Using Primary Sources

Explore this year’s theme of ‘Significance: History matters’ using primary sources from the National Archives of Australia.

Entries are accepted in all formats, however, they must be received, and will be judged, digitally. More details about accepted formats.

The National Archives of Australia has an extensive collection of Australian primary sources. Primary sources from the National Archives collection must be central to supporting your arguments, and referenced in your bibliography. You may also draw on primary sources from other collections, as well as secondary sources, to support your argument.    

In considering your research for the category using primary sources, you may wish to research the following topic areas or identities. Alternatively, our Facts sheets and Learning Resources are a useful starting point for research.



First Australians

Forced Adoptions

Australia’s prime ministers

Health and welfare

Environment and nature

You may also choose to explore ‘Significance: History matters’ through your own topic selected from the National Archives’ collection.

Other research sites to explore:

For further information about the competition, head to the National History Challenge website. 

Contact us at if you are a student or teacher who would like help using our collection. If you would like to use a record from the National Archives that is not available online, let us know so we can digitise it for you (up to 10 per student).

Sponsor Details

National Archives of Australia

National Office location:
Kings Avenue
Parkes ACT 2600

Our postal address:
PO Box 4924
Kingston ACT 2604

Phone: + 61 2 6212 3600