Bruce Scates holds the Chair of History and Australian Studies at Monash University and is the Director of the National Centre for Australian Studies. A Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, his many publications include Return to Gallipoli (2006), A New Australia (1997), the Cambridge History of the Shrine of Remembrance (2009) and the recently republished Women and the Great War (co authored with Raelene Frances). The last of these won the NSW Premier’s History Award. Professor Scates is the lead author of Anzac Journeys (also published by Cambridge University Press and short listed in the Ernest Scott Prize for 2014) and a contributor Cambridge History of the First World War. He has also written a novel, On Dangerous Ground, retracing CEW Bean’s steps across Gallipoli. Described by Tom Keneally as ‘eloquent and engrossing’, it has been listed on Australia’s first national curriculum for literature, set on university courses in Germany, Turkey and Australia, and awarded special commendation in the Christina Stead Awards. Bruce Scates’ research has been supported by a series of coveted Australian Research Council Grants and has met with international acclaim. His most recent book, World War One: A History in 100 Stories (with Rebecca Wheatley and Laura James) pioneers new ways of presenting the past. Published by Penguin/Random House it is written with both a popular and a scholarly audience in mind. Amongst his forthcoming titles is The Last Battle: A History of Soldier Settlement in Australia. Co-authored with Melanie Oppenheimer it will be released by Cambridge University Press in November 2016. A social, cultural and environmental history, The Last Battle is the first project to use recently released repatriation files on any substantial scale and offers new insights into the social and personal impact of war.
Committed to communicating history to the widest possible audience, he played a leading role in the production of the recent ABC mini series ‘The War that Changed Us’. This award-winning docudrama has met with popular acclaim and been described as ‘fresh and brilliant’ by reviewers. Bruce Scates was also featured in an ABC Compass program examining pilgrimages to Gallipoli. Journeys to the battlefields of the Great War are one of his areas of research expertise; his work has been distinguished for both its academic rigour and engagement and accessibility.
Bruce Scates has also served on a host of high-level state and national committees advising government, including a three year term on the Advisory Council of the National Archives of Australia. Professor Scates was a historical consultant to the new interpretive centre planned for the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux and has advised the National Museum of Australia and the National Anzac Centre on the content of their galleries. 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 historian advising the revision of the Western Australian school syllabus (2006-7). He is a member of the Army History Unit (2008-) and has chaired the judging panel of the CEW Bean prize awarded by Chief of Army for the best thesis exploring Australia’s military history. Professor Scates also serves on the Research Committee of the Historial de la Grande Guerre in France and was awarded a Mevlana Fellowship to foster scholarly collaborations with Turkey in 2015. He has an intimate knowledge of both the Western Front and Gallipoli battlefields. He leads university study tours to Belgium, France and Turkey and for six years in a row was selected by Liberal and Labor Premiers alike to led the Victorian Premier’s Spirit of Anzac Tour. He interprets these sites for a wide and diverse audience, from senior government ministers to schoolchildren, veterans and the wider community.
His other areas of research include Aboriginal history (his study of frontier violence was profiled in the first report of the Council for National Reconciliation), environmental history, labour history and utopian movements (Professor Scates serves on the Editorial Board of the journal Labour History).
Professor Scates is the recipient/ co-recipient of University, State and National Awards for Teaching Excellence. He is a frequent contributor to writers’ festivals, history events and diverse public forums. In 2005, he delivered the Tenth Annual History Lecture at Government House, Sydney, marking the 90th anniversary of the Gallipoli Landing; in 2008 he delivered the Sir Keith Sinclair address at the University of Auckland on Australia’s and New Zealand’s shared experience of war; he has also delivered the Alan Martin and Russel Ward lectures on forgotten aspects of Australia’s military past. Many of these addresses have been broadcast and Bruce Scates’ interviews have been podcast by the ABC (Hindsight, Margaret Crosby), [http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p011cfw3] the BBC, [http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p011cfw3] and the Guardian [http://www.theguardian.com/world/ng-interactive/2014/jul/23/a-global-guide-to-the-first-world-war-interactive-documentary]. In 2015, Professor Scates delivered both the Menzies Lecture in London and the Annual History Lecture in Sydney. [http://www.kcl.ac.uk/artshums/ahri/eventrecords/2014-2015/MCAS/Centenary.aspx] Committed to innovation in teaching and public engagement, he has led the development of a MOOC (Mass Open Online Courseware) examining the fraught memory of war. He has also created a documentary exploring the historical context of Russell Crow’s film, ‘The Water Diviner’. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UXoxTD9FOs
Professor Scates is the lead chief investigator on Australian Research Council funded projects on soldier settlement, World War II pilgrimage and heads an international team exploring the history of Anzac Day. These grants involve highly successful partnerships with the Department of Veterans Affairs and a host of other government agencies and cultural institutions in Australia and overseas.