The Australian Centre

Originally established in 1989, the Australian Centre has a long history of supporting scholarship on colonial and contemporary Australian society and culture. We foster world-leading research on the settler state, its culture, institutions, sovereignty and identities across several different disciplines, including history, sociology, literature, politics, visual arts and anthropology.

We focus on deepening our understanding of the challenges inherent in our colonial history and engage in research and education that drives a more engaged, responsible and respectful approach to Indigenous-Settler relations.

'Settler colonialism is a structure not an event' rally banner

What we do

We offer a rich program of research and activity that includes:

  • Research that critically engages with settler colonialism and its institutions
  • Events and critical conversations that inform and shape more just relations between Indigenous and settler peoples
  • An education program that enables others to take up the work of advancing a critical understanding of Australia as a colonial project and engage in the transformation of the nation
  • Partnerships and projects and work closely with industry, government, NGOs, and community organisations.

Our program

Our program is shaped by a series of provocations that consider how Australia’s founding as a settler colony informs our capacity to engage with the central challenges of our time:

  • How, where, and for whom, does “Australia” (and other settler states) manifest and sustain itself?
  • The connections between sovereignty, Country, land and environment, focusing on the relationship between colonisation and climate change.
  • Who is a host and who is a guest in this place? How does the ongoing colonisation of Australia impact our ability to welcome others to these shores?
Banksia plant
Always will be

Preparing for Treaty

An important part of our work is the education we provide to individuals and organisations in preparing for treaty negotiations.

Melbourne MicroCerts

The Professional Certificate in Treaty

  • Add one further subject to this series of Melbourne MicroCerts and you will complete Australia’s first Professional Certificate in Treaty

Donate to our Treaty Education Fund and support First Nations people participate in this education program.



The Australian Centre is led by Director Professor Sarah Maddison and Deputy Director Dr Julia Hurst.

Meet the team

Contact us

If the Australian Centre is a suitable fit for your initiative, please email us at

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