The NBAC is the largest non-government archives in Australia, and holds an unrivalled collection of trade union and business records, along with the personal papers of many left wing and labour movement activists.

The Eric Fry Labour History Research Grant was established in 2004 to assist promising students with an interest in labour or social history to overcome the financial obstacles to doing research in Canberra. The grant honours the memory of Dr Eric Fry (1921-2007) who, together with Prof Robin Gollan (1917-2007), founded the ASSLH in 1961 and was its first Vice-President and journal editor.

One grant is awarded each year, for a lump sum of $1,000 to assist with fares to Canberra, accommodation and other research expenses. Students who reside in Canberra and the surrounding region are also eligible to apply.

AuSI is proud to sponsor the Eric Fry Labour History Research Grant.

Applications for the Eric Fry Research Grant usually close each year on 31 March.

For details on how to apply, see the Eric Fry Labour History Research Grant standard criteria.

Previous scholarship holders

Year Winner From Topic
2023 Katie Wood La Trobe History of Women in the Australian Metal Trades 1886 – 1951
2022 Duncan Hart UQ The far-left in Aust 1918-1925
2021 Vashti Fox UWA Anti-fascist campaigning by CPA after WW2
2020 not awarded    
2019 Rhys Williams ANU British socialist thought on Australia 1880-1914
2018 Jack Crawford Adelaide 1894 shearers strike in NSW
2017 Geraldine Fela ANU Australian Nursing Federation response to the 1980's AIDS crisis 
2016 not awarded    
2015 Andrew DeMayo Sydney Visual propaganda by US & Aust IWW 1905-1918
2014 Liam Byrne Melbourne Labor at War - the Victorian Labor Party 1914-21
2013 Brendan McGloin Melbourne Factory occupations
2012 Alexis Vassiley Perth Union support for Noonkanbah dispute 1979-80
2011 Scott Stephenson Sydney The AWU and the NSW Labor Party in the 1920s
2010 Lian Jenvey Sydney Nationalism in the Australian labour movement in WW2
2009 not awarded    
2008 not awarded    
2007 Graham Burke Canberra Union policy on Aboriginal issues after WW2
2006 not awarded    
2005 not awarded    
2004 William Newland Melbourne Mannix during the Great Depression

2021 special encouragement awards: Due to the strength of the applicants in 2021, AuSI also sponsored two special encouragement awards:

  • Eleanor Foster (ANU): who is researching the movement and mobilisation of Aboriginal material culture from the Hunter into European centres of commerce, exchange, and calculation; and
  • Ewan McPherson (ANU): who is investigating the opposition to Australia’s participation in the Vietnam War, and in particular the role of the trade unions in the anti-war movement.

Updated:  7 February 2024/Responsible Officer:  Institute Director/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications