Brisbane Grammar School Student Named 2023 Young Historian of the Year

Isaac Robinson, a Year 12 student at Brisbane Grammar School, has been named the 2023 Young Historian of the Year at the National History Challenge for his essay and video on “The Collapse of the USSR.”

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Robinson is the first BGS student to win the national competition, which assessed over 6,500 students across Australia on their historical research and critical thinking abilities. His 10-minute documentary on Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev examined the topic “Democracy Matters” and the factors that led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

The student was presented with his Young Historian of the Year award by Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Matt Keogh at a ceremony in Parliament House. 

Robinson – fourth in front, with other BGS students who took part in the National History Challenge (Photo credit: Brisbane Grammar School/Facebook)

About the National History Challenge 

The National History Challenge is run by the History Teachers’ Association of Australia (HTAA). 

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The contest motivates students across Australia to embrace research and critical thinking as they dive into the past. As young historians, participants can illuminate their local communities, delve into personal or family histories, and analyse ideas throughout history. 

It promotes engagement with primary and secondary sources while allowing creativity through varied multimedia presentation options. Winners are rewarded with cash prizes and educational travel opportunities, but more importantly, all students gain valuable skills. 

Students from primary through high school entered projects this year related to the theme of “Continuity and Change.”

Robinson’s work was chosen from a record number of entrants, over 700 schools, the highest since before the COVID-19 pandemic began. The Australian government provides over $500,000 in grants each year to the History Teachers Association of Australia to organise the challenge.

Minister for Education Jason Clare congratulated Robinson on his achievement, stating his USSR essay stood out as an exceptional demonstration of historical analysis and interpretation.

Read: Brisbane Girls Grammar School to Open Junior School, Accept Years 5 and 6 Students in 2026

A full list of 2023 winning entries can be found at

Published 15-December-2023