The Society is a cultural organisation, interested in all aspects of Australian Catholic Church history. It was founded in 1940 by a group of Catholic students of Australian history. They came together to establish a society that would lend encouragement and support to those who wanted to investigate and document what Catholics (clergy, religious and lay persons) had done over the years in Australia. It is under the patronage of the Archbishop of Sydney and is affiliated with the Royal Australian Historical Society.
Monthly meetings of the Society have been held since 1940 at which papers representing a wide spectrum of interest have been presented to members. The Society has, since the 1960s, produced a journal. The Journal generally publishes original papers previously presented to the Society, book reviews and other matters of interest. It is available for sale direct from the Society. Another publication is the quarterly Newsletter. Members are asked to provide letters and short articles of interest for publication in the Newsletter.
The Society also sponsors the ACHS - MacGinley Award to encourage serious study of Australian Catholic history.
Membership of the Society is open to all.