People

Meet the Australian Centre team

  • Team
    Professor Sarah Maddison

    Director

    Professor Sarah Maddison is Director of the Australian Centre at the University of Melbourne. She was educated at the University of Sydney and the University of Technology, Sydney. She taught political science at the University of New South Wales from 2004-2014, where she also held roles as Senior Associate Dean (2007-2010) and as an Australian Research Council Future Fellow (2011-2014). She joined the University of Melbourne in 2015. In 2018 she co-founded a research unit, the Indigenous-Settler Relations Collaboration, in the Faculty of Arts, which she co-directed with Associate Professor Sana Nakata until 2021. Also with Associate Professor Nakata and with Dr Julia Hurst she edits the Springer book series Indigenous-Settler Relations in Australia and the World. She has published widely in the fields of reconciliation and intercultural relations, settler colonialism, Indigenous politics, gender politics, social movements, and democracy. Her most recent book, The Colonial Fantasy: Why white Australia can't solve black problems, was published by Allen & Unwin in 2019. In 2015 Sarah published Conflict Transformation and Reconciliation (Routledge) based on comparative research in South Africa, Northern Ireland, Australia, and Guatemala, and in 2016 she published the collection (co-edited with Tom Clark and Ravi de Costa) The Limits of Settler Colonial Reconciliation (Springer). Her book Black Politics: Inside the complexity of Aboriginal political culture (2009) was the joint winner of the Henry Mayer Book Prize in 2009. Her other recent books include The Women’s Movement in Protest, Institutions and the Internet (co-edited with Marian Sawer, 2013), Beyond White Guilt (2011), Unsettling the Settler State (co-edited with Morgan Brigg, 2011), and Silencing Dissent (co-edited with Clive Hamilton, 2007). In 2017 Sarah was Visiting Chair of Politics at the University of Cape Town and has previously held visiting positions at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University, the University of Connecticut, The University of Witwatersrand, and the University of Ulster. In 2009 she was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to study models of Indigenous representation in the United States and Canada. Sarah was Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Arts from 2019 to 2021.

    Julia Hurst

    Deputy Director

    Dr Julia Hurst is Deputy Director of the Australian Centre at the University of Melbourne and Lecturer in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History. Julia completed her PhD at ANU in Aboriginal History. Her Indigenous heritage crosses Dharawal and Darug land. Her research explores fundamental questions of Australian Aboriginal identity in 21st century Australia. She has a Masters of Urban Planning and Bachelor of Arts and has presented her research in local and international forums. She has worked across academia, the arts and corporate sectors.

    Lecturer in Treaty

    Matthew Campbell has a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (RMIT), a Masters of Applied Anthropology (ANU) and has recently submitted his PhD at Charles Darwin University. His PhD explores situations in which Indigenous and non- Indigenous people, working together, become aware that the goals or ends of that work are not necessarily shared. The thesis draws on two decades of work in Northern Australia to examine the processes by which such challenges were identified, made explicit and addressed. It also explores the role that inquiry itself played in supporting this process.

    Matt worked at Charles Darwin University in a number of roles, including as a remote Land and Resource Management Lecturer, a Community Engagement Officer and a Research Officer. He also worked as the Research Coordinator of Tangentyere Council’s Research Hub in Alice Springs, an Aboriginal research unit dedicated to undertaking research that produces tangible difference in the lives of Town Camp residents.

    Throughout his professional career he has written and published papers, focusing on using empirical examples from applied work to explore how actors are configured within projects, and to explicate how the challenges of work in epistemically complex situations are surfaced and addressed within the work itself. His primary research interest is in exploring the political and epistemic aspects embedded within work where Indigenous and non-Indigenous people undertake action together.

    Centre Coordinator

    Bianca Williams is the Centre Coordinator, along with being a co-lead discussant for the Centre's critical reading group. Bianca also tutors in the subject Indigenous Treaties and Titles at the University of Melbourne. She has completed an undergraduate degree in Indigenous Studies and is currently undertaking a Masters degree in Justice and Criminology. She has a particular interest in the histories and contemporary politics related to the impacts of legislation on Indigenous lives. Bianca has a background in finance and worked in the field for fourteen years before joining the University of Melbourne. Her work in finance included establishing and managing a loan originations team dedicated to supporting the financial independence of individuals who would normally be overlooked by mainstream lenders. Bianca belongs to the Ngemba people of Bourke New South Wales. She has lived on Kulin Nations land for over a decade.

    Research Coordinator

    Eleanor Benson is the Research Coordinator. She is a white settler living and working on the unceded lands of the Wurundjeri and Boonwurrung peoples of the Kulin nations. Eleanor completed a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honours at the University of Melbourne in 2017, majoring in Australian Indigenous Studies and Gender Studies. Her honours thesis explored the relationship between incarceration and settler colonial sovereignty. Eleanor has tutored in Gender Studies and Sustainability Studies at the University of Melbourne and RMIT. She is currently working as a research assistant on an ARC Discovery Project with academics from the University of Melbourne and the University of Queensland, investigating Indigenous governance and state relations.

    Education Programs Coordinator

    Claire Akhbari is the Education Programs Coordinator. Claire is from a white settler background and completed their BA (Honours) with a major in Australian Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne in 2016. Their minor thesis was entitled Booing the Selfish Rabble: Reading race in whitestream news media representations of Aboriginal sovereign resistance and the findings were presented at the 2017 NIRAKN Race, Whiteness and Indigeneity International Conference. They also presented a paper at The National Centre of Indigenous Studies Research Colloquium in 2017 entitled Decolonizing Graduate Research: Reflections from a Settler-Colonizer perspective. For the last 2 years they have been working as a tutor in the subjects Australian Indigenous Public Policy, Australian Indigenous Politics, First Peoples in a Global Context, Aboriginalities, Introduction to Indigenous Education and Public Policy Making, and was one of the lead discussants for the Indigenous Settler Relations Collaboration reading group for 18 months. While an undergraduate student they were a co-author of a 2015 publication The Oombulgurri Project, which worked from the local to situate the case of the closure of the Oombulgurri community in larger frameworks of settler colonial violence and neo-liberal strategy. They were also on the Faculty of Arts Dean’s Honours List twice in 2015 and 2011, and the 2015 recipient of The Marion Boothby Exhibition, which is awarded to the student with the highest mark in the field of British History. They live and work on the stolen lands of the Boonwurung and Wurundjeri peoples of the Kulin Nation and acknowledges that sovereignty to their lands, and the rest of the country currently known as Australia, has never been ceded. The desire to individually reject and collectively dismantle the personal and structural privilege gained from the foundational and ongoing genocide and dispossession of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples informs their work.

  • Advisory Board

    Professor Chris Healy

    Chris Healy, FAHA, is an internationally respected scholar in the fields of cultural studies and media, public history, and memory studies, as well as a distinguished historian of Australian colonial and Aboriginal history. His research has led to new understandings of the significance of memory in the relations between Indigenous and mainstream Australia, and important reassessments of First Nations interventions into the contemporary practices of museums and heritage sites. He is the author of two monographs, five co-edited books, more than 50 book chapters and journal articles, 30 edited journal issues, and several significant reports and essays. As the University of Melbourne’s inaugural appointee in Cultural Studies, he established and lead an innovative, durable, and widely admired program focused on the study of contemporary culture. Chris has been a research leader as a Chief Investigator on five ARC Discovery Projects, as an editor of a major Cultural Studies Journal and through the ARC Cultural Research Network. He has an outstanding track record as a PhD supervisor and mentor of graduate students, most recently through his leadership of the first Arts Faculty International Research Training Group with Potsdam University.

    Craig Ritchie

    Craig Ritchie is an Aboriginal man of the Dhunghutti and Biripi nations and is the Chief Executive Officer at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS). Craig joined AIATSIS as Deputy CEO in April 2016, and formally appointed CEO in May 2017. Prior to joining, Craig has worked in other senior roles in the Department of Education and Training 2011-2016 in roles heading Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander higher education, higher education access  and participation for people from low-SES backgrounds, and international student mobility, as well as founding Director, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health in the ACT Government. Craig has extensive experience in the community sector, including as CEO of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) - the peak advocacy body for Aboriginal community-controlled health services.

    Craig is one of a small number of Indigenous Commonwealth Government agency heads and a founding member of the APS Indigenous SES Network. He is an Adjunct Professor at the Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research at the University of Technology Sydney where he also serves on the Vice- Chancellor’s Industry Advisory Board. He also holds honorary appointments at the University of Melbourne and the Australian National University. He is also a Distinguished Fellow of the Australian and New Zealand School of Government. He studied History, Classics and Education at the University of Newcastle and has a post-graduate qualification in management and is currently completing his PhD at the Australian National University. His thesis topic is Culture and Policymaking: Towards Better Aboriginal Policy and explores the cultural basis of contemporary policymaking and researching Aboriginal culture as a vector for the transformation of policymaking systems. His research interests are interdisciplinary and span literature, history, classics, philosophy, and political science. He has a scholarly focus on the interaction between culture and socio-political systems with a strong interactionist orientation.

    Dale Wandin

    Dale Wandin is a Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung artist. Dale stood as a candidate for the Metropolitan Region for the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria. Dale has written on the Victorian Treaty process for the Australian Book Review. Dale has previously worked with Crown Melbourne, Aboriginal Hostel Limited, Keep Australia Beautiful Victoria(now Keep Victoria Beautiful), as well as Melbourne Magistrates Court. Dale was a Sovereign Body member for Pay the Rent between 2020 – 2022. Dale also sits on the RAP Steering Committee for Manningham City Council & has previously sat on the RAP Steering Committee for Crown Melbourne.

    Professor Ghassan Hage

    Ghassan Hage is professor of anthropology and social theory at the University of Melbourne. He has worked and published extensively on questions of nationalism, multiculturalism and racism as well as on critical anthropological theory. His most recent publications include Is Racism an Environmental Threat? (2017), Decay (2021) and The Diasporic Condition (2021).

    Jennifer Balint

    Associate Professor Jennifer Balint

    Jennifer Balint is Associate Professor in Socio-Legal Studies and Head of School, Social and Political Sciences. She has a BA (Hons) LLB (Hons) from Macquarie University, and a PhD from the Law Program, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University.

    She came to the University of Melbourne in 2002 to establish the Socio-Legal Studies program in Criminology. Her research expertise is in the area of state crime, genocide and access to justice, with a focus on the constitutive function of law in societies and transitional justice. She co-established the Minutes of Evidence project, a collaboration between Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers, education experts, performance artists, community members, government and community organisations that aims to spark public conversations about structural justice and how understanding the relationship between the colonial past and the present can bring about just futures. See www.minutesofevidence.com.au. Her work is focused on the development of models to address institutional harm and to effect structural change. Associate Professor Balint has been a visiting fellow at International State Crime Initiative at Queen Mary University of London, the Collegium Budapest Institute for Advanced Study, a research fellow at the International Human Rights Law Institute at DePaul University, Chicago, a visiting scholar at the Centre for International and Public Law at the Australian National University and an invited scholar to the University of Leuven. She has participated in the United Nations Preparatory Commission meetings for the formation of the International Criminal Court in New York, and was the representative for Oceania for the establishment of the International Criminal Bar. She has consulted the Department of Justice on matters relating to access to justice, and has sat on the Management Committee of Fitzroy Legal Service. Her earlier book, Genocide, State Crime and the Law. In the Name of the State, is a legal and socio-political analysis of the capacity of law to address genocide and other forms of state crime, law's relationship to reconciliation, and the role of law in the perpetration of these crimes. Her most recent book, with Julie Evans, Mark McMillan and Nesam McMillan, is Keeping Hold of Justice. Encounters between Law and Colonialism (Michigan University Press, 2020), which considers what a structural justice could look like in the face of structural injustice.

    Kim Alley

    Dr Kim Alley

    Kim Alley is an Aboriginal academic and researcher, with more than ten years’ experience in researching and teaching Indigenous Studies, Australian Politics and Middle Eastern Politics/History. Her work focuses on settler colonial histories and political violence, while also examining social movements for change and liberation, transnational activism and resistance politics. Kim’s work seeks to highlight how such histories and activism impact and inform Indigenous Settler relations today both in Australia and internationally.

    Lou Bennett

    Dr Lou Bennett AM

    Lou Bennett, Yorta Yorta Dja Dja Wurrung, is a former member of the internationally acclaimed music trio Tiddas. Bennett is a consummate performer, playing audiences worldwide. Bennett is a prolific songwriter/composer and during her ten years with Tiddas (1990-2000) penned some of the group’s signature songs. Bennett’s work stretches over a vast area within the Arts industry throughout the past twenty-nine years including her various roles as Performer, Songwriter, Musical and Artistic Director, Composer, Actor, Soundscape and Music Designer and Educator. In 2006 Bennett was one of the co-founders of the Black Arm Band and contributing to all productions by the company. Bennett (Artistic director/Co-CEO) was an instrumental force in the company’s transformative journey from being a one-off ‘special project’, becoming an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander governed, not for profit major performing arts company. In Bennett’s time at the company (2006-2014) she was involved in the touring of five major productions both nationally and internationally. Bennett was a major contributor to the establishment of the company’s Community Engagement Workshop Program. Bennett completed her PhD by project at RMIT Melbourne in October 2015. Bennett’s dissertation discusses the importance and relevance of Aboriginal language retrieval, reclamation and regeneration through the medium of the Arts to community health and wellbeing and explores the importance of Indigenous epistemology, methodology and pedagogy in artistic and academic contexts. Bennett uses her own languages of Yorta Yorta and Dja Dja Wurrung, extending to other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages that can be retrieved, reclaimed and regenerated through songs, stories and performances. Bennett continues to research the obstacles and ethical issues related to retrieving and transmitting Aboriginal languages cross-culturally and across different generations as the McKenzie Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Dr Bennett was inducted onto the Victorian Women’s Honour Roll for 2017.

    Dr Melitta Hogarth

    Melitta Hogarth is a Kamilaroi woman and is the Assistant Dean (Indigenous) and Senior Research Fellow in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. Prior to entering academia, Melitta taught for almost 20 years in all three sectors of the Queensland education system specifically in Secondary education. Melitta’s interests are in education, equity and social justice. Her PhD titled “Addressing the rights of Indigenous peoples in education: A critical analysis of Indigenous education policy” was awarded both the QUT and Faculty of Education Outstanding Thesis Awards and was awarded the Ray Debus Award for Doctoral Research in Education.

    Professor Rachel Nordlinger

    Rachel Nordlinger is a Chief Investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language, and Director of the Research Unit for Indigenous Language, in the School of Languages and Linguistics. She completed her PhD in Linguistics at Stanford University, USA.

    Rachel's research centres around the description and documentation of Australia's Indigenous languages, and she has worked with the Bilinarra, Wambaya, Gudanji, Murrinhpatha and Marri Ngarr communities to record and preserve their traditional languages. She has also published on syntactic and morphological theory, and in particular the challenges posed by the complex grammatical structures of Australian Aboriginal languages. She is the author of numerous academic articles in international journals, and five books, including A Grammar of Wambaya (Pacific Linguistics, 1998), Constructive Case: Evidence from Australian languages (CSLI Publications, 1998) and A Grammar of Bilinarra (Mouton de Gruyter, 2014 - coauthored with Dr. Felicity Meakins). She is co-editor (with Harold Koch) of The Languages and Linguistics of Australia (Mouton de Gruyter, 2014). Rachel Nordlinger was elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities in November 2017.

    Associate Professor Sara Wills

    Sara Wills is currently the Associate Dean for Engagement and Advancement in the Faculty of Arts, Head of Program for the Executive Master of Arts in the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Deputy Director of the Melbourne Social Equity Institute and an Associate Professor in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies. Born in the UK, Sara migrated to Australia in her mid-teens and, following an early (and continuing) interest in aspects of the history of ideas about nature, she has mainly focused her academic teaching and research on aspects of migration, multicultural and refugee studies and histories, with particular reference to memory and museum studies.

    She has taught the undergraduate subject 'Migrant Nation: History, Culture, Identity' for over 10 years and supervised many theses to completion in this broad field that examines 'those who have performed the act of which all men anciently dream, the thing for which they envy the birds; that is to say we have flown' (to borrow from Salman Rushdie). In addition to this interest in what it means to appear to defy history, memory and time as a migrant (while mindful also of the deep 'routes' and 'roots' that orient the Aboriginal family of which she became a part over 20 years ago), Sara is also invested in the idea that an education in the humanities prepares one for the great work that makes a great life. To that end, she has enjoyed teaching 'The Power of Ideas: 10 Great Books' and 'Leaders, Business and Culture in Florence' as part of the unique Executive Master of Arts degree in the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences - a degree that combines critical, creative and ethical thinking with budgeting, project management and how to develop a good comms plan. For the last 10 years, much of Sara's time and attention has been engaged by how the University can create greater opportunities for students, research and teaching excellence by working with the broader community. Believing that we are always 'stronger together', Sara has been keen to work in partnership with individuals and organisations who share the Faculty's commitment to excellence, access, equity and diversity in education. Sara is proud of her work with the 110 Scholarship Scheme, I-LEAP (the Indigenous Leadership Excellence and Achievement Program) the Melbourne Humanities Foundation Board, the Being Human Festival and the Melbourne Social Equity Institute, which supports interdisciplinary research and engagement for fairer societies.

  • Fellows

    The Australian Centre brings together scholars who are interested in contributing to and furthering the Centre's focus on advancing a critical understanding of Australia as a colonial project. Underpinned by our commitment to working in a collaborative manner, the Australian Centre utilises the expertise of each of its members to present a unique and nuanced perspective on the settler state, its culture, institutions, sovereignty and identities.

    Adrian Little

    Professor Adrian Little

    Adrian Little is the Pro Vice Chancellor (International) at the University of Melbourne and Professor of Political Theory. Having moved to Melbourne from the University of London in 2004, he went on to be the Head of the School of Social and Political Sciences for a decade between 2007 and 2017. His work focuses on theories of democracy and conflict, complexity, borders and migration, temporality, relational ontologies particularly in Indigenous-settler relations, and British and Irish politics. He has published seven monographs including Temporal Politics: Contested Pasts, Uncertain Futures (Edinburgh University Press, 2022). In 2020 he was elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia.

    Andrew May

    Professor Andrew May

    Andrew May FASSA FRS is a social historian with expertise across urban history, colonialism and inter-cultural exchange in north-east India, and digital techniques in the humanities, with broader critical and applied interests in cultural heritage and public history. As an urban historian he has published widely on the social experience of the Australian city, its public spaces and communal rituals, its suburban qualities, and its cosmopolitan cultures, with books including Melbourne Street Life (1998), Espresso! Melbourne Coffee Stories (2001) and Federation Square (2003, with Norman Day). As Director of 'The Encyclopedia of Melbourne', he guided that project's development from the mid 1990s to its publication by Cambridge University Press in 2005 and its current online iteration eMelbourne.net.au. As facilitator of the Melbourne History Workshop in the School of Historical & Philosophical Studies, he oversees a studio-based research collaboratory in the History Program which taps the pooled expertise of staff, research higher degree students and affiliates in order to provide innovative and rigorously-applied historical research, postgraduate training, industry collaboration and community-facing projects. As a historian of imperialism, he has further and particular interest in aspects of religion, governance, identity and cultural heritage in the Khasi Hills of North-East India, a key contribution to the scholarship being Welsh Missionaries and British Imperialism: The Empire of Clouds in North-East India (2012) published in the Manchester University Press Studies in Imperialism Series. He is currently leading an endangered archives project in north-east India under the auspices of the British Library’s Endangered Archives Program, supported by the Arcadia Fund. He is the Historian Member and Deputy Chair of the Victorian Heritage Council, and co-chair of the Aboriginal Heritage Council / Victorian Heritage Council Joint Working Group.

    Ashley Barnwell

    Dr Ashley Barnwell

    Ashley Barnwell is Senior Research Fellow in Sociology in the School of Social and Political Sciences. Ashley is interested in sociological aspects of emotions, memory, and narrative, and the role of life writing, personal archives, and literature in sociological research. From 2019–2022, she will be an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow working on the project ‘Family Secrets, National Silences: Intergenerational Memory in Settler Colonial Australia’. This project aims to investigate the inherited family secrets, stories, and memories that inform Australian's understandings of colonial history. Ashley is author of Critical Affect: The Politics of Method (Edinburgh University Press 2020), co-author of Reckoning with the Past: Family Historiographies in Postcolonial Australian Literature (with Joseph Cummins, Routledge 2018), and co-editor of Research Methodologies for Auto/Biography Studies (with Kate Douglas, Routledge 2019). She has published papers in journals including Sociology, The Sociological Review, Memory Studies, Emotions and Society, Cultural Sociology, Journal of Classical Sociology, Life Writing, Journal of Australian Studies, and Cultural Studies. With Dr Signe Ravn, Ashley co-directs the Narrative Network, an interdisciplinary forum for scholars working with narrative methods. She was the 2014 Seymour Scholar for Biography and a 2019 Research Fellow at the National Library of Australia. Ashley has also been a Visiting Scholar at The Morgan Centre for Research into Everyday Lives, University of Manchester, at the School of Social and Political Science at the University of Edinburgh, and at the National Centre for Biography at the ANU.

    Associate Professor Jeanine Leane

    Associate Professor Jeanine Leane

    Jeanine Leane is a Wiradjuri writer, poet and academic from southwest New South Wales. Her poetry and short stories have been published in Hecate: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Women’s Liberation, The Journal for the Association European Studies of Australia, Australian Poetry Journal, Antipodes, Overland and the Australian Book Review. Jeanine has published widely in the area of Aboriginal literature, writing otherness and creative non-fiction.  Jeanine was the recipient of the University of Canberra Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Poetry Prize, and she has won the Oodgeroo Noonucal Prize for Poetry twice (2017 & 2019. She was the 2019 recipient of the Red Room Poetry Fellowship for her project called Voicing the Unsettled Space: Rewriting the Colonial Mythscape. Jeanine teaches Creative Writing and Aboriginal Literature at the University of Melbourne. Jeanine is the recipient of an Australian Research Council (ARC) Fellowship for a project called ‘Aboriginal Writing: Shaping the literary and cultural history of Australia, since 1988’ (2014-2018); and a second ARC grant that looks at Indigenous Storytelling and the Archive 2020-2024). In 2020 Jeanine edited Guwayu – for all times – a collection of First Nations Poetry commissioned by Red Room Poetry and published by Magabala Books.

    Jennifer Balint

    Associate Professor Jennifer Balint

    Jennifer Balint is Associate Professor in Socio-Legal Studies and Head of School, Social and Political Sciences. She has a BA (Hons) LLB (Hons) from Macquarie University, and a PhD from the Law Program, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University. She came to the University of Melbourne in 2002 to establish the Socio-Legal Studies program in Criminology. Her research expertise is in the area of state crime, genocide and access to justice, with a focus on the constitutive function of law in societies and transitional justice. She co-established the Minutes of Evidence project, a collaboration between Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers, education experts, performance artists, community members, government and community organisations that aims to spark public conversations about structural justice and how understanding the relationship between the colonial past and the present can bring about just futures. See www.minutesofevidence.com.au. Her work is focused on the development of models to address institutional harm and to effect structural change. Associate Professor Balint has been a visiting fellow at International State Crime Initiative at Queen Mary University of London, the Collegium Budapest Institute for Advanced Study, a research fellow at the International Human Rights Law Institute at DePaul University, Chicago, a visiting scholar at the Centre for International and Public Law at the Australian National University and an invited scholar to the University of Leuven. She has participated in the United Nations Preparatory Commission meetings for the formation of the International Criminal Court in New York, and was the representative for Oceania for the establishment of the International Criminal Bar. She has consulted the Department of Justice on matters relating to access to justice, and has sat on the Management Committee of Fitzroy Legal Service. Her earlier book, Genocide, State Crime and the Law. In the Name of the State, is a legal and socio-political analysis of the capacity of law to address genocide and other forms of state crime, law's relationship to reconciliation, and the role of law in the perpetration of these crimes. Her most recent book, with Julie Evans, Mark McMillan and Nesam McMillan, is Keeping Hold of Justice. Encounters between Law and Colonialism (Michigan University Press, 2020), which considers what a structural justice could look like in the face of structural injustice.

    Karen Farquharson

    Professor Karen Farquharson

    Karen Farquharson is Professor of Sociology and Vice President of Academic Board at the University of Melbourne. Her research is focused on the sociology of ‘race’ and racism, ethnicity, and diversity, particularly in the contexts of media and sport. Her recent work has looked at how organisations manage diversity including organisational opportunities for and barriers to increasing diversity. Karen is co-author of three books including Qualitative Social Research: Contemporary Methods for the Digital Age (2016) and co-editor of three collections, most recently Australian Media and the Politics of Belonging (2018) and Relating Worlds of Racism: Dehumanisation, Belonging, and the Normativity of European Whiteness (2019). She is author of over multiple refereed journal articles and book chapters, and has supervised 19 20 PhD students to completion. Karen was educated at Harvard University (MA, PhD) and the University of California, Berkeley (BA).

    Kim Alley

    Dr Kim Alley

    Kim Alley is an Aboriginal academic and researcher, with more than ten years’ experience in researching and teaching Indigenous Studies, Australian Politics and Middle Eastern Politics/History. Her work focuses on settler colonial histories and political violence, while also examining social movements for change and liberation, transnational activism and resistance politics. Kim’s work seeks to highlight how such histories and activism impact and inform Indigenous Settler relations today both in Australia and internationally.

    Kirsty Gover

    Professor Kirsty Gover

    Kirsty Gover is a first generation New Zealander who grew up on Kati Mamoe-Ngai Tahu land. She teaches and writes about domestic and international law affecting Indigenous peoples in Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the United States. Her recent research addresses the law, policy and political theory of Indigenous rights and jurisdiction. In particular, she is interested in the transformative promise of Indigenous legal traditions, and their importance in the reform of settler-state political theory and law. Kirsty is the author of Tribal Constitutionalism: States, Tribes and the Governance of Membership (Oxford University Press, 2011) and is working on a book entitled When Tribalism Meets Liberalism: Political Theory and International Law (Oxford University Press). She was appointed to the Melbourne Law School faculty as a Senior Lecturer in 2009, and is a graduate of New York

    Licho Lopez

    Dr Licho Lopez

    Licho López is a Caribbean, Queer, and Brown scholar of Indigenous background whose life begins in Abya Yala and moves through continental Africa, Europe, the US, and Australia. Licho’s research is located at the intersection of curriculum studies, Indigenous and race studies in education, and youth studies in the digital. Licho’s interdisciplinary research has played with theatre as research in teaching communities of practice, Indigenous curriculum history in teacher education, visual cultures of refugee encampment and humanitarianism, and popular visual and digital cultures to end antiblack racism, coloniality, and their multiple reverberations in schooling. She is the author of The Making of Indigeneity, Curriculum History, and the Limits of Diversity (Routledge, 2018), Indigenous Future(s) and Learning(s): Taking Place (with G. Coello. Routledge, 2020), and two upcoming books: Interrogating the Relations between Migration and Education in the South: Migrating Americas (with I. Cepeda Mayorga and M. E. Tijoux. Routledge, 2022) and Growing up Antiblack in Latin America and the Caribbean (with G. Coello, Abya Yala, 2022). She is the editor of Education in Latin America and the Caribbean Palgrave Book series. Licho is a former McKenzie Fellow at the University of Melbourne (2016-2019) and Erasmus Mundus Fellow at Carl von Ossietzky Universität, Universitet i Stavanger, and Mbarara University (2012-2014). Her doctorate received the American Educational Research Association Curriculum Studies (Div.B), recognition award (2017).

    Lou Bennett

    Dr Lou Bennett AM

    Lou Bennett, Yorta Yorta Dja Dja Wurrung, is a former member of the internationally acclaimed music trio Tiddas. Bennett is a consummate performer, playing audiences worldwide. Bennett is a prolific songwriter/composer and during her ten years with Tiddas (1990-2000) penned some of the group’s signature songs. Bennett’s work stretches over a vast area within the Arts industry throughout the past twenty-nine years including her various roles as Performer, Songwriter, Musical and Artistic Director, Composer, Actor, Soundscape and Music Designer and Educator. In 2006 Bennett was one of the co-founders of the Black Arm Band and contributing to all productions by the company. Bennett (Artistic director/Co-CEO) was an instrumental force in the company’s transformative journey from being a one-off ‘special project’, becoming an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander governed, not for profit major performing arts company. In Bennett’s time at the company (2006-2014) she was involved in the touring of five major productions both nationally and internationally. Bennett was a major contributor to the establishment of the company’s Community Engagement Workshop Program. Bennett completed her PhD by project at RMIT Melbourne in October 2015. Bennett’s dissertation discusses the importance and relevance of Aboriginal language retrieval, reclamation and regeneration through the medium of the Arts to community health and wellbeing and explores the importance of Indigenous epistemology, methodology and pedagogy in artistic and academic contexts. Bennett uses her own languages of Yorta Yorta and Dja Dja Wurrung, extending to other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages that can be retrieved, reclaimed and regenerated through songs, stories and performances. Bennett continues to research the obstacles and ethical issues related to retrieving and transmitting Aboriginal languages cross-culturally and across different generations as the McKenzie Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Dr Bennett was inducted onto the Victorian Women’s Honour Roll for 2017.

    Dr Maddee Clark

    Dr Maddee Clark

    Maddee Clark is a Yugambeh writer and editor with experience across a diverse range of publication types. His Ph.D research in Indigenous Studies examined published works of Indigenous Futurism in Australia since 2012 by writers such as Ellen Van Neerven, Alexis Wright, and Nicole Watson. He continues to write, teach and publish research on Aboriginal writing, and explore further research interests in Indigenous queer and trans studies.

    Associate Professor Nikki Moodie

    Nikki Moodie is a Gamilaroi woman, and an interdisciplinary sociologist based at The University of Melbourne. A/Prof Moodie is the current Program Director and Deputy Director of the Atlantic Fellows for Social Equity, a 20-year philanthropic program focused on Indigenous-led social change.

    Nikki joined AFSE following appointments in Sociology, Education and Chancellery at the University of Melbourne, and Public Policy and Indigenous Studies at RMIT. Nikki was the inaugural Research Fellow in Indigenous Research, and Academic Convenor of the Hallmark Indigenous Research Initiative at the University of Melbourne. She received the Betty Watts Indigenous Researcher Award from the Australian Association for Research in Education in 2017 and Best Paper Award from the Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education in 2018. She is a member of the Expert Advisory Committee to the Yoo-rrook Justice Royal Commission, and her research spans the fields of Indigenous education, public policy, governance, race, social capital and relationality. Nikki holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Political Science from the University of Queensland, and a PhD in Sociology from the Australian National University.

    Dr Odette Kelada

    Odette Kelada is a senior lecturer in the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne. She has a PhD in literature researching the lives of Australian women writers. Kelada teaches and publishes on race, creativity and gender in Australian writing and the arts. She is interested in the constructions of nation, body, activism, and identities in creative representations a well as the teaching of racial literacy. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications including the Australian Cultural History Journal, OverlandArtlink, Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature, Postcolonial Studies Journal and the Journal of Intercultural Studies. Her novel Drawing Sybylla: The Real and Imagined Lives of Australia's Writing Women, won the Dorothy Hewett Award in 2017.

    Sophie Rudolph

    Dr Sophie Rudolph

    Sophie Rudolph is interested in the central problem of settler colonial racial domination in Australian contexts in which First Nations people have never ceded sovereignty, and its connection to global European colonialism and capitalism. Through historical and sociological work I examine the impact and dynamics of racial domination on education and the possibilities for education to address racism and achieve racial justice. As a non-Indigenous, white, settler scholar I attempt to engage critically with these issues of power and inequality even as I work within settler colonial institutions and am implicated by settler racial dominance. My PhD research investigated Indigenous education policy, its historical echoes and its political effects. My current project examines the history and contemporary effects of school discipline.

    Zoe Laidlaw

    Professor Zoë Laidlaw

    Zoë Laidlaw has been Professor of History in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies since 2018, having previously worked at Royal Holloway University of London (2005-2018) and the University of Sheffield (2001-2005). Her expertise lies in the nineteenth-century history of British imperialism and colonialism, and her work encompasses imperial networks and governance, humanitarianism, settler colonialism and Indigenous-settler relations, slavery and its abolition, the imperial state, commissions of inquiry and the creation of imperial knowledge. Zoë's publications include Protecting the Empire’s Humanity: Thomas Hodgkin and British Colonial Activism 1830-1870 (Cambridge UP, 2021), Colonial Connections 1815-45: patronage, the information revolution and colonial government (Manchester UP, 2005) and, co-edited with Alan Lester, Indigenous Communities and Settler Colonialism: Land Holding, Loss and Survival in an Interconnected World (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015). She is currently a Chief Investigator on two ARC Discovery Projects: Western Australian Legacies of British Slavery (ARC DP 200100094) and Inquiring into Empire: remaking the British World after 1815 (ARC DP 180100537). Zoë has supervised PhD students working on topics in Australian, British, South African and trans-Atlantic history, including three funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council to work on the Indigenous Australian collections at the British Museum. Zoë is a Fellow, and past Honorary Secretary, of the Royal Historical Society (UK); a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society; and a member of the Australian Historical Association. She completed a BA(Hons)/BSc(Hons) at the University of Melbourne, and a DPhil at the University of Oxford.

  • Affiliated Researchers

    The Australian Centre brings together scholars who are interested in contributing to and furthering the Centre's focus on advancing a critical understanding of Australia as a colonial project. Underpinned by our commitment to working in a collaborative manner, the Australian Centre utilises the expertise of each of its members to present a unique and nuanced perspective on the settler state, its culture, institutions, sovereignty and identities.

    Craig Ritchie

    Craig Ritchie is the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies.

    Elise Klein

    Associate Professor Elise Klein

    Elise Klein is an Associate Professor in Public Policy at the Crawford School in Public Policy at the Australian National University. Her research focuses on development policy with a specific interest in work, redistribution, decoloniality and care.

    Dr Jacynta Krakouer

    Jacynta Krakouer (she/her) (BSc, MSW, MSP Melb) is a Mineng Noongar woman originally from southern Western Australia who lives and works on Wurundjeri Country in Naarm. She is a Research Fellow in the Health and Social Care Unit (HSCU) at Monash University. An early career researcher, Jacynta is in the final stages of a PhD Candidature at the University of Melbourne, with expertise in cultural connection for First Nations children and young people in out-of-home care. A social worker by background, she previously worked as an Associate Lecturer in the Department of Social Work at the University of Melbourne. Jacynta's expertise centres around child protection and out-of-home care practices, policies and systems, particularly for First Nations children, young people, families and communities. She is passionate about Indigenous self-determination and Indigenous-led research in these contexts.

    Liz Strakosch

    Dr Liz Strakosch

    Elizabeth Strakosch is a senior lecturer in public policy and governance at University of Queensland, and her work focuses on Indigenous policy, colonialism, political relationships, bureaucracy and new public management. Her research explores the connections between political relationships and policy systems in Australia and other settler contexts. contexts. Elizabeth is a non-Indigenous scholar who aims to carry out politically located research that respects Indigenous sovereignty. Elizabeth is currently working with colleagues at the University of Melbourne on the ARC project Revitalising Indigenous-State Relations and developing a comparative study of Australian and US Indigenous policy relationships.

    Lorenzo Veracini

    Associate Professor Lorenzo Veracini

    Lorenzo Veracini teaches history and politics at Swinburne University of Technology. His research focuses on the comparative history of colonial systems and settler colonialism as a mode of domination. He has authored Israel and Settler Society (2006), Settler Colonialism: A Theoretical Overview (2010), The Settler Colonial Present (2015), and most recently The World Turned Inside Out: Settler Colonialism as a Political Idea (2021). Lorenzo co-edited The Routledge Handbook of the History of Settler Colonialism (2016), manages the settler colonial studies blog, and is Founding Editor of Settler Colonial Studies.

    Associate Professor Morgan Brigg

    Morgan Brigg is Associate Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies in the School of Political Science and International Studies at The University of Queensland. He is a specialist in conflict resolution, peacebuilding, governance, development and innovative approaches to cross-cultural relations and the politics of knowledge. Morgan’s work facilitates exchange between Western and Indigenous political philosophies and socio-legal orders as part of a wider exploration of the politics of cultural difference, governance, and selfhood. His current research examines how ideas of relationality can be used to a) re-theorise improved engagement with diverse global peoples and traditions, b) de-colonise political science, and c) to advance Indigenous-Settler relations. He regularly writes with Dr Mary Graham on Indigenous governance and Aboriginal political concepts: https://www.abc.net.au/religion/why-we-need-aboriginal-political-philosophy/12865016

    Associate Professor Sheryl Lightfoot

    Sheryl Lightfoot (PhD – University of Minnesota, Political Science) is Anishinaabe, a citizen of the Lake Superior Band of Ojibwe, enrolled at the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community in Baraga, Michigan. In 2018, Sheryl was appointed to the role of Senior Advisor to the President on Indigenous Affairs, a position within the First Nations House of Learning. She is an associate professor in First Nations and Indigenous Studies and the Department of Political Science. Sheryl is Canada Research Chair in Global Indigenous Rights and Politics at the University of British Columbia.