ASCS - The Australasian Society for Classical Studies  

ASCS Prizes and Awards

ASCS is an inclusive organisation. It encourages entries for its prizes and awards from Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, Maori and Pasifika students, students who are living with disabilities, students of diverse gender and sexuality, mature-age students, and students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.


Greek and Latin Language Competition

The Greek and Latin Unseen Translation Competition was introduced in 2007. From 2021, ASCS introduced a new form of the competition. Please see the attached files for details of the latest round.

2022 Competition

The competition is to be run over the following dates: 12 noon Monday, October 10 to 12 noon Monday, October 17.

Competition rules

Entry coversheet

2021 Competition

Winner: Thomas Langsford (Macquarie)
Honourable Mention: Bryce O’Connor (Macquarie)

Winner: (Jacqueline) Yvonne Chadderton (UNE)
Honourable Mention: Hannah Watson (UQ)

Co-ordinator: Dr Estelle Strazdins (University of Queensland)

Judges (Greek): Prof. Elizabeth Minchin (ANU) and Assoc. Prof. Simon Perris (VUW)

Judges (Latin): Dr Maxine Lewis (Auckland) and Dr Jonathan Wallis (UTas)

Past competitions

Past passages:

2018 Greek | 2018 Latin
2017 Greek | 2017 Latin
2016 Greek | 2016 Latin
2015 Greek | 2015 Latin
2014 Greek | 2014 Latin
2013 Greek | 2013 Latin
2012 Greek | 2012 Latin
2011 Greek | 2011 Latin
2010 Greek | 2010 Latin
2009 Greek | 2009 Latin

Past prize winners

Reports: 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2007–2012


Douglas Kelly Australian Essay Competition

Doug Kelly(Formerly the ASCS Australian Essay Competition)

This annual Competition, which has been running since 1990, is open to undergraduate students in Australian universities. The essay submitted may be a revised version of an essay, tutorial paper or seminar paper by a student enrolled in a first, second or third-year course. The subject of the essay may reflect any aspect of Classical Studies broadly defined: the languages, literatures, thought, histories, religions, archaeology and receptions of the ancient world. This means that essays on Egyptian and Near Eastern topics will be accepted. The length should be between 2000 and 3000 words, and the entry should be submitted through the ASCS Representative in each Australian university. The first prize is currently $500, and there are up to two prizes of $100 each for “runner-up” entries. In 2015 the competition was renamed in honour of long-time ASCS member Douglas Kelly.

A named prize should encourage curiosity about the person whose name it bears. Douglas Kelly (24 April 1941 – 15 December 2015) was a notable scholar in Classics and Ancient History who served both the discipline and the Society over many years with surpassing generosity of time and professional expertise (indeed he was elected ASCS President from 1993 – 1998). He studied first in New Zealand before going on to Cambridge (PhD 1975 on ‘Sources and interpretations of Spartan history in the reigns of Agesilaus II, Archidamus III, and Agis III’), and then took up university positions in Australia, first in Sydney at Macquarie University and subsequently in Canberra at the Australian National University. He was renowned as an inspirational teacher and supervisor, who dedicated innumerable hours to supporting students fortunate enough to work with him: his dedicated attention to detail was the stuff of legend, his breadth of knowledge acknowledged by all. He inspired respect and affection in equal proportion within the Australasian community of Classicists and Ancient Historians. It is hoped that the title of the ASCS Douglas Kelly Australian Essay Prize will encourage the winners from year to year to enquire further about the ‘eponymous hero’ and to discover his record of accomplishments that is so highly regarded by those who knew him. 

2022 Competition

Due date: 30 November 2022

Competition guidelines

Entry coversheet

2021 Competition

Winner: Sophie Barnes (Sydney): The Truth, the whole Truth, and Nothing but the Truth: Did the Romans Believe in the Verdicts?

Commendation: Jacinta Lin (Sydney): Repetition in and of Aeneid Book IV

Co-ordinator: Assoc. Prof. Peter Davis (University of Adelaide)

Judges: Assoc. Prof. Michael Champion (ACU) and Dr Graeme Miles (Tasmania)

Past competitions


John Barsby New Zealand Essay Competition

This annual Competition was initiated by the Classical Association of Otago in 2002 and named in honour of John Barsby, the Professor (now retired) of Classics at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. In 2009, ASCS assumed responsibility for the funding of the prizes, which currently are AUD$350 for first place and AUD$150 for second place.

2022 Competition

Due date: 21 November 2022

Competition notice

Entry coversheet

2021 Competition

Winner: Elena Louverdis (VUW): Remembering the Past: Rhetoric of the Past and Historical Allusions in On the Crown

Runner-up: Catie Norman (VUW): Resurrecting the Other: Carthaginian Identity in the Aeneid

Co-ordinator: Dr Babette Puetz (VUW)

Judges: 1st round: Dr Dougal Blyth (Auckland) and 2nd round: Dr Anastasia Bakogianni (Massey) and Assoc. Prof. Pat Wheatley (Otago)

Past competitions

• Past winners
•  Competition reports: 2021


OPTIMA (“Outstanding Postgraduate Talk In a Meeting of ASCS”)

This annual Award, introduced at ASCS 31 (2010) in Perth, is aimed at rewarding the outstanding postgraduate presentations at the ASCS annual conference. First prize for the Award is AUD$500, with up to two runner-up prizes of AUD$100 each.

Postgraduate students planning to enter the OPTIMA prize should note the following:

  • The written version of the presentation you submit is important because first impressions are formed by it – and these impressions count a lot in the initial judgment of the committee. The written version also allows for a far less subjective judgement as all the judges read the written versions but they cannot all hear the oral presentations.
  • There is no ‘marking schedule’ and no ‘points-weighting’ applied to any specific aspect of the paper, whether it is the written paper or the oral presentation or question-time.
  • The combination of written and oral presentation is judged inclusively. A good written version of the paper and then a good presentation (and question session) will go a long way towards success.
  • Given the strength of the competition, being good in only one area (written/oral/question-time) is unlikely to win the competition.

2023 Competition

Due date: 23 January 2023

Competition rules and procedures

Entry form

2022 Competition

Gemma Neall (University of Adelaide): Translation of Philomela in Metamorphoses 6

Jessica Zelli (University of Queensland): Suicide in Josephus: Analysing Jotapata, Masada, and Narrative

Co-ordinator: James HKO Chong-Gossard (Melbourne)
Judges: Lea Beness (Macquarie), Hamish Cameron (Victoria University of Wellington) and Gwynaeth McIntyre (Otago)

Past competitions

Previous winners


Early Career Award

This annual Award, introduced in 2005, is intended to offer acknowledgement and some financial support to those who are ‘early career’ scholars. There are currently two awards, each worth AUD$3000. The aim of the Award is to assist the winner with the publication of their PhD thesis or other research project. Applications are open to those who have completed a doctorate by research in the last five years at an Australian or New Zealand university, and who do not hold a full-time teaching or research position at a university or tertiary institution or who are in a full-time but non-academic position.

2022 Competition

Due date: 30 November 2022

Rules and procedures

2021 Competition


Dr Ashleigh Green (University of Melbourne)
Project: Birds in Roman Life and Myth

Dr Leah O’Hearn (La Trobe University)
Project: The Lover in Conflict: Catullus, Masculinity and Self Control

Co-ordinator: Assoc. Prof. Alison Griffith (University of Canterbury

Assessors: Prof. Yasmin Haskell (University of Western Australia), Assoc. Prof. Mark Masterson (Victoria University of Wellington)

Past competitions

Past winners


ASCS Conference Travel Subsidies

ASCS has set aside limited funds to provide subsidies towards the cost of travel to present a paper at its annual conference. Postgraduate students, as well as unfunded postdoctoral, unwaged and part-time scholars—not yet retired—may apply. Subsidies are provided to cover part of the cost of attending the conference and applicants must declare all other funds that they have been granted by their affiliated institution or any other granting body. Applicants are encouraged to investigate whether funding for conference travel is available from their own department or university.

It is a condition of applying for a subsidy that the applicant be a current member of ASCS. Applications are usually called for in October each year. The current postgrad travel subsidy form can be found on the ASCS Conference page. For further information, please contact the ASCS Hon. Secretary (


The ASCS Journal
Antichthon Journal