State of the History Profession in Queensland Project

By the Editor

The Management Committee of the Professional Historians Association (Qld) has commissioned a project to look at the state of the history profession in Queensland.

As an association of professional historians, it is natural to be concerned to get an accurate understanding of the state of its profession and of the heritage-history market. The project will incorporate a series of statistical and other analytic studies to assess history research higher degree (RHD) graduate numbers, employment opportunities for historians, and numbers of contracts or work positions available to historians. The important question is the pattern that these indicators form over the past decades to provide a conclusion about the state of the profession in Queensland.

It will take a few years to complete the whole project. The work has already begun, with the first stage working through a statistical investigation into the number of history RHD theses completed in Queensland in a fifty period from 1960 to 2009, and examining the ebb and flow, during that period. The preliminary study, limited to the three universities (University of Queensland, Griffith University, and James Cook University), which have provided the larger part of history RHD theses in Queensland, has been completed. The next step is to verify and appropriately modify the data from the preliminary study towards formulating a final study. Heads of the three relevant schools are being contacted. Once the data is checked and updated, the working group will complete the study with data from all Queensland universities. Copies of the preliminary study are available to members on request to the editor (

We have already started planning other studies and the best way to develop measures on the market demand for professional historians. The Management Committee seeks to find study designs which will be sensitive and respectful to the privacy and commercial confidentiality of its members. All members are invited and encouraged to participate in the State of the History Profession in Queensland Project. Members are very welcomed to assist in the planning and work of the project studies. If you would like to be included as a member of the Project’s working group, please contact the editor (

Neville Buch

Editor  & Member of the Management Committee
Professional Historians Association (Qld)