The ASSH Service Award is presented to ASSH members who have made a sustained and outstanding contribution to advancing the development of ASSH and / or to the Society’s administration.

Citations below were at the time of ASSH Service Award.

Robert Hess

2015 – Associate Professor Rob Hess was president of ASSH between 2011 and 2013. During his term, Rob updated the structure, policies and functions of the executive committee. In so doing, he greatly improved the governance and administration of the Society.
As well as president, Rob has served ASSH as:

  • editor of Sporting Traditions between 2003 and 2007,
  • editor of the ASSH Studies Series between 2006 and 2008,
  • editor of the Reviews section for Sporting Traditions since 2008, and
  • an organiser of Sporting Traditions XV in Melbourne in 2005.

As co-author of A National Game : The History of Australian Rules Football, which won the ASSH Book Award in 2009, Rob has also helped raise the intellectual profile and credibility of sport history and ASSH in Australia.

Bernard Whimpress

2021 – Bernard Whimpress has been a long serving member of ASSH. In 2001 he hosted the biennial conference, Sporting Traditions XIII, in Adelaide. He served as Treasurer of the Society in 1985, Reviews Editor of the journal Sporting Traditions between 2003 and 2007, and has published seven articles in the journal between 1992 and 2018. At the state level, Bernard has continuously convened the South Australian chapter of ASSH for 25 years.

As an historian, most notably of cricket, Bernard has been influential and prolific. He has variously authored, co-authored or edited 32 books. Between 1998 and 2010 he published and edited Baggy Green, a journal of Australian cricket history. His work appears in the Australian Dictionary of Biography, The Oxford Companion to Australian Sport (1992, 1994), The Oxford Companion to Australian Cricket (1996), and Wray Vamplew and Brian Stoddart’s collection, Sport in Australia: A Social History (1994). Excerpts of his writings are included in The Oxford Book of Australian Sporting Anecdotes, Gideon Haigh’s, Cricket Anecdotes, The Best Ever Australian Sports Writing: A 200 Year Collection, and The Best Australian Sports Writing 2004.

Lionel Frost (2022)

2022 – Lionel Frost has served as Editor of ASSH’s key publication, Sporting Traditions, for fifteen years. He began as sole editor in 2007, and for the last five years has been the journal’s co-editor. Under the leadership of Lionel, Sporting Traditions continues to make an integral contribution to Sports History both in Australia and internationally, with high quality and engaging research across many sports. As editor Lionel is meticulous in dealing with all papers and authors. He is very encouraging of early careers researchers and assisting them develop a research profile. Lionel was the driving force behind the journal acquiring Scopus accreditation in 2022. The Scopus reviewers were most impressed stating that “This is a well organised journal publishing material that is likely to interest SCOPUS users”.

Bruce Coe

2022 – Bruce Coe has made an outstanding contribution to the Australian Society for Sport History over the past decade. Bruce’s continued commitment to dealing with memberships, chapters, publications has been pivotal to the continuity of ASSH, prior to, during, and after the COVID pandemic. Bruce has been involved in organising three Sporting Traditions Conference in Canberra (2007, 2013, 2023).

Bruce has a solid pedigree in sports history. He is a lifelong supporter of the Geelong Football Club and has been involved in several projects to document its history. Bruce is a member of the Commonwealth Games Australia Heritage and Awards Committee, an Olympic historian, and author of Pulling through: the story of the King’s Cup (2019). He completed a doctoral thesis at the University of Canberra on Ernest Marks, an exemplar of volunteerism in Australian sport.

Bruce began contributing to the administration of ASSH as the leader of the vibrant and productive ACT Chapter in the early 2000’s which he continues to steward. Bruce ASSH roles include – Membership and Claims Officer since 2013, ASSH Bulletin Editor since 2015,and Sporting Traditions Editorial Board since 2016 and ASSH Chapter Liaison. In his role as Membership and Claims Officer, Bruce consolidated membership records, secured renewals and raised ASSH’s fee structure and methods of payment to the standard of other professional societies. In taking on the challenging role of Chapter liaison, Bruce has been relentless in encouraging and nurturing chapters in each state of Australia. As ASSH Bulletin Editor, Bruce developed this key channel of communication into a quality source of news, information, and interesting articles.

Greg Blood (2023)

Greg Blood has made an outstanding contribution to the Australian Soicety for Sport History over the past decade. Greg’s continued commitment to dealing with social media and the website, has been pivotal to the continuity of ASSH, prior to, during, and after the COVID pandemic. Greg’s role in the organisation and convening of the 2023 Sporting Traditions conference is further evidence of his commitment to ASSH.

Greg is longstanding member and leader in the sports history community in Australia. Pioneer sport librarian, sports historian, lead on the Paralympics Australia History and Wikipedia project and member of the Commonwealth Games Australia Heritage and Awards Committee, Greg has been a member of ASSH since the 1980s. He has authored articles for ASSH publications since 1985, and has served on the ASSH Executive in the important role of Publications Officer since 2017. In his role as Publications Officer, Greg assisted in the production and postage of Sporting Traditions. As well ensuring the continuity of Sporting Traditions as the flag ship of the Society, Greg helped place ASSH in a more sustainable financial position. He has promoted ASSH through social media channels and in recent years has maintained and updated the website. After the website’s security was recently compromised, Greg quickly established a new site to ensure the dissemination of information about this year’s conference; he also created a Drop box collection of documents to ensure continuity of ASSH records. In short, Greg has maintained and raised the standards of core public functions of ASSH during challenging times.