Professor Ann McGrath

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

Position: Kathleen Fitzpatrick Australian Laureate Fellow and W.K. Hancock Professor of History
School and/or Centres: School of History

Position: Director of the Research Centre for Deep History
School and/or Centres: School of History


Phone: (02) 612 54850

Location: Level 5, RSSS Building, 146 Ellery Crescent


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

Researcher profile:


My current interests are deep history in global context, spatial history and scale. I have a longstanding interst in the history of gender and colonialism, the history of Indigenous relations and intermarriage in Australia and North America. My latest project is 'Rediscovering the Deep Human Past: Global Networks, Future Opportunities'. My publications include 'Illicit Love: Interracial Sex and Marriage in the United States and Australia' (University of Nebraska, 2015) which won the NSW Premiers History Prize and 'Born in the Cattle' (Allen & Unwin 1987), winner of inaugural Hancock Prize. 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 with Andrew Pike, co-directed and produced the prize-winning 'Message from Mungo' (Ronin, 2014); I have worked as an advisor on various television and film projects. My consultancy and outreach work have 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 on various Northern Territory land claims. I was accepted as a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and the Academy of Humanities was awarded Membership of the Order of Australia Medal (AM) 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, Membership of the Institute of Advanced Study, Durham and Membership of the School of Social Sciences, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, a Rockefeller Foundation Scholarly Residency at Bellagio, an Honorary Doctorate at Linneaus University, Sweden and the 2017 Kathleen Fitzpatrick Australian Laureate Fellowship.

Deep History, Landscape History, Gender and Colonialism; Australian indigenous history; Comparative and trans-national history of frontiers in Australia and North America; Birth, Love, Marriage and Intermarriage; Law, Justice and History; Museums, Museology and Public History; Art and Visual Evidence in 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.

2018      Member of the Order of Australia AM

2018      Fellow of the Academy of Humanities

2018      Invited Associate Investigator, Centre of Excellence Australian Biodiversity and Heritage

2016      New South Wales Premiers History Prize, General Category

2016      John Douglas Kerr Medal for Distinction in Research and Writing Australia History.

2014      United Nations Association of Australia, Media Award(for Message From Mungo, and for Indigenous Recognition).

2011      Hedersdoktorer, Honorary Doctorate, Linnaeus University, Sweden

2007      Order of Australia Medal OAM for services in Indigenous history

2004      Fellow of Australian Academy of Social Sciences

2002      NSW Department of Education Award for Births of a Nation.

1995      Non-Fiction Prize, NSW Society of Women Writers (for Contested Ground: Aborigines under the British Crown)

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

1994      John Barrett Prize for Australian Studies (shared) (for best article 'Beneath the Skin: Australian Citizenship, Rights and Aboriginal Women')

1988      W.K. Hancock Prize for history- Inaugural Award of the Australian Historical Association. (for Born in the Cattle: Aborigines in Cattle Country)

1982      Northern Territory Major Annual History Award

1981      Membership, the Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Studies

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

Updated:  28 September 2022/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications