Awards and Medals

To recognise excellence in the pursuit of history and to celebrate success within the Society the Royal Historical Society of Queensland, from time to time, awards various Medals and Awards.

The Awards Committee carefully considers the merits of recommending an individual for an Award to Council. The Council then considers the recommendation of the Committee and for most of the Awards then refer the matter to an Annual General Meeting for a vote by the Membership.

This page highlights the recipients of the various Medals and Awards of the Royal Historical Society of Queensland.

John Douglas Kerr Medal of Distinction


John Douglas Kerr was a very important person to many historians, particularly in Queensland. John – esteemed historian, statistician and writer – was a dedicated Councillor and Honorary Librarian of the Royal Historical Society of Queensland and a founder and Honorary Treasurer of the Professional Historians’ Association (Queensland).

The John Douglas Kerr medal for Distinction in historiography, historical research and writing may be awarded each year by the Society in conjunction with the Professional Historians’ Association (Queensland). The award ceremony coincides with the RHSQ’s annual Queensland Day dinner. A joint committee formed between the Royal Historical Society of Queensland and the Professional Historians’ Association (Queensland) oversees the rules and criteria for the award and selects the recipient. The recipients of the award meet the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated excellence in historical research in any one or more fields of Queensland or Australian history
  • Demonstrated and identified use of wide-spread appropriate source material in the context of the nominee’s research field or fields
  • Demonstrated objective analysis, distillation and interpretation of historical source material leading to the formation of historical arguments arising out of the research
  • Demonstrated acceptance of the highest standards of scholarship as judged by the Queensland community of professional historians, assessing the work of written contributions of the nominee
  • Is currently practicing as a historian at a professional standard  

Nominations open 1 November each year and close the following 31 March each year.

Nomination Form


Year AwardedRecepient
2016Ann McGrath
2015Clive Moore
2014Kay Cohen
2013Ruth Kerr
2012W. Ross Johnston
2011Geoffrey Bolton
2010Janice Wegner
2009Jennifer Harrison
2009John Steele
2008Judith McKay
2007Lorna L. McDonald
2006Peter Bell
2006Kay Saunders
2005Raymond Evans

The Macgregor Medal

Macgregor Medals are awarded for conspicuous service, other than of a scholarly nature, to the Society by a member of not less than yen years standing. Honorary Macgregor medals may be awarded to a person who is not a member of the Society or a member of the Society who has been a member for less than 10 years.

Macgregor Medals are awarded under Clause 35, sections (f) and (g) of the Societies Constitution. Recipients of the Macgregor medal are presented with an inscribed medal.


Elizabeth Johnson2016
Janice Hess2013
Alf (Bomber) Johnson2012
Judy Gale Rechner2011
Ian Hadwen2008
Elizabeth Teed2008
Manfred Cross2007
Hilary Fisher2007
Douglas Lochhead2007
Stephen Sheaffe2001
Dorothy Griffiths2000
John Kerr1998
Ruth Kerr1998
Cameron McKee1998
Roderick McLeod1998
Ronald Wood1998
Ronald Glindeman (Posthumous Award)1998
Harmon Price1998

The Centenary Medal

For Service to the Discipline of History in its many Forms with particular reference to the Research, Preservation and Promotion of the History of Queensland.

The Centenary Medal is awarded to those who, in the opinion of the Council of the Society, have contributed exceptionally to the history and heritage of Queensland. The medal was designed and commissioned by Emeritus Professor John Pearn and was struck by National Medals. The Medal is in the gift of General Pearn, a Councillor of the Society and of Mr Greg Faux of National Medals. It was first bestowed in the Centenary Year of the Society in 2013.

The obverse of the medal portrays, in stylised format, the Commissariat Store, completed in 1829. It is enfolded by an expanding wreath, symbolising the outreach of the Society and its dynamic promotion of history and heritage into the future.

The reverse portrays, at its centrum, two stylised quills, symbolising research, scholarshop and education. On the dexter side is a stylised tjurunga. The image is stylised because each physical tjurunga is a sacred object portraying knowledge and history of the Aboriginal Peoples of Australia. Many tjurunga record the history and symbolise the heritage of the Dreamtime. It is portrayed here to acknowledge the primacy of millennia of preserved oral history by the indigenous men and women in what today is the State of Queensland. Portrayed on the left is a stylised image of the worldwide web. Within its strands, spelt in digital code are the words “influence, collaboration, information, impact”. The electronic web comprises a major tool of research, outreach and the promotion of history by the Society and its Members. The three images are encircled by the Latin exhortation “Colantur Annales ut Futurum Ditetur” – freely translated as “May the history and heritage of the past be preserved in the order that the future might be enriched”.

The recipients of this medal, as awarded in 2013:

  • Cynthia Berthelsen
  • Alan Broughton
  • Pat Broughton
  • Kay Cohen
  • Val Donovan
  • Beth Johnson
  • Margaret Kowald
  • Carolyn Nolan
  • Lyndsay Smith
  • Jean Stewart


A Fellowship is awarded for conspicuous scholarly service to the Society by a member of not less than ten years standing. On being awarded a Fellowship, a certificate signed by the President and the Honorary Secretary and executed under the Common Seal, shall be presented to the Fellow, who may thereafter be designated a “Fellow of The Royal Historical Society of Queensland” (F.R. Hist. S.Q.)

65Margaret Kowald2016
64Ian Hadwen2011
63Raymond Whitmore2003
62Jean Stewart2003
61Judith McKay2003
60Kay Cohen1998
59Maurice French1998
58Bruce McPherson1998
57Jean Harslett1994
56Sir Walter Campbell1993
55Manfred Cross1993
54Helen Gregory1992
53Jennifer Harrison1992
52Captain John Foley1990
51Nancy Vera Roberts1990
50Michael William Duckett White1990
49Owen Maynard Fletcher1990
48Sir Clarence Arthur Campbell Leggett1990
47Lorna Isabel Church1990
46Lyn Alison Love1987
45John Hemsley Pearn1986
44Garry Robin Ford1986
43Arthur Henry Frederick O?Neill1986
42Murdoch Alfred Wales1986
41Maureen Theresa Lynch1985
40Allan McInnes1984
39Ruth Sadie Kerr1984
38William Robert Francis Love1984
37Douglas Alexander Jolly1984
36Doris Mary Rollason1984
35John Douglas Kerr1983
34Keith Alexander Allan1983
33Mary O'Keeffe1983
32Elizabeth Nesta Marks1983
31Ronald Francis James Wood1983
30Charles George Drury Clarke1981
29Harold James Summers1980
28George Roderick Cooper McLeod1980
27Sir James Ramsay1980
26Glenville Pike1978
25Sir Alan Mansfield1971
24John Thomas Maher1969
23James Connal Howard Gill1969
22Louise Marjorie Harris1968
21Herbert Albrecht Krause1968
20Geoffrey Ward1968
19Sir Manuel Hornibrook1968
18Thomas Murray Browse Elliott1967
17Bertie Bootle Arthur Lascelles Jardine1966
16Robert Campbell Hamilton1964
15Alexander Hugh Chisholm1964
14Allan E Bax1968
13Thomas Meek Ramsay1964
12Malcolm Henry Ellis1964
11Sir Henry Abel Smith1964
10John Harold Crozier McClurg1963
9Clem Llewellyn Lack1963
8James Warren Collinson1963
7Kenton Thomas Cameron1963
6Colin Gordon Austin1963
5Norman Stewart Pixley1963
4Arthur Laurie1963
3Edwin Oswald Marks1963
2Allan Arthur Morrison1963
1Sir Raphael West Cilento1963

Life Members

The RHSQ Council may, with at least seven Councillors voting in support, recommend and an Annual General Meeting may approve the election as an Honorary Life Member of any member who has rendered long or outstanding service to the Society. Such Honorary Life Member shall have all the privileges of an Ordinary Member and may hold office if duly elected but shall not be required to pay any membership fee. Not more than one Honorary Life Member may be appointed in any one financial year.

Honorary Life Members