Professor Ann McGrath

Professor Ann McGrath

Position: Director
School and/or Centres: Australian Centre for Indigenous History

Position: Professor of History
School and/or Centres: School of History


Phone: 02 6125 4850

Location: 3125, HC Coombs Building


Bachelor of Arts (Honours) (University of Queensland, 1976) Doctor of Philosophy (LaTrobe University, 1984)

Researcher profile:

My main interests are gender, colonialism, film and the history of Indigenous relations in Australia and North America. I am interested in presenting scholarly history in a range of genres. Exhibitions curated include one on Women and Childbirth during the Federation era and one on International Outlaws as national heroes. I produced the film 'A Frontier Conversation' (Wonderland Productions, Ronin distributors, 2006) and have worked as an advisor on various television and film projects. My consultancy and outreach work has included co-ordinating the history project of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, working as an expert witness in the Gunner & Cubillo case and in various Northern Territory land claims.  I was accepted as a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for services to history, especially Indigenous history. My work has also been recognized by the award of the Inaugural W.K. Hancock prize, the Human Rights Award for non-fiction, the John Barrett Prize, the Archibald Hannah Junior Fellowship at the Beinecke Library, Yale. 

Lake Mungo and the Deep Human History of Australia; Scale and History; Gender and Colonialism in Australia and North America; Film making and Digital History

Deepening Histories of Place: Exploring Indigenous Landscapes of National and International Significance            

ARC Linkage Project with National Parks, Australia, Dept Environment, Climate Change and Water, NSW, Ronin Films, National Film and Sound Archives, AIATSIS and University of Sydney.

Through researching the Indigenous histories of selected sites in New South Wales and Northern Territory landscapes, this project will investigate the social and environmental links that create historical 'highways' of understanding, including song-lines, tracks, exploration, trade, pastoral and tourism routes.  By researching written texts, art, film and sound evidence, this project will develop innovative models for comprehensive, indigenous and landscape-focused historical interpretation.  Bringing together a unique interdisciplinary and industry team, its publications, pod-streaming and other history delivery strategies will deepen understandings of internationally significant Australian landscapes.

McGrath, A.  Illicit Love: Interracial Sex and Marriage in the United States and Australia.  Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2015.

McGrath, A. and Jebb, M. (eds).  Long history, deep time: deepening histories of place.  Canberra: ANU Press, 2015.

McGrath, A. and Curthoys, A.  How to Write History That People Want to Read.  New York: Palgrave, 2011.

McGrath, A., Grimshaw, P., Lake, M. and Quartly, M.  Creating a Nation.  Melbourne: McPhee Gribble, 1994 (republished 2006). 

McGrath, A., McCalman, I. (eds).  Proof and Truth: the Humanist as Expert.  Canberra: Australian Academy of the Humanities, 2003.

McGrath, A. and Curthoys, A. (eds).  Writing Histories: Imagination and Narration.  Melbourne: Monash Publications in History, 2000 (republished 2009).

McGrath, A. (ed.).  Contested ground: Australian Aborigines under the British crown.  Sydney: Allen & Unwin Pty Ltd, 1995.

McGrath, A., Huggins, J., Saunders, K. (eds).  Aboriginal Workers.  Sydney: Australian Society for the Study of Labour History, 1995.

McGrath, A. Born in the Cattle': Aborigines in Cattle Country.  Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 1987 (republished 2012).

2014                    United Nations Association of Australia, Media Award.

2014                    Scholarly Residency, Rockefeller Foundation, Bellagio Center, Italy.

2013 - 2014         Louise and John Steffens Founders Circle Membership, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton.

2011                    Hedersdoktorer, Honorary Doctorate, Linnaeus University, Sweden

2007                    Order of Australia Medal for distinguished service to Indigenous studies

1998 - 2000         Senior Fellowship, Centre for Cross Cultural Research, Australian National University

1997                     Archibald Hanna Jr, Fellowship in American History, Beinecke, Yale University

1995                     NSW Society of Women Writers – Non-fiction prize

1994                     Human Rights Award, non-fiction (for Creating a Nation, co-authored)

1994                     John Barrett Prize for Australian Studies (shared)

1988                     W.K. Hancock Prize for history- Inaugural Award of the Australian Historical Association.

1982                     Northern Territory Annual History Award

2004 - present       Fellow of Australian Academy of Social Sciences
1987 - present       Member Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies.

Updated:  12 November 2018/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications