Alison Holland

Associate Professor, Dr

Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus
1995 …2023

Research activity per year

If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile


Alison is a leading researcher in Australian Indigenous history in the twentieth century, with a focus on rights discourses, race, colonialism and humanitarianism. She has a BA (Hons class 1) and Diploma of Museum Studies from the University of Sydney and a PhD from UNSW. Her monograph, Just Relations. The Story of Mary Bennett's Crusade For Aboriginal Rights was published by UWA Publishing in 2015. It was shortlisted for the NSW Premier's History prize in Australian History in 2016. Her second monograph, Breaking the Silence. Aboriginal Defenders and the Settler State, 1905-1939 was published by Melbourn University Publishing in 2019. She is the co-editor of Rethinking the Racial Moment. Essays on the Colonial Encounter (Cambridge Scholars, 2011). She regularly contributes to The Conversation on matters relating to Indigenous governance and the policy framework. Prior to becoming an academic she was a curator at the Justice and Police Museum in Sydney with the NSW Historic Houses Trust.

She is currently writing a history of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission. She is also working on a large-scale project on antiracism in historical perspective with scholars from across the world.

Research interests

My key research interests are in the broad fields of twentieth century Australian and Indigenous history. I have a special interest in histories of humanitarianism and human rights with a focus on Indigenous rights and policy, race, citizenship, feminism and colonialism.


MHIS1002 - Revolutions, Nationalism and Exploitation in the Modern World, 1789-2001

MHIS2001 - Betweeen Hope and Despair. A History of Human Rights

MHIS3000 - Making History

Research student supervision

I am happy to supervise students in the following areas:

  • The historical, conceptual and intellectual underpinnings of race/racial thinking in nineteenth and twentieth century Australia;
  • Human rights, including social movements, events and people;
  • Nineteenth and twentieth century humanitarianism in England and Australia with a focus on Indigenous politics;
  • Indigenous political history, including movements, activists, intellectual approaches in twentieth century Australia and comparatively with other settler societies;
  • Histories of Indigenous policy and governance;
  • Australian historiographies.

External positions

National Library of Australia Fellow, National Library of Australia

10 Feb 202231 Jul 2022

Frederick Watson Fellow, National Archives of Australia

1 Aug 20131 May 2014


Dive into the research topics where Alison Holland is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or