The Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC) Centennial Prize

10th Sep 2018
5th Nov 2018
Study level
Undergraduate, Honours, Graduate coursework, Graduate research
Enrolment status
Current student
University Trust Record


Study Area

Political Science, History


To commemorate 100 years of federal conciliation and arbitration, members of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission established a trust to fund the AIRC Centennial Prize – an annual award offered to students at The University of Melbourne.

In 1904 the Commonwealth Parliament established the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Court.  While it has changed its name, and its functions have evolved, this institution has remained central to regulating work and labour standards in Australia. Today, the role of the AIRC has continued through the Fair Work Commission.


Approximately $1,000 and a commemorative certificate


The prize is open to undergraduate and graduate students who have undertaken study in the Faculty of Business and Economics or the Faculty of Arts at the University of Melbourne. This may be in the form of a degree or specialisation offered by these two Faculties, or study in an individual subject. The thesis or essay must have been submitted or be ready for submission (for the enrolled course of study) by the application deadline.


To be considered for the AIRC Centennial prize, the research work (thesis or essay) must be in the area of Industrial Relations or Labour History. These areas are interpreted broadly to include essays or thesis in any of the following areas:

  • Industrial relations, employment relations, workplace relations
  • Human resource management, personnel administration, careers, and organizational behaviour
  • Labour economics and labour market analysis
  • Labour law, labour market regulation, including aspects of public policy related to work, social protection and labour market policies, and labour market institutions
  • Labour history, and the history of work, employment practices, labour markets and labour market institutions.

There is no set word length for submissions – and submissions are encouraged from both undergraduate and postgraduate students.

The selection of the best research work submitted in the year will be based on the quality of the essay or thesis and its relevance to contemporary policy concerns and debates.

The prize will be awarded by the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Business and Economics, upon recommendation of the Deans (or nominees), after consultation with a representative from the President of the Fair Work Commission.


Applicants will be advised of the outcome via email within 6-8 weeks after the closing date.

Application process

Applicants are required to complete the application form and submit an essay or thesis via the online form.