Australian Society for Sports History

Australian Society for Sports History (ASSH) was formed in July 1983. The aim of the Society is to encourage discussion on the history of sport in Australia through research, publishing and events such as conferences and workshops.


The Society was formed during the Sporting Traditions VI Conference held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in July 1983. The inaugural President was Colin Tatz.[1]


  • 1985-1987 Colin Tatz
  • 1987-1989 Ray Crawford/John O’Hara
  • 1989-1991 Wray Vamplew
  • 1991-1993 Richard Stremski
  • 1993-1995 Ian Jobling
  • 1995-1997 Bill Murray
  • 1997-1999 Braham Dabscheck
  • 1999-2001 Roy Hay
  • 2001-2003 Richard Cashman
  • 2003-2005 Richard Cashman/ J. Neville Turner
  • 2005-2011 Tara Magdalinski
  • 2011-2013 Rob Hess
  • 2013-2015 Murray Phillips
  • 2015-2017 Gary Osmond
  • 2017-2019 Marie-Louise McDermott


ASSH Fellows

The ASSH Fellowship is presented to members and non-members who have made an outstanding contribution to the field of sports history, either in Australia or internationally. It is presented in recognition of the leading role that the recipient has played in developing and furthering the research interests of sports history

  • 1993 - Wray Vamplew
  • 1995 - Richard Cashman
  • 2003 - John O'Hara and Colin Tatz
  • 2009 - Bill Murray
  • 2017 - Rob Hess, Tara Magdalinski and Murray Phillips


Sporting Traditions Conference

ASSH biannually hosts a national conference called Sporting Traditions. The first Conference in 1977 was organised by Richard Cashman and Michael McKernan to bring together academics with an interest in the history of sport.[1] The conference proceedings were published in the book[4]Sport in history : the making of modern sporting history. Many papers presented at the Conference are published in the Society's journal Sporting Traditions.

Number Details (Host, Location and Dates)
I University of New South Wales, Sydney, 28–30 June 1977[5]
II University of New South Wales, Sydney, 1–3 July 1979[5]
III La Trobe University, Melbourne, 1981
IV Melbourne Cricket Club, Melbourne, July 1983
V Flinders University, Adelaide, 14–16 July 1985[6]
VI Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, 18–22 May 1987[7]
VII White City Club, Sydney, 6–9 July 1989[8]
VIII Australian Institute of Sport, Canberra, 11–14 July 1991[9]
IX University of Tasmania, Launceston, 30 June–3 July 1993[10]
X University of Queensland, Brisbane, 26–30 June 1995[11]
XI Edith Cowan University, Perth, 1–4 July 1997[12]
XII University of Otago, Queenstown, New Zealand, 1–5 February 1999
XIII Aquinas College, Adelaide, 10–13 July 2001[13]
XIV Australian Catholic University, Sydney, 3–7 July 2003[14]
XV Victoria University, Melbourne, 11–14 July 2005
XVI University of Canberra, Canberra, 27–30 June 2007
XVII University of Otago and the Otago Polytechnic,Wellington, New Zealand, 31 June-3 July 2009
XVIII University of Queensland. Kingscliff, NSW, 5–8 July 2011
XIX University of Canberra, Canberra, 2–5 July 2013
XX Darwin, 30 June – 3 July 2015
XXI University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, 3–6 July 2017



The Society publishes two journals. Sporting Traditions is a semi-annual academic journal that has been published since November 1984.[1] The inaugural editor was Wray Vamplew. It includes academic articles and book reviews. ASSH Bulletin is published on regular basis that covers short articles and news.

ASSH Studies Papers

The Society publishes compilations of papers on a range of topics including specific sports, law, gender, Olympics and indigenous Australians.

Oxford Companion to Australian Sport

The Society was responsible for creating the Oxford Companion to Australian Sport. Most members of the Society provided entries on all aspects of the history of sport in Australia. The first edition was published by Oxford University Press in 1992 and updated in 1994. Contributing editors were Wary Vamplew, Katharine Moore, John O'Hara, Richard Cashman and Ian Jobling.[1]

See also


  1. Oxford Companion to Australian Sport. 2nd ed. Melbourne: Oxford University Press. 1994. ISBN 0195535685.
  2. "ASSH Personnel". Australian Society for Sports History. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  3. "ASSH Fellows and service awards". Australian Society for Sports History website. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  4. Cashman, Richard; et al. (1979). Sport in history : the making of modern sporting history. Brisbane: University of Queensland Press. ISBN 0702213551.
  5. Cashman, Richard (December 1989). "The Making of Australian Sporting Traditions 1977–87" (PDF). ASSH Bulletin (11): 16–28. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  6. Rae, Donna (September 1985). "Review of Sporting Traditions V Conference '85" (PDF). ASSH Bulletin (2): 4–5. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  7. "Reviews of Sporting Traditions VI Conference" (PDF). ASSH Bulletin (6): 9–13. December 1987. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  8. "Seventh Biennial Conference". ASSH Bulletin (9): 4–6. May 1989. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  9. Chandler, Joan (December 1991). "Reflections on Sporting Traditions VIII" (PDF). ASSH Bulletin (15). Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  10. Magdalinski, Tara (December 1993). "Conference Report IXth Sporting Traditions Conference" (PDF). ASSH Bulletin (19): 13–20. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  11. Little, Charles (December 1995). "Conference Report Sporting Traditions X Conference" (PDF). ASSH Bulletin (23): 13–19. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  12. Holmes, David (December 1997). "Conference Report Sporting Traditions XI Conference" (PDF). ASSH Bulletin (28): 29–32. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  13. Manning, Rollo (August 2001). "ASSH Conference Report" (PDF). ASSH Bulletin (34): 34. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  14. Hindley, Debbie (August 2003). "Conference Report : Sporting Traditions XIV Report" (PDF). ASSH Bulletin (38): 25–26. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
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