The first foray into sports history in Australia took place at a conference organised by Richard Cashman and Michael McKernan at the University of New South Wales in 1977. “Sporting Traditions” conferences were later organised in 1979 and 1981. It was at the fourth Sporting Traditions conference in 1983 that the Australian Society for Sports History was founded. The Society’s first president was Colin Tatz (1985-87) and the Society launched the first issue of its journal, Sporting Traditions, in November 1984. Wray Vamplew was the first editor of Sporting Traditions and is credited with being the driving force behind ASSH in its early days.
Since then it has grown to be one of the largest sports history organisations around the world, incorporating members largely from Australia and New Zealand but also from countries globally.
According to the ASSH Constitution, the Society’s aims are:
- to promote, stimulate and encourage discussion, study, research and publications on sporting traditions with special reference to Australia;
- to organise meetings and workshops and to publish materials that advance interest and scholarship in the area of study;
- to liaise with individuals and institutions having an interest in the aims of the Society.
Doug Booth Email (Awards and Honours Liaison)
Chelsea Litchfield Email
Murray Phillips Email
Bruce Coe Email (Memberships Officer)
Greg Blood Email (Publications Officer) (ex-officio)
ASSH Awards – ASSH Fellows, ASSH Service Award, ASSH Book Award, ASSH Book Anthology, ASSH Student Article
ASSH Chapters – regular meetings are held in Canberra and Adelaide
Tom Brock Bequest Committee – ASSH has a strong relationship with the Tom Brock Request Committee that promotes the history of rugby league.