The Australian Catholic Historical Society was founded in 1940 in Sydney, by a group of students of Australian Catholic history led by Fr (later Archbishop) Eris O'Brien and Sydney solicitor Brian McGrath. It was revived in the 1960s through the efforts of Monsignor Cornelius (Con) Duffy. Since then it has maintained a program of talks and published research. Currently it holds talks in Sydney monthly.
The patron is the Archbishop of Sydney. As of 2017, the president is Dr John Carmody.
The Society publishes the Journal of the Australian Catholic Historical Society, with one issue per year. As of 2017 the editor is James Franklin of the University of New South Wales. The Society also publishes four newsletters each year.
The Society has a Melbourne chapter which holds occasional talks.
In 2016 the Society held a conference 'To and from the Antipodes: Catholic missionaries over two centuries'. Its proceedings appear as a special issue of the Journal.