Eric Fry 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 Australian Studies Institute (AuSI) at the Australian National University are co-sponsors of the Eric Fry Research Grant. 

Every year the Grant offers a $1,000 payment to an honours or post graduate student to complete a thesis on a labour or social history related theme, making use of the Noel Butlin Archives Centre at the ANU in Canberra. 

The ASSLH administers the scholarship and makes the payment to the successful applicant. The Grant was established in 2004 to honour the memory of Dr Eric Fry (1921-2007), an ANU historian and founding member of the ASSLH in 1961.

AuSI is proud to sponsor the Eric Fry Research Grant annually.

Applications for the Eric Fry Research Grant usually close each year on 31 March 2020. For details on how to apply, see the Eric Fry Research Grant 2020 criteria.

2021 News:

2021 recipient: The 2021 Eric Fry Research Grant was awarded to Vashti Fox. Vashti is a PhD student from the University of Western Australia (UWA) who is researching anti-fascist activity by the Communist Party of Australia after WWII.

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.


Previous scholarship holders

2019 Rhys Williams, Australian National University, British socialist thought on Australia 1880-1914

2018  Jack Crawford, Adelaide University,  the 1894 shearers strike in NSW.

2017 Geraldine Fela,  Australian National University, the response of the Australian Nurses Federation to the AIDS crisis of the 1980s

2015 Andrew DeMayo, University of Notre Dame Australia, use of visual propaganda by the US and Australian IWW from 1905-18.

2014 Liam Byrne, University of Melbourne, Labor at war; the political culture of the Victorian Branch of the Australian Labor Party, 1914-1921.

2013 Brendan McGloin, Victoria University, ‘The factory occupation’

2012 Alexis Vassiley, University of Western Australia, ‘Trade union support for Aboriginal rights during the Noonkanbah dispute, 1979-80’

2011 Scott Stephenson, Australian National University, ‘The relationship between the Australian Workers’ Union and Lang Labor between the two world wars’

2010 Lian Jenvey, University of Sydney, ‘Nationalism and the Australian labour movement during World War II’

2007 Graham Burke, Australian National University, ‘Australian trade union policy on Aboriginal issues, post-World War II’

2005 William Newland, University of Melbourne, ‘Archbishop Mannix and the Great Depression’

Updated:  16 August 2021/Responsible Officer:  Institute Manager/Page Contact:  Institute Manager