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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 new book, Breaking the Silence. Aboriginal Defenders and the Settler State, 1905-1939 was published by Melbourn University Publishing in 2019. Prior to becoming an academic she was a curator at the Justice and Police Museum in Sydney with the NSW Historic Houses Trust.

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.

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Research Outputs

  • Teaching and learning Indigenous history in comparative and transnational frame: lessons from the coalface

    Holland, A., Hayward-Anderson, C., Mayes, J. & Sanders, D., 2 Jan 2018, In : History Australia. 15, 1, p. 151-172 22 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle