Indigenous focus for new Fellow

Professor Amanda Kearney, a distinguished researcher who collaborates with Indigenous families and their communities in Australia, has been appointed as a new Matthew Flinders Fellow. She will join the History and Archaeology Teaching Program and Research Section of the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences.

Professor Kearney’s ongoing 20-year research commitment and ethnographic fieldwork focuses on cultural wounding, healing and interculturalism in Australia. Her work has addressed themes of Indigenous experience, ways of knowing, land rights and the impact of settler colonial violence on Indigenous lives and lands/waters, anthropology, ethnicity, and intangible cultural heritage.

Her research has developed with the kind support of Yanyuwa families, the Indigenous owners of land and sea in the southwest Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia.

Left: Professor Amanda Kearney on Yanyuwa Country; Right: Professor Amanda Kearney with Yanyuwa elders Dinah Norman a-Marngawi, and Jemima Miller Wuwarlu, in Borroloola.

Professor Kearney comes to Flinders from the University of Adelaide, where she was the Kidman Chair of Australian Studies and Professor of Anthropology. Previously, she spent nine years in the Sociology and Anthropology Program at the University of New South Wales.

Professor Kearney is currently a Chief Investigator on two ARC Discovery Grants:

  • Investigating the impacts and future of land rights and land restitution, (2019-2021) with John Bradley, by tracing the 42-year history since the Yanyuwa people in the southwest Gulf of Carpentaria first laid claim to land rights under the 1976 Act and asking what effect this has had on Aboriginal lives.
  • More than artefacts: contemporary Indigenous relationships to rock art, (2017-2020) with Liam Brady and John Bradley, examining what “artefacts” also tell us about present-day relationships between people and their archaeological heritage.

Her career has also included teaching and research roles in the Monash Indigenous Centre, the Institute for Research in Humanities at Kyoto University, and at the University of Melbourne. She has held research positions at the Federal University of Bahia, the University of Brasilia in Brazil, and visiting academic roles at Yale University, Minneapolis and Ball State University in the US.

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