The Max Crawford Medal is Australia’s most prestigious award for achievement and promise in the humanities. It is presented to an early career scholar for outstanding achievement in the humanities, whose research and publications make an exceptional contribution to the understanding of their discipline by the general public.

The Medal has been awarded since 1992 and recipients have gone on to forge strong careers in the Australian humanities community.

Emeritus Professor R. M. (Max) Crawford

The Medal celebrates the outstanding career of Emeritus Professor R. M. (Max) Crawford OBE FAHA (1906–91). He was an eminent historian who greatly influenced the teaching of history in Australian universities and schools, as well being one of the founders of Historical Studies (the first academic journal dedicated to Australian history), the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies and the Australian Humanities Research Centre. Professor Crawford played a critical role in creating the Australian Academy of the Humanities and is recognised as a Foundation Fellow.

This award has been made possible by a generous bequest to the Academy by Professor Crawford.


Recognising the considerable disruptions to work and personal life caused by COVID-19 we have extended the deadline for our 2020  grants and awards to 5.00pm AEST Friday 5 June.

Please review the guidelines prior to submitting your nomination via our online system.


  1. Nominees must be Citizens or Permanent Residents of Australia.
  2. Nominees must be in the early stages of their careers, which will be determined, inter-alia, by how recently a PhD was conferred.  In normal circumstances it should have been conferred no more than five years prior to the closing date for nominations.
  3. Self-nominations are not accepted.

Selection criteria

  • Quality and Impact: The nominee’s work must be both of high quality, and deep impact. It must be academically sound and thoroughly researched and have contributed to a deeper understanding of a humanities discipline amongst the general
  • Enrichment of Cultural Life: The nominee’s work must have contributed to the enrichment of the cultural life of Australia, or have the potential to do
  • Media: The nominee’s work can exist in any form, as long as it fulfils the selection criteria. It could be a monograph, a television or radio documentary, a series of journal articles, a scholarly website or a film of academic merit,
  • Goal Focused: The nominee’s work must focus specifically on a particular research goal within the wider discipline. For example, for a series of journal articles to meet this criterion, they must all have in their purpose the development and/or conclusion of a specific path of research in a humanities

    Further information

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    I am profoundly honoured to receive the 2019 Max Crawford Medal from the Australian Academy of the Humanities. In accepting this award, I stand alongside our nation’s greatest champions of the arts and culture to celebrate the multifaceted and critical role of the humanities in every aspect of society.Ronika Power, 2019 recipient