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RAAF Heritage Awards

Written accounts, drawings and paintings have always formed an integral part of the way that nations, communities and organisations record their history for posterity. In 1987 the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) established an awards scheme to encourage individuals to undertake original artistic and literary endeavours that record and represent the range of Air Force activities since the inception of the Service in 1921. 

The RAAF Heritage Awards is a competition designed to enhance the records of the RAAF, and foster interest in its heritage. Prizes are awarded for outstanding achievements in literature and art, as well as assistance for individuals seeking to undertake valuable historical research. This scheme is administered by the Directorate of History - Air Force (DH-AF) within the Air Power Development Centre (APDC), Canberra.

Prizes Awarded


1st Prize $5,000 2nd Prize $2,500


1st Prize $7,500 2nd Prize $3,500


The Heritage Fellowship is awarded to an individual whose proposal is judged to be of special value to the RAAF. The Fellowship provides funding and research assistance. The winner of the Heritage Fellowship will be sponsored by the DH-AF for administration and supervision, and may choose to physically work there for a maximum period of two years. They will receive funding assistance for budgeted costs such as travel, accommodation, copying and postage, but not living expenses. Preference will be given to applicants with demonstrated achievement in a relevant field of historical research, such as a publication record, or as a minimum, undergraduate qualifications in history.


Art and Literature entries will be judged, and the awarding of the Heritage Fellowship decided, by the Chief of Air Force and his Advisory Committee, plus invited Honorary Advisers as required. In the event of a tie, the Chief of Air Force will have a second casting vote. The decision of the judging panel will be final and no correspondence will be entered into. If the entries in a particular category are judged to be below the required standard, then either a reduced prize, or no prize at all, will be announced for that category. 

Results will be announced in conjunction with the RAAF anniversary celebrations and published shortly afterwards in one Service and one national media outlet (normally Air Force News and The Australian).

Permanent Acquisition

It is a condition of entry in the RAAF Heritage Awards that all Award recipients in the Art and Literature categories agree to grant the Commonwealth of Australia (RAAF) a non-exclusive royalty-free license to exhibit, copy, photograph, transmit, store and reproduce by any means the winning or successful entries, with appropriate attribution. Moral rights always remain with the creator of the work. 

The RAAF acquires the option to make first use of the outcome of the project supported under the Heritage Fellowship. 

The winning entries (both first and second prize) in the Art category will be retained by the RAAF and utilised at the Service’s discretion. The first and second prize winning Literature entries will normally be published and marketed as part of the RAAF Heritage Series, but consideration may be given to seeking a commercial publisher where appropriate; conversely, it may be decided to publish only electronically, or not at all. In addition, if an author concurs, copies may be made of literary entries which are not awarded a prize but judged to be of heritage value. Such copies will be bound and retained in the Air Power Development Centre, RAAF Museum and Australian Defence Force Academy Library.

Application for Entry

Applications for entry in the Art and Literature categories of the Heritage Awards must be made on the official Entry Form downloaded here or is available on request by email Entrants are responsible for obtaining and maintaining their own insurance cover. While the RAAF will exercise all reasonable care with Heritage Award entries, it will not be responsible for any loss or damage. If an entrant indicates a requirement for the return by mail of an unsuccessful entry, it normally will be sent by ordinary mail to the address given on the Entry Form.