A detailed history of the academy is available in Professor Stuart Macintyre's book: The poor relation: a history of the social sciences in Australia

The poor relation examines the place of the social sciences-from economics and psychology to history, law and philosophy-in the teaching and research conducted by Australian universities.

Stuart Macintyre is the Ernest Scott Professor of History at the University of Melbourne and a Laureate Professor of the University. He is a former president of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and a current member of the Advisory Council of the Australian Research Council.

Timeline for the formation of ASSA

The Australian National Research Council (ANRC) adopts a recommendation that an Australian Social Science Council be established.
The Provisional Social Science Research Committee of the ANRC is formed, and in the same year becomes an independent although still subsidiary body, the Social Science Research Committee (SSRC).
A meeting of the SSRC resolves to make itself an entirely autonomous body, as had been anticipated when it was created;
A draft constitution for the new body is accepted at a meeting of the ANRC, with all members of the Committee invited to become a part of the new Social Science Research Council of Australia (still 'SSRC').
The new SSRC holds it first meeting. Membership of the council is 44.
The Council considers seeking the status of an academy by royal charter, but resolves instead to be incorporated under Australian law.
The SSRC is incorporated in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).
The SSRC adopts a recommendation that it become the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia (ASSA), resolving again to do so by incorporation rather than royal charter1.
The Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia is incorporated in the ACT, with those Fellows of the SSRC becoming Fellows of ASSA.

1 The question having been precipitated by the decision of the Australian Humanities Research Council to seek a royal charter, which was granted in June 1970 making it the Australian Academy of the Humanities.