Lynette Russell Prize for First Peoples' History in Schools

Entries for the Lynette Russell Prize for First Peoples' History in Schools are now closed.

The prize will be awarded based on a project that displays knowledge, engagement and creativity, taking into consideration the year level of the student/s. The project submitted may take any form: written, visual, digital or performative. It may be a project or work completed in class or outside of class as an additional activity.

Examples might include:

  • School gardening program that follows a First Nations’ seasonal calendar and weather knowledge.
  • Projects that focus on First Peoples' lives and events.
  • Exploration of school’s activities around Reconciliation.


The prize will consist of a cash payment of $500 and a certificate. The use of the prize will be determined by the teacher or Koori Engagement Support Officer, as appropriate, in consultation with students.

Winners will also be recognised with acknowledgement via the HCV’s publications and social media, and a year-long membership of the Friends of the HCV. 

The prize was established by Professor Lynette Russell AM to encourage the creative engagement and deeper knowledge of a wider number of primary and secondary school students in this area.


Possible resources can be found here: 

Aboriginal Change Makers Y7-10 resource

NAIDOC Educational Resources

VAEAI Resources


A preview of the application form can be viewed here  Form Preview

Terms and conditions

The prize will be awarded at the discretion of the judging panel (as outlined under ‘Selection process’ below). The prize could be awarded to an individual student, a group of students or a class in years F-10 for a project that focusses on Australian First Peoples.


Applicants must be undertaking their schooling in Victoria.


Students, groups or classes will be nominated by their educators or Koori Engagement Support Officer as appropriate. Applications are required to provide:

  • a digital or hard copy of the project or, if that is not possible, a detailed description and samples.
  • a completed entry form listing name, contact details, signature and date. The closing date for applications is 31 July each year.

Selection process

The Schools Prize for First Peoples’ History will be administered by a judging panel of three members with expertise in education and appointed by the Board of the HCV, consisting of a Board member as chair and including at least one First Nations person. The decision of the panel will be final.

The HCV welcomes enquiries from individuals and organisations that wish to sponsor awards and prizes in areas relating to history and the work of historians. 

The HCV also welcomes donations at any time. All contributions help to support our work towards achieving our cultural purposes. Donations over $2 are deductible for Australian tax-payers.




The History Council of Victoria Incorporated (HCV) is the peak body for history in the Australian state of Victoria. Its vision is to connect Victorians with history and to inspire engagement with the past, their identity and the world today. The HCV champions the work of historians and the value of history. It recognises that history can be written about any place, any person, any period. The HCV advocates why history matters.

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Our calendar lists all upcoming public events arranged by the History Council of Victoria (HCV), plus events in Victoria, Australia, that are added by our Friends and Members.

If you are organising an event that relates to History, we encourage you to publicise it on our website.

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As the peak body for history in Victoria, the History Council makes submissions on current issues. In doing this, the HCV Board is guided by its Advocacy Policy and by the Value of History, a statement developed co-operatively by the HCV and the History Councils of New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia.

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Since 2015, the HCV has been pleased to sponsor the Years 9 and 10 category of the Historical Fiction Competition organised by the History Teachers' Association of Victoria.

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Ways to support us:

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The HCV was formed as an advisory body in 2001 and incorporated in 2003. It comprises representatives from cultural and educational institutions and heritage bodies; history teachers and curriculum advisors; academic and professional historians; and local, Indigenous, community and specialist history organisations.

As the peak body for history, the HCV has both ‘outward-looking’ roles (including advocacy and representation to government and the wider community, consultation, community education, and networking with allied interest groups) and ‘inward-looking’ roles (including member support, information dissemination, and networking between members).



The History Council of Victoria acknowledges the State Library of Victoria and the Public Record Office Victoria for supply of the archival images that appear on this website.

We acknowledge the National Film and Sound Archive for the right to use of the video footage on the home page, titled "Melbourne: Life in Australia (1966)".

Image credits

  • Italian sailors on ship at Port Melbourne 1938, Argus Newspaper Collection of Photographs, State Library of Victoria
  • Chinese procession in Collins near Elizabeth Street 1901, Harvie & Sutcliffe, photographers, State Library of Victoria
  • People’s homes, Aboriginal station Coranderrk 1878, Fred Kruger Photographer, State Library of Victoria
  • Chinese nurses at Children’s Hospital under scholarship 1947, Argus Newspaper Collection of Photographs, State Library of Victoria
  • Ladies physical culture class VRI Melbourne c1931, Public Record Office Victoria VPRS 12903/P0001, 011/02
  • Melbourne Cup, Derby and Oaks Day, Flemington Racecourse 1936, Public Record Office Victoria VPRS 12903/P0001/4802, 372/30
  • Flinders Street viaduct at foot of Market Street with advertisement for McRobertson’s Chocolate on bridge, Public Record Office Victoria VPRS 12800/P0003, ADV 1342