The first-established prize is the Dirac Medal for the Advancement of Theoretical Physics, awarded by the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, jointly with the Australian Institute of Physics on the occasion of the public Dirac Lecture.
The Lecture and the Medal commemorate the visit to the university in 1975 of Professor Dirac, who gave five lectures there. The lectures were subsequently published as a book Directions of Physics (Wiley, 1978 – H. Hora and J. Shepanski, eds.).
Professor Dirac donated the royalties from this book to the University for the establishment of the Dirac Lecture series. The prize includes a silver medal and honorarium. It was first awarded in 1979.