Australia’s young historians recognised

A talented Year 10 student from Sydney has taken out Australia’s most prestigious history award for school students at the National History Challenge awards.

The 2020 National Young Historian of the Year is Brio Dos Santos-Lee from Sydney Girls High School.

Minister for Decentralisation and Regional Education, Andrew Gee, said this year’s competition was fierce, with more than 7,000 entries from more than 600 schools across Australia.

“The year 2020 has been one of the most eventful in recent history, with the bushfires, drought and COVID-19 pandemic disrupting many aspects of everyday student life,” Minister Gee said.

“I am glad to see the challenges of this year have not impacted on students’ enthusiasm for history.

“This year’s theme of ‘Contested Histories’ brought about many topics ranging from Angus McMillian’s legacy to the significance of historical monuments.

“Students from across Australia have researched and explored contested histories, demonstrating a passion for exploring and understanding the past.

“This challenge has allowed aspiring young historians to broaden their understanding of people, societies and culture, and of how we came to live in the world we do today.

“I congratulate all of the students who participated in this year’s National History Challenge. History forms a vital part of Australia’s unique culture and I encourage you to continue pursuing your interest in investigating the past.”

The other category National winners are as follows:




National Young Historian

Brio Dos Santos-Lee

Sydney Girls High School (Sydney, NSW)

Year Level 11-12

Lily Farrell

Loreto College (Adelaide, SA)

Year Level 10

Brio Dos Santos-Lee

Sydney Girls High School (Sydney, NSW)

Year Level 9

Chanhyeok Wang

Telopea Park School (Canberra, ACT)

Year Level 8

Sienna Weerakody

St Mary’s Anglican Girls’ School (Perth, WA)

Year Level 7

Akshaya Krishnamurthi

Presbyterian Ladies’ College (Melbourne, VIC)

Year Level 7

Jessica Bao

Presbyterian Ladies’ College (Melbourne, VIC)

Year Level 7

Ayla Chetty

Presbyterian Ladies’ College (Melbourne, VIC)

Year Level 5-6

Arlo Temple

Glenaeon Rudolf Steiner School (Sydney, NSW)

Asia and Australia

Aaron Rucinski

Sydney Church of England Grammar School (Sydney, NSW)


Jemima Pinto-Menezes

Rossmoyne Senior High School (Perth, WA)


Mim Grice

Champion Bay Senior High School (Mount Tarcoola, WA)

Women’s History

Millie Patterson

Geraldton Grammar School (Beresford, WA)

Portrait Power

Holly Alp

Loreto College (Marryatville, SA)

Portrait Power

Lucy Hoskins

Loreto College (Marryatville, SA)


Angus Duncan

Brisbane Grammar School (Brisbane, QLD)


Tom McCarthy-James

Brisbane Grammar School (Brisbane, QLD)

Australian Wartime Experiences

Charles Merrifield

Denmark Senior High School (Denmark, WA)

Using Primary Sources

Ella Bibby

Mount Saint Joseph Girls’ College (Altona, VIC)

Museum Exhibit

Arlo Temple

Glenaeon Rudolf Steiner School (Sydney, NSW)

Each State and Territory Young Historians and the Young Historian of the Year have been announced at ceremonies around the country.

The Australian Government is providing $836,500 over 2015-16 to 2019-20 for the National History Challenge.

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