Professor Bruce Scates

BA (hons) First Class [Mon]; Dip. Ed. [Melb]; Ph.D [Mon]
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
T: +61 2 61254469

Research interests

War commemoration; the memory of conflict; history of Anzac Day; labour history; environmental history; the history of mourning and bereavement; the politics of memorialisation; the history of protest, Indigenous history; gender history; digital history.


Professor Scates is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia. His publications include Return to Gallipoli, A New Australia, the Cambridge History of the Shrine of Remembrance and Women and the Great War (co authored with Raelene Frances). The last of these won the NSW Premier’s History Award. He is the lead author of Anzac Journeys (also published by Cambridge University Press and short listed in the Ernest Scott Prize) and a contributor to the Cambridge History of the First World War.  His novel, On Dangerous Ground, (retracing CEW Bean’s steps across Gallipoli) received special commendation in the Christina Stead Awards and was listed on Australia’s first national curriculum for literature. Other titles include One Hundred Stories: A History of the First World War (with Bec Wheatley and Laura James) and The Last Battle: A History of Soldier Settlement in Australia (with Melanie Oppenheimer).

Working with Dr Susan Carland, he's produced a film, Australian Journey, and played a major role in the ABC series The War that Changed Us. A historical consultant to the new interpretive centre at the Australian National Memorial at Villers Bretonneux, he advised the National Museum of Australia, National Archives and the National Anzac Centre on gallery content. His submissions to government agencies led to the digitisation of repatriation records, opening up a vast archive to a global community. His appointments include Chair of the Military History and Heritage Committee, Anzac Centenary Advisory Board (2011-2013), historian advising the National Committee investigating the missing of Fromelles (2008-9) and Research Committee member of the Historial de la Grande Guerre. In 2015, his work featured in l’Histoire and he was awarded a Mevlana Fellowship. The recipient/ co-recipient of University, State and National Awards for Teaching Excellence, he is a frequent contributor to public forums. His article ‘A Monument to Murder’ critiquing ‘settler’ commemoration was profiled in the First Report of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation.


Researcher's projects


2010-15    ARC Linkage Grant, First Chief Investigator. A history of Anzac Day at home and abroad. Project partners Department of Veterans’ Affairs, National Museum of Australia, National Archives of Australia, Shrine of Remembrance, Canakkale Onsekiz Mart University, Historial de la Grande Guerre, King’s College London, Legacy.

2009-13    ARC Discovery Project, First Chief Investigator. A history of Australian pilgrimages to World War II battlefields.  .


2008-14    ARC Linkage Grant. First Chief Investigator.  A social, cultural and environmental history of soldier settlement in NSW, 1916-39. Project partners are the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and State Records NSW. 


2003-5      ARC Linkage Grant, First Chief Investigator, to research a history of the 1998 Maritime Dispute. Industry partners: the ACTU and MUA.  


2002-5       ARC Discovery Grant , Sole Chief Investigator, to write a history of Commemoration, Pilgrimage and the Great War.   


2000          Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Sole Chief Investigator, Seeding Grant to establish a Pilgrimage Web Site and survey visitors to the Cemeteries of the Great War. 


2000          Army Research Scheme, Sole Chief Investigator, Seeding Grant to survey nurses involved in the dedication of a National Memorial to Australian Service Nurses, Dept. of Defence.  


1999         New South Wales History Fellowship, Sole Chief Investigator, to write a biography of Mary Booth and a history of post war commemoration.


1996-9      Large ARC Grant, First Chief investigator, to write a history of the 1890s depression in Australasia.


1996         Australian War Memorial, John Treloar Grant-in-Aid, Sole Chief Investigator on a study of ‘Remembrance:  Loss, Commemoration and the Politics of Anzac’.


1994         Australian War Memorial, John Treloar Grant-in-Aid, for a project on Australian women during the Great War. This was a joint project with Rae Frances.


1993         Committee for the Advancement of University Teaching, teaching development grant to development a new subject on the history of work. This was a collaborative project with Rae Frances.



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Updated:  18 July 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers