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.

Information below is the citation at the time of ASSH Fellow Award.

1993 – Wray Vamplew

1995 – Richard Cashman

2003 – John O’Hara

2003 – Colin Tatz
2009 – Bill Murray

Rob Hess

2017 – Rob Hess (BA Hons, Monash; MA, Alberta; PhD, VicUni) is an Associate Professor at Victoria University. Rob’s scholarship has focused on the history of Australian Rules football.
His books on the subject include:

  • A National Game: The History of Australian Rules Football,
  • More Than a Game: An Unauthorised History of Australian Rules Football, and,
  • Play On! The Hidden History of Women’s Australian Rules Football.

A National Game won the ASSH Book Award in 2009 and Play On! won the ASSH Book Award in 2017.

The inconspicuous past is a common theme in Rob’s research. This theme is most apparent in the titles of his works that include words such as “hidden”,“secret” and “marginalised”. Rob’s theme of the inconspicuous past draws particular attention to the longstanding interest, and involvement, in Australian Rules football from women and the Chinese community. This theme also extends to Rob’s work on the history of disability sport in Victoria. Rob holds a senior position in professional sport history as the Academic Editor of the discipline’s largest journal, The International Journal of the History of Sport. In addition to his academic scholarship, Rob is deeply involved in community sport history: he is a member of the Western Bulldogs Football Club Heritage Committee, a member of Cycling Victoria’s History and Heritage Committee, and the honorary historian of the St Bede’s / Mentone Tigers
Amateur Football Club.

Rob served as President of the Australian Society for Sports History between
2011 and 2013

Tara Magdalinski

2017 -Tara Magdalinski (BA Hons, Queensland; PhD, Queensland) is an Associate Professor at Swinburne University of Technology. Tara’s scholarship conjoins sociology and history and she has published across the spectrum of sports studies. Her more recent research explores the interface between performance technologies, nature and the athletic body. Tara’s goal has been to understand concerns about “unnatural” enhancement and expectations of “authenticity” in sport. Her major texts include:

  • With God on their Side: Sport in the Service of Religion,
  • Sport, Technology and the Body: The Nature of Performance, and
  • Study Skills for Sports Studies.

Tara is committed to teaching and learning in the tertiary sector, and to equipping students with the academic skills necessary to succeed at University. She is currently the Associate Dean for Learning Innovation in the Faculty of Health, Arts and Design at Swinburne. Tara has used her knowledge of sports studies to advance teaching and learning programmes by producing a series of student-friendly teaching documents. These include:

  • Research Methods for Sports Studies,
  • Communication and Media in Sport,
  • Core Academic Skills for Sports Studies,
  • Sociology of Sport, and
  • Player Development and Welfare.

Tara has served three terms as President of the Australian Society for Sports History, from 2005–2011.

Murray Phillips

2017 – Murray Phillips (BA Hons, Queensland; PhD, Queensland) is Associate Professor at the University of Queensland. Murray’s initial research was in the social history of sport where he built a reputation for his scholarship on sport and war, sport and gender, and the social histories of golf, rugby league and rugby union. In mid-career, Murray turned his attention to historiography as a specific genre within sport history. Working in this genre, Murray has produced several award winning books. These include:

  • Deconstructing Sport History: A Postmodern Analysis,
  • Representing the Sporting Past in Museums and Halls of Fame,
  • Examining Sport Histories: Power, Paradigms, and Reflexivity, and
  • Sports History in the Digital Age.

Murray has received an Australian Research Council (ARC) grant to investigate the history of the Paralympic Movement in Australia. As well as evidence of peer esteem, the ARC grant articulates Murray’s historiographical acumen. His research project for the grant explores communications technologies and the ways these technologies link scholars, sport practitioners, and professional online editors to document the evolving past.

Murray is the Editor of the Journal of Sport History, the official organ of the North American Society for Sport History. He served as President of the Australian Society for Sports History between 2013 and 2015.

Barbara Keys

2019 – Barbara Keys (BA Carleton College; MA Washington; A.M. Harvard;
PhD, Harvard University) Barbara is Professor of U.S. and International History at the University of Melbourne.

Her scholarship crosses several areas including the history of international human rights, the influence of transnational movements and organizations on international affairs, the role of emotions in history, and the history of international sports competitions and international sports organizations. Barbara is a highly productive and accomplished historian whose work has been widely praised and acknowledged by her peers. She is the author of two books, Reclaiming American Virtue: The Human Rights Revolution of the 1970s (2014), and Globalizing Sport: National Rivalry and International Community in the 1930s (2006). Globalizing Sport won six prizes, including: the Myrna Bernath award of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, and the best book from the North American Society for Sport History, the Australian Society for Sports History, and the International Society for
Olympic Historians.

Barbara is also the editor of The Ideals of Global Sport: From Peace to Human Rights (2019) which won the ASSH Anthology for 2019. In 2011, Barbara delivered the keynote address to the Sporting Traditions conference in Kingscliff. As well as her historical scholarship, Barbara is the Assistant Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Melbourne, and the current President of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations.

Professor Greg Ryan

2021- Professor Greg Ryan (BA, MA, PhD Canterbury) is a Professor of History in the Faculty of Environment, Society and Design at Lincoln University.

Greg is the author of three monographs, Forerunners of the All Blacks: The 1888–89 New Zealand Native Football Team in Britain, Australia and New Zealand (1994), The Making of New Zealand Cricket: 1832–1914 (2004), and The Contest for Rugby Supremacy: Accounting
for the 1905 All Blacks
(2005). The Making of New Zealand Cricket won the Ian Wards Prize named after the Chief Government Historian in New Zealand and awarded to published work that makes substantial, imaginative and exemplary use of New Zealand archives. Greg is the co-author of Sport and the New Zealanders: A History (2018) which won the 2019 ASSH Book Award. He is also the editor of two books, Tackling Rugby Myths: Rugby and New Zealand Society, 1854–2004 (2005), and The Changing Face of Rugby The Union Game
and Professionalism since 1995

In 2013, Greg delivered the keynote address to the Sporting Traditions conference in Canberra. The hallmarks of Greg’s work are meticulous research and artful contextualisation. He clearly labels speculative propositions and eschews sweeping generalisations, and he embraces complexity and contradiction. In these regards Greg is particularly well known for challenging what he calls the myths of the rural origins of the early All Black teams. In addition to his scholarship, Greg served as the Dean of Environment, Society and Design at Lincoln, and he has made significant contributions to the history of sport through extensive editorial roles. He is a regional editor for Africa, Australasia and the Pacific with The International Journal of the History of Sport and serves on the editorial boards of Sporting Traditions, Sport in History, and the New Zealand Journal of History.