The Simpson Prize is a national competition for Year 9 and 10 students. The competition encourages participants to focus on the significance of Anzac Day and to consider what Anzac Day means to them and to Australia.

If you wish to enter the Simpson Prize this year, please respond to the question below.


Some historians have described 1917 as “the worst year of the Great War” for Australia and Australians. To what extent is this an accurate statement?


The Simpson Prize requires you to respond to the quote and question above using both the Simpson Prize Australian War Memorial Source Selection (which can be found at https://www.awm.gov.au/education/simpson-prize/) and your own research.

You are encouraged to agree, debate with or challenge the statement from a variety of perspectives – individual, national and global – and to use sources in a variety of forms.

You are expected to make effective use of a minimum of three of the sources provided (see link above).

Up to half of your response should also make use of information drawn from your own knowledge and research.

Closing date

Submit your entry by Friday 10 November 2017.

Please see the How to Enter section for more details regarding student and teacher entry requirements.

Note: students who submit winning entries for this year’s Simpson Prize question will travel in 2018.

The competition is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education and run by the History Teachers’ Association of Australia.

2016 Results

Congratulations to the following Winners and Runners-Up of the 2016 Simpson Prize:


Annie Liao, Radford College, Australian Capital Territory

Lauren Park, Pymble Ladies’ College, New South Wales

Morgan Gurry, Darwin Middle School, Northern Territory

Hilary Briggs, Stuartholme School, Queensland

Hibra Shujaat, Mitcham Girls High School, South Australia

Sarah Pilgrim, Rose Bay High School, Tasmania

Felix Cousins, Camberwell High School, Victoria

Samai King, Cue Primary School and Gifted and Talented Online, Western Australia


Angus Dale, Marist College Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

Juliette Marchant, Loreto Kirribilli, New South Wales

Bryn Pickering, Katherine High School, Northern Territory

Megghann Thomas, Mt St Michael’s College, Queensland

Samuel Doering, Faith Lutheran College, South Australia

Sophia Bellears, Rose Bay High School, Tasmania

Claire Corbel, Flinders Christian Community College, Victoria

Ella Girdler, St Hilda’s Anglican School for Girls, Western Australia

Teacher Chaperones

Charleen Conroy, Katherine High School, Northern Territory

Cendall Cowan, Lock Area School, South Australia

All Winners and Runners-Up received their awards at a Presentation Ceremony at Parliament House on 15 March 2016. The Hon. Dan Tehan MP, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, presented the students with their awards, saying, “The Simpson Prize is a prestigious national history competition and whether a winner or a runner up, all the students who have participated should be very proud of their achievements.”

Mr Paul Foley, Simpson Prize Chair, said at the Presentation Ceremony: “The 2016 students are to be praised for their ability to reach insightful conclusions illustrated by carefully chosen evidence and sophisticated use of the Simpson Prize 2016 AWM Sources. These essays reflect a genuine connection to the commemorative experience and the tragedy of armed conflict for all regardless of gender, nationality, friend or foe. The final response by these students is a product of discipline, diligence and a passion for understanding our nation’s past and the role played by so many young Australians in the service of their country. The sacrifice made on a distant peninsula 101 years ago, where at the water’s edge Pte John Simpson Kirkpatrick lies peacefully, like so many of his generation, remembered not forgotten.

We would like to thank the following teachers who accompanied all 16 students during the Canberra visit for the Presentation Ceremony in March 2016: Suzanne Pattinson, Ian Murray, Annika Evans, Carmel Harman and Liz McGinnis.

2016 Travel Blog

To read the travel blog for the 2016 Simpson Prize overseas tour, click here.

Past Winners

For past Winners and Runners-up, please visit our results page. You can view a video of the 2015 Simpson Prize Awards here; 2015 Simpson Prize Awards video