Western Australia

Austin Holmes Awards

Economic Society of Australia WA Branch – Austin Holmes Award.

Prior to 1987 the WA Branch of the Economic Society had a distinguished Economist Award. This had been previously awarded to Sir Charles Court. Professor Alec Kerr received this award in 1986.

In 1987 it was agree to rename the Award the Austin Holmes Award in honour of Austin Holmes (1924-1986). Austin Holmes, who hailed from country WA,   had a distinguished career in the field of economic policy development and analysis. In his early career he was an academic and then in policy research for the Reserve Bank of Australia. For many years he headed the Research Department of the Reserve Bank of Australia and developed valuable financial analysis tools. In the mid-1970s Austin headed the Priorities Review Staff  in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet Canberra. Austin had an outstanding National and international reputation in the field of economic policy and was renowned for his cogent use of economic analysis in policy advice and for fostering young researchers.

The early documentation on the award states that it “is made to a person who is judged to have made a substantial contribution to economics in WA over their career or who have made a significant innovative contribution to the economics profession in the past year.”

The inaugural Austin Holmes award was made in 1987 to Professor Norman Dufty. The presentation of the award was made in April 1988 by Mrs Edith Holmes, Austin’s widow. Edith’s visit to WA for the event was supported by the Reserve Bank of Australia.


The winner of the 2018 Austin Holmes Award is Professor Ken Clements. 

Past recipients include:

  • Professor Alan Duncan (2023)
  • Professor Michael McLure (2021)
  • Professor Ken Clements (2018)
  • 2016 Professor Harry Bloch
  • 2007 Professor Margaret Nowak
  • 2001 Professor Keith Norris
  • 1999 Mr Lyndon Rowe
  • 1995 Professor Alex Kerr
  • 1992 Professor Reg Appleyard
  • 1990 Mr Don Frearson
  • 1987 Professor Norm Dufty


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