BA (Hons) (Melbourne University) MA (Melbourne University) PhD (Melbourne University)
Sam Furphy is a historian based in the National Centre of Biography, School of History, with expertise in Australian colonial history, Aboriginal history, British imperial history, and biography as a genre of history. He works as a research editor for the Australian Dictionary of Biography and was a recipient (2014-17) of an Australian Research Council early career fellowship. His current research includes Indigenous Australian experiences of the home front during the world wars, and Aboriginal protectors in early colonial Australasia. He was the convenor of the 2018 Australian Historical Association Conference.
Sam is the author of Edward M. Curr and the Tide of History (2013), a biography of a pastoralist, stock inspector, memoirist and ethnologist, whose writings were influential in the Yorta Yorta native title case (1994-2001). He has edited or co-edited three books, most recently Aboriginal Protection and Its Intermediaries in Britain’s Antipodean Colonies (with Amanda Nettelbeck, 2019). Before joining the National Centre of Biography, he worked as a professional historian, writing several commissioned histories including Australian of the Year Awards: A Fiftieth Anniversary History (2010).
Sam has a particular interest in biography as a historical methodology, and his research has spanned Australian colonial history, Aboriginal history, British imperial history, and the history of humanitarianism. His current major project is a collective biography of protectors of Aborigines in early colonial Australasia. He is also contributing to a large collaborative project on the history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander war service, which is hosted by the National Centre for Indigenous Studies at ANU.
Furphy, S & Nettelbeck, A 2019, 'Imagining Protection in the Antipodean Colonies: Actors, Agency and Governance', in Samuel Furphy and Amanda Nettelbeck (eds.), Aboriginal Protection and its Intermediaries in Britain's Antipodean Colonies, Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, United Kingdom, pp. 3pp-19pp.
Furphy, S 2019, 'Philanthropy or Patronage? Aboriginal Protectors in the Port Phillip District and Western Australia', in Samuel Furphy and Amanda Nettelbeck (ed.), Aboriginal Protection and its Intermediaries in Britain's Antipodean Colonies, Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, United Kingdom, pp. 58pp-76pp.
Furphy, S 2018, 'The Home Front in the First World War', in Joan Beaumont and Allison Cadzow (ed.), Serving Our Country: Indigenous Australians, War, Defence and Citizenship, NewSouth Publishing, Sydney, pp. 94-112.
Furphy, S 2018, 'The Second World War Home Front', in Joan Beaumont and Allison Cadzow (ed.), Serving Our Country: Indigenous Australians, War, Defence and Citizenship, NewSouth Publishing, Sydney, pp. 176-195.
Furphy, Samuel. ‘Aboriginal Australians and the Home Front’. In Australia’s First World War: Local Perspectives and Global Contexts, edited by Kate Ariotti and James Bennett. Palgrave, 2017.
Fox, Karen, and Samuel Furphy. ‘The Politics of National Recognition: Honouring Australians in a Post-Imperial World’. Australian Journal of Politics and History 63, no. 1, 2017.
Furphy, Samuel. “The Most Trustworthy Writers on Our Blacks”: Edward M. Curr’s Critique of Armchair Anthropology’. Oceania 86, no. 3, 2016: 262–77.
Furphy, Samuel, ed. The Seven Dwarfs and the Age of the Mandarins: Australian Government Administration in the Post-War Reconstruction Era. Canberra: ANU Press, 2015.
Furphy, Samuel. “‘They Formed a Little Family as It Were’: The Board for the Protection of Aborigines (1875–1883).” In Settler Colonial Governance in Nineteenth-Century Victoria, edited by Leigh Boucher and Lynette Russell, 95–116. Aboriginal History Monographs. Canberra, A.C.T: ANU Press, 2015.
Furphy, Samuel. “The Trial of Warri: Aboriginal Protection and Settler Self Government in Colonial Victoria.” Journal of Australian Colonial History 15 (July 2013): 63–82.
Furphy, Samuel. Edward M. Curr and the Tide of History. Canberra: ANU Press, 2013.
Furphy, Samuel. “Punshon, Ethel May (1882-1989).” Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University, 2012. http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/punshon-ethel-may-monte-15788.
Furphy, Samuel. “Roulston, James Francis (1922-1982).” Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University, 2012. http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/roulston-james-francis-jim-15762.
Furphy, Samuel. “‘Our Civilisation Has Rolled over Thee’: Edward M Curr and the Yorta Yorta Native Title Case.” History Australia 7, no. 3 (2010): 54.1–54.16.
Furphy, Samuel. Australian of the Year Awards: A Fiftieth Anniversary History. Parkes, A.C.T.: National Australia Day Council, 2010.
Furphy, Samuel. Dimmeys of Richmond: The Rise and Fall of a Family Business. Flemington, Vic: Hyland House Publishing, 2007.
Edmonds, Penelope, and Samuel Furphy, eds. Rethinking Colonial Histories: New and Alternative Approaches. Melbourne: RMIT Publishing, 2006.
Furphy, Samuel. “Edward Micklethwaite Curr’s Recollections of Squatting: Biography, History and Native Title.” In Rethinking Colonial Histories: New and Alternative Approaches, edited by Penelope Edmonds and Samuel Furphy, 33–48. Melbourne: RMIT Publishing, 2006.
Furphy, Samuel. Selbys the Science People: A History of H.B. Selby Australia Limited. Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2005.
Furphy, Samuel. “British Surveyors and Aboriginal Place Names: New South Wales and Port Phillip, 1828-1851.” In Writing Colonial Histories: Comparative Perspectives, edited by Tracey Banivanua Mar and Julie Evans, 23–38. Melbourne: R.M.I.T. Publishing, 2002.
Furphy, Samuel. “Aboriginal House Names and Settler Australian Identity.” Journal of Australian Studies 26, no. 72 (2002): 59–68.
ARC DECRA grant (DE140100385, 2014-17): A Due Observance of Justice? Protectors of Aborigines in Britain’s Australasian Colonies (1838-1857)
ARC Linkage grant (LP120200327, 2013-17): Serving Our Country: a history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the defence of Australia
Shortlisted: Victorian Community History Awards 2013, for Edward M. Curr and the Tide of History (ANU Press, 2013)
Shortlisted: 2010 Serle Award for Best Postgraduate Thesis in Australian History (Australian Historical Association)
Special Commendation: 2009 AHA/CAL Postgraduate Essay Prize
Australian Postgraduate Award
Australian Historical Association
AHA Executive Committee (2018 conference convenor)
Current student projects
Thomas Gardner (PhD, chair of panel) – Australians in China: G.E. Morrison, W. H. Donald, and their influence in China, 1882-1920
Patricia Downes (PhD, advisor) – The Character and Influence of the Military Convicts Transported to Australia 1788-1868
Past student projects
Arnold Ellem (PhD, chair of panel) – A Changing Pattern in Lines: the introduction of barcode technologies into Australia, 1965-1980
Jacqui Donegan (PhD, advisor) – The Confectionary Kings: Robertson, Allen and Hoadley A collective biography, 1887-1967
Georgia Appleby (Honours 2013, supervisor) – Answering the Call: Aboriginal Military Service during World War II and the Fight for Civil Rights
Paul Irish (PhD, advisor) – Hidden in Plain View: Aboriginal historical places and people in Sydney