UQ welcomes world-renowned Indigenous scholar

6 September 2021

In a key appointment, The University of Queensland has welcomed the arrival of the world-renowned Indigenous scholar, Distinguished Professor Aileen Moreton-Robinson.

The new appointee will be based in the School of Social Science to engage with the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, and work on projects with the Division of Indigenous Engagement.

Distinguished Professor Aileen Moreton-Robinson.

Professor Moreton-Robinson is a Goenpul woman of the Quandamooka people (Moreton Bay) and has most recently been Professor of Indigenous Research at RMIT University.

She was appointed as Australia’s first Indigenous Distinguished Professor in 2016 and QUT conferred the title of Distinguished Professor Emeritus in 2019. She is a founding member of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) and holds the current position of President Elect.

"Aileen's international reputation as a highly cited scholar in the field of Critical Indigenous Studies is exemplified by a 2020 appointment as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; the first Indigenous scholar to be elected from outside of the US since the Academy’s founding in 1780," said Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Engagement), Professor Bronwyn Fredericks.

"Her books include the twentieth anniversary edition of her first monograph Talkin Up to the White Woman: Indigenous Women and Feminism released in July 2020 selling over 2000 copies in a matter of days.

"Her second monograph The White Possessive: Property, Power and Indigenous Sovereignty (2015) won the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association’s (NAISA) subsequent book prize in 2016.

"Her edited collections include Whitening Race: Essays in Social and Cultural Criticism 2004 (AIATSIS), Sovereign Subjects: Indigenous Sovereignty Matters 2007, Allen & Unwin, Transnational Whiteness Matters 2008, Lexington Press, Critical Indigenous Studies: First World Locations and Engagement published by Minnesota Press in 2016 and the Routledge Handbook of Critical Indigenous Studies, published in December 2020."

Professor Fredericks said Professor Moreton-Robinson had served on several international editorial boards including the prestigious American Quarterly, the Journal of the Native American and Indigenous Studies and Critical Ethnic Studies.

"Aileen is an established leader in higher education.  She is the founding Director of the Australian Research Council’s National Indigenous Research and Knowledges Network (NIRAKN), a national program that has capacity built Indigenous postgraduate students and early career researchers.

"She served as President of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Higher Education Consortium (NATSIHEC) in 2019 and was a member of the executive for six years. NATSIHEC was appointed as an advisory body to government on Indigenous higher education.

"Aileen was appointed to Universities Australia’s DVC Research Committee as Indigenous advisor. She was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities in 2020.

"Professor Moreton-Robinson has been and continues to be invited to speak at prestigious universities around the world. Her track record includes lead Chief Investigator on several Australian Research Grants worth millions of dollars, extensive HDR supervision, invited public lectures, seminars, conference panels, editorial boards, and journal editorships, along with major media interviews.

"Prior to her life in the academy, Aileen worked in public administration and served as a board member on several Indigenous community organisations. She is currently a board member of the Indigenous rights advocacy organisation:  Foundation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research Action LTD (FAIRA). Her advocacy and intellectual work focus on Indigenous sovereignty.

"We are honoured to welcome Professor Moreton-Robinson and will make further announcements about her role soon."