Aboriginal History

Aboriginal History Inc. is a publishing organisation based in the Australian Centre for Indigenous History, Research School of Social Science, The Australian National University, Canberra. It publishes the annual refereed journal Aboriginal History and a monograph series, and administers the Sally White – Diane Barwick Award.

Since 1977 the journal Aboriginal History has pioneered interdisciplinary historical studies of Australian Aboriginal people’s and Torres Strait Islander’s interactions with non-Indigenous peoples. It has promoted publication of Indigenous oral traditions, biographies, languages, archival and bibliographic guides, previously unpublished manuscript accounts, critiques of current events, and research and reviews in the fields of anthropology, archaeology, sociology, linguistics, demography, law, geography and cultural, political and economic history.

Ebenezer Mission Station, 1863–1873 »

The Diary of Missionaries Adolf and Polly Hartmann

Edited by: Felicity Jensz
Wednesday, 5 July, 2023

This book contains the annotated diary of Adolf and Mary (Polly) Hartmann, missionaries of the Moravian Church who worked at the Ebenezer mission station on Wotjobaluk country, in the north-west of the Colony of Victoria, Australia.

Power and Dysfunction »

The New South Wales Board for the Protection of Aborigines 1883–1940

Authored by: Richard Egan
Tuesday, 19 October, 2021

In 1883, the New South Wales Board for the Protection of Aborigines was tasked with assisting and supporting an Aboriginal population that had been devastated by a brutal dispossession.

Aboriginal History Journal: Volume 43 »

Edited by: Ingereth Macfarlane
Monday, 21 December, 2020

Volume 43 opens with an unexpectedly timely essay.

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On Taungurung Land »

Sharing History and Culture

Monday, 7 December, 2020

On Taungurung Land: Sharing History and Culture is the first monograph to examine how the Taungurung Nation of central Victoria negotiated with protectors and pastoralists to retain possession of their own country for as long as possible.

The Bible in Buffalo Country »

Oenpelli Mission 1925–1931

Thursday, 8 October, 2020

Arriving in the remote Arnhem Land Aboriginal settlement of Oenpelli (Gunbalanya) in 1925, Alf and Mary Dyer aimed to bring Christ to a former buffalo shooting camp and an Aboriginal population many whites considered difficult to control.

Indigenous Self-Determination in Australia »

Histories and Historiography

Wednesday, 9 September, 2020

Histories of the colonisation of Australia have recognised distinct periods or eras in the colonial relationship: ‘protection’ and ‘assimilation’.

Goodna Girls »

A History of Children in a Queensland Mental Asylum

Authored by: Adele Chynoweth
Wednesday, 2 September, 2020

Goodna Girls tells the story of children incarcerated in Wolston Park Hospital, an adult psychiatric facility in Queensland, Australia.

Labour Lines and Colonial Power »

Indigenous and Pacific Islander Labour Mobility in Australia

Friday, 16 August, 2019

Today, increases of so-called ‘low-skilled’ and temporary labour migrations of Pacific Islanders to Australia occur alongside calls for Indigenous people to ‘orbit’ from remote communities in search of employment opportunities.

In Search of the Never-Never »

Mickey Dewar: Champion of History Across Many Genres

Edited by: Ann McGrath
Tuesday, 9 April, 2019

Mickey Dewar made a profound contribution to the history of the Northern Territory, which she performed across many genres.

Aboriginal History Journal: Volume 42 »

Edited by: Ingereth Macfarlane
Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

In this volume, Peter Sutton provides a survey of the articles published by linguist Dr Luise Hercus (1926–2018) in Aboriginal History, honouring the contribution she has made to the journal since its inception.

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The Lives of Stories »

Three Aboriginal-Settler Friendships

Authored by: Emma Dortins
Wednesday, 5 December, 2018

The Lives of Stories traces three stories of Aboriginal–settler friendships that intersect with the ways in which Australians remember founding national stories, build narratives for cultural revival, and work on reconciliation and self-d

Indigenous Mobilities »

Across and Beyond the Antipodes

Edited by: Rachel Standfield
Thursday, 7 June, 2018

This edited collection focuses on Aboriginal and Māori travel in colonial contexts. Authors in this collection examine the ways that Indigenous people moved and their motivations for doing so.

The Contest for Aboriginal Souls »

European missionary agendas in Australia

Authored by: Regina Ganter
Tuesday, 1 May, 2018

This book covers the missionary activity in Australia conducted by non-English speaking missionaries from Catholic and Protestant mission societies from its beginnings to the end of the mission era.

Aboriginal History Journal: Volume 41 »

Edited by: Ingereth Macfarlane, Liz Conor
Friday, 1 December, 2017

The articles in Volume 41 bring to light historical sources from the colonial frontier in Tasmania (Nicholas Brodie and Kristyn Harman) and South Australia (Skye Kirchauff) to provoke reassessments of colonial attitudes and expectations.

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Aboriginal History Journal: Volume 40 »

Edited by: Liz Conor
Thursday, 1 December, 2016

In this volume, Katharine Booth and Lisa Ford present the details of a watershed Northern Territory legal decision. Angela Lapham challenges our understanding of the term ‘assimilation’ in her study of Stanley Middleton.

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Brokers and boundaries »

Colonial exploration in Indigenous territory

Friday, 1 April, 2016

Colonial exploration continues, all too often, to be rendered as heroic narratives of solitary, intrepid explorers and adventurers. This edited collection contributes to scholarship that is challenging that persistent mythology.

In Defence of Country »

Life Stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Servicemen and Women

Authored by: Noah Riseman
Friday, 1 January, 2016

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have been protecting country since time immemorial. One way they have continued these traditions in recent times is through service in the Australian military, both overseas and within Australia.

Aboriginal History Journal: Volume 39 »

Edited by: Liz Conor
Tuesday, 1 December, 2015

Volume 39 presents a special section on Aboriginal war service, edited by Allison Cadzow, Kristyn Harman and Noah Riseman.

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Indigenous Intermediaries »

New perspectives on exploration archives

Tuesday, 1 September, 2015

This edited collection understands exploration as a collective effort and experience involving a variety of people in diverse kinds of relationships.

Long History, Deep Time »

Deepening Histories of Place

Saturday, 1 August, 2015

The vast shape-shifting continent of Australia enables us to take a long view of history. We consider ways to cross the great divide between the deep past and the present.

Settler Colonial Governance in Nineteenth-Century Victoria »

Wednesday, 1 April, 2015

This collection represents a serious re-examination of existing work on the Aboriginal history of nineteenth-century Victoria, deploying the insights of postcolonial thought to wrench open the inner workings of territorial expropriation and its hi

Aboriginal History Journal: Volume 38 »

Edited by: Shino Konishi
Thursday, 1 January, 2015

Volume 38 features a special section on Western Australian Aboriginal history. Clint Bracknell translates and contextualises nineteenth-century Noongar songs.

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In the Eye of the Beholder »

What Six Nineteenth-century Women Tell Us About Indigenous Authority and Identity

Authored by: Barbara Dawson
Saturday, 1 November, 2014

This book offers a fresh perspective in the debate on settler perceptions of Indigenous Australians.

Indigenous and Minority Placenames »

Australian and International Perspectives

Friday, 1 August, 2014

This book showcases current research into Indigenous and minority placenames in Australia and internationally.

Dharmalan Dana »

An Australian Aboriginal man’s 73-year search for the story of his Aboriginal and Indian ancestors

Tuesday, 1 April, 2014

A Yorta Yorta man’s 73-year search for the story of his Aboriginal and Indian ancestors including his Indian Grampa who, as a real mystery man, came to Yorta Yorta country in Australia, from Mauritius, in 1881 and went on to leave an incredible le