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Each year, nominations are called for the AAS Thesis Prizes, awarded to the best Honours or Masters thesis and the best PhD thesis.
The call is sent out to the AAS Institutional Representatives across Australian universities who, in collaboration with the academic staff in the department or school, are responsible for nominating candidates.


The winners are formally announced at the Annual General Meeting and the prizes awarded at the Annual Conference dinner.

Winners receive a written certificate, a monetary prize (AUD1,000 for the PhD prize; AUD500 for the Honours prize), as well as conference registration and a conference dinner ticket for that year’s conference.

Assessment criteria

Nominated theses are judged by a panel of three judges, with a fourth on standby in case of dispute.

The criteria by which theses are assessed are as follows:

  • Theoretical sophistication

  • Ethnographic depth

  • Lucid writing

  • Originality

Prize Recipients

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Best PhD Thesis Prize Winners
Best PhD Thesis Prize Winners
2019 Dr. Sophie Chao (Macquarie University)

2018 Dr. Benjamin Hegarty (The Australian National University)

2017 Dr. Siobhan McDonnell (The Australian National University)

2016 Dr. Karen Turner (The University of Melbourne)

2015 Dr. Roger Casas Ruiz  (The Australian National University)

2014 Dr. Bryonny Goodwin-Hawkins  (The University of Melbourne)

2013 Dr. Prasert Rangkla (The Australian National University)

2012 Dr. John Cox (The University of Melbourne) / Dr. Thiago Oppermann (The University of Sydney)

2011 Dr. Julienne Corboz (The University of Melbourne)

2010 Dr. Hannah Bulloch (The Australian National University)

2009 Dr. Michaela Evans (The University of Western Australia)

2008 Dr. Nicholas Herriman (The University of Western Australia)

2007 Dr. Inge Kral (The Australian National University – CAEPR)

2006 Dr. Wasan Panyagaew (The Australian National University)

2005  Dr. Sally Babidge (James Cook University)

2004 Dr. John Patrick Taylor (The Australian National University)

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Best Honours or Masters Thesis Prize Winners
Best Honours or Masters Thesis Prize Winners
2019 Daniel Alexander Tranter (Macquarie University)

2018 Linda Ma (The Australian National University) / Susannah Ostojic (La Trobe University)

2017 Sam Williams (Monash University)

2016 Lachlan Summers (The University of Queensland)

2015 Hamish McKenzie (University of Melbourne)

2014 Tahnee Innes  (James Cook University)

2013 Simon Burns (The University of Melbourne)

2012 Constance Warren (Deakin University)

2011 Paul Keil (Macquarie University)

2010 Emma Scott (The University of Sydney)

2009 Gillian Vita Lorelle Bowan (The University of Sydney)

2008 Kylie Tobler (The University of Sydney)

2007 Benjamin Worthley (Macquarie University)

2006 Shivani Ganesan Raju (Macquarie University)

2005 Phillippa Barr (Macquarie University)

2004 Noah PLeshet (The University of Sydney)