Emeritus Professor John Maynard

Emeritus Professor John Maynard is the foremost Indigenous historian in Australia, who has reshaped Australian historiography with ground-breaking contributions. His acclaimed books challenge prevailing notions in Aboriginal activist history, race relations, and sports history, notably highlighting the influence of African American figures in the 1920s Aboriginal political activism. Professor Maynard has a PhD from the University of Newcastle and holds key positions and awards. A sought-after media commentator, he has appeared on programs and documentaries, leaving an indelible mark on the understanding of Aboriginal history.

About Emeritus Professor John Maynard

His research focuses on the intersections of Aboriginal political and social history and has made significant contributions to multiple research fields from Aboriginal activism and race relations to sports history, commended both nationally and internationally. His groundbreaking research on the 1920s rise of Aboriginal political activism reveals the influence of African American figures, in particular Marcus Garvey. Other respected historians, including Professor Henry Reynolds, credit Maynard with significantly reshaping Australian historiography through bringing major figures of the 1920s to life and uncovering previously unknown material about Aboriginal politics. With a Diploma and Bachelor of Arts in Aboriginal Studies, Maynard earned his PhD from the University of Newcastle in 2003.

Throughout his career, Maynard has held key positions and contributed to influential organisations, including Director of the Wollotuka Institute of Aboriginal Studies and Deputy Chairperson of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. Recipient of prestigious fellowships and awards, he is a sought-after media commentator, appearing on various programs and documentaries that explore Aboriginal history.

More: https://www.newcastle.edu.au/profile/john-maynard#career 


Ahmat, N., & Maynard, J. (2022). A new documentary called Unveiling an Icon has been launched by the AFL about the events that led to the commissioning of a statue of former St. Kilda star Nikki Winmar. . TVNEWS.TSM202204180044. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/TVNEWS.TSM202204180044

Ahmat, N., Maynard, J., & Paul Jenke, J. (2020). Well, this week mark the 231st anniversary of the death of Arbor knew who was abducted by Governor Philipp to serve as a kind of ambassador between the colonists and the Sydney peoples. . Tvnews.tsm202005220019. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/tvnews.tsm202005220019

Allen, C., Conifer, D., De Natale, R., Maynard, J., Shorten, B., Turnbull, M., & Turvey, D. (2017). Indigenous treaty: Political leaders are reserving judgement on an ambitious bid for Indigenous constitutional change. ABC News NSW. Tvnews.tsm201705270058. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/tvnews.tsm201705270058

Babic, M., Maynard, J., McLeod, R., Ford, C., Torell, C., & Eather, N. (2023). Evaluation of Yantiin Kalabara – 5 ways to a healthier you: A primary school-based education program targeting healthy living choices through interactive workshops. Australian Journal of Indigenous Education (Online), 52(2), 1–19. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/informit.495178490404107

Ballantyne, H., Matthews, L., Roxburgh, R., Behrendt, L., Flannery, T., Gibney, R., Goodes, A., Maynard, J., McDermott, A., Norman, G., Roberts-Smith, B., Smith, D., & Turnbull, M. (2015). Australia: The Story of Us: Worlds Collide – Ep 1 Of 8. . Edutv.891075. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/edutv.891075

Bath, C., Eeles, S., Roberts, J., Thorpe, K., Hutchinson, L., & Maynard, J. (2014). The wife of an Australian surfer missing in Bali has issued a desperate plea for information after arriving in Indonesia on a hunt for answers. Seven News. Tvnews.tsm201409050088. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/tvnews.tsm201409050088

Behrendt, L., & Maynard, J. (2016). Fred Maynard: Aboriginal Patriot. . Edutv.1184613. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/edutv.1184613

Carvalho, K., Edwards, A., Roach, H., Thrope, K., Maynard, J., & Suarsika, N. (2014). Bali Mystery: Surfer missing: The distraught family of a missing Queensland surfer has arrived in Bali as an air and sea search intensifies. ABC News QLD. Tvnews.tsm201409050106. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/tvnews.tsm201409050106

Carvalho, K., & Maynard, J. (2014). News in brief: A surgeon stood down from Rockhampton Hospital has launched legal action against Queensland Health. ABC News QLD. Tvnews.tsm201409120222. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/tvnews.tsm201409120222

Dias, A., Conifer, D., De Natale, R., Maynard, J., Shorten, B., Turnbull, M., & Turvey, D. (2017). Indigenous treaty: Political leaders are reserving judgement on an ambitious bid for Indigenous constitutional change. ABC News NT. Tvnews.tsm201705270168. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/tvnews.tsm201705270168

Fanning, E., Jenny Shipley, D., Hosch, T., Barclay Kerr, H., Kelly, R., Maynard, J., Morrison, S., O’Connor, R., & Thunig, A. (2019). Monday, April 29: One year from today, Australian also be again reckoning with the myth of Captain James Cook, as we commemorate the 250th anniversary of HMS End end’s landing at Botany Bay. The Drum. Tvnews.tsm201904290129. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/tvnews.tsm201904290129

Fanning, E., Nullius, T., Dalton, T., Fitzsimons, P., Osmond, M., Maynard, J., Winters, G., Thunig, A., Yat-Sen Li, J., Hunt, G., Chant, K., Kelly, D., Morrison, S., Burney, L., & Grant, S. (2020). As other has noted Australia is the envy of the world in many ways right now land of health, wealth, open spaces are crucially right now.: As other has noted Australia is the envy of the world in many ways right now land of health, wealth, open spaces are crucially right now. . Tvnews.tsm202004290001. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/tvnews.tsm202004290001

Fimeri, W., Rudd, P., Thomason, M., Bezanson, B., Young, M., Collingridge, V., Clancy, R., Deeral, E., Edmonds, P., Forgan, S., Gascoigne, J., Lambert, A., Leslie, G. K. K., Lewis-Jones, H., Maynard, J., Robson, J., Stanley, P., Suthren, V., Thornton, C., & Williams, R. (2010). Captain Cook: Obsession And Discovery: Beyond Speculation – Ep 3 Of 4. . Edutv.28658. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/edutv.28658

Fimeri, W., Rudd, P., Thomason, M., Cook, E., Cook, J., Collingridge, V., Clancy, R., Edmonds, P., Forgan, S., Gascoigne, J., Jones, H. L., Lambert, A., Maynard, J., Tupara, B., Walker, V., & Woodward, K. (2007). Captain Cook: Obsession And Discovery: Taking Command – Ep 2 Of 4. . Edutv.833105. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/edutv.833105

Grant, K., Griffen, L., Hollis, H., Morgan, M., Murphy-Oates, L., Calma, T., Clements, A., Dodson, M., Dominello, V., Edmonds, D., Enchong, T., Gillesple, K., Grant, C., Grant, I., Maynard, J., Williams, D., & Williams, L. (2014). Living Black: 21/04/14. . Edutv.731724. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/edutv.731724

Grant, K., Griffen, L., Hollis, H., Morgan, M., Murphy-Oates, L., Clements, A., Calma, T., Grant, C., Edmonds, D., Dodson, M., Dominello, V., Grant, I., Maynard, J., Gillesple, K., Williams, L., Enchong, T., & Williams, D. (2014). Living Black S2014 Ep3: Living Black’s Anzac Day Special reporting from the Adelaide. Living Black. Tvnews.tsm201404210221. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/tvnews.tsm201404210221

Grant, K., & Maynard, J. (2022). The accidental historian: John Maynard: He grew up the son of a famous jockey, went on to become a truck driver, a barman and a builder’s labourer.: John Maynard: He grew up the son of a famous jockey, went on to become a truck driver, a barman and a builder’s labourer. . TVNEWS.TSM202208010093. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/TVNEWS.TSM202208010093

Grant, K., Mayo, T., Langton, M., Maynard, J., Pearson, N., Haskins, V., Price, J. N., Mundine, W., Thorpe, L., Cox, D., Burney, L., Anderson, P., McGauchie, D., Howard, J., Rudd, K., Dutton, P., White, K., Davis, M., Morris, S., Turnbull, M., Joyce, B., Parkin, D., Rozner, G., Kelly, D., Dillon, A., McGrath, J., Littleproud, D., Grant, S., Wyatt, K., Albanese, A., Calma, T., Watego, C., & Mason, A. (2023). Never meant to happen: In 2017, former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull famously rejected the Indigenous Voice to Parliament as proposed in the Uluru Statement, saying that it was neither desirable nor capable of winning acceptance at a referendum. Living Black. TVNEWS.TSM202310160054. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/TVNEWS.TSM202310160054

Henderson, I., McDonald, P., Maynard, J., & Bolger, J. (2010). Cuts Likely in New Zealand Mail Services: In New Zealand there is talk of email taking over from old fashioned postal deliveries. ABC News Victoria. Tvnews.tev20102303818. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/tvnews.tev20102303818

Hocking, R., Janke, J.-P., Lattimore, J., Allam, L., Grant, S., Hunt, D., Coones, J., Maynard, J., & Weston, R. (2019). We have seen a package about what a truth and reconciliation Commission might look like in this country. The Point. Tvnews.tsm201906290002. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/tvnews.tsm201906290002

Hocking, R., Paul Janke, J., Jenkins, K., Liddle, R., Ahmat, N., Boyd, D., Daley, P., Fitzsimons, P., Horley, A., Ingrey, R., Johnson, J., Maynard, J., McGowan, M., Morrison, S., & Timbery, N. (2020). The Point: Cooked for 250 Years – Series 2020 – Ep 10. . Edutv.5104608. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/edutv.5104608

Hocking, R., Paul Janke, J., Lattimore, J., Allam, L., Coombs, J., Daley, P., Grant, S., Hunt, D., Maynard, J., & Weston, R. (2019). We have seen a package about what a truth and reconciliation Commission might look like in this country. The Point. Tvnews.tsm201907120099. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/tvnews.tsm201907120099

Janke, J. P., Jacobs, N., Maynard, J., Ryan, L., Liddle, C., Cama, B., Watego, C., & Gee, A. (2023). In the 1960s, an Australian anthropologist named Bill Stanner delivered a speech that proved to be a wake-up call for this entire country. The Point. TVNEWS.TSM202308150138. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/TVNEWS.TSM202308150138

Janke, J. P., & Maynard, J. (2023). The Point: Road to Referendum History Bites: The Great Australian Silence – Series 1 – Ep 8. The Point: Road to Referendum History Bites. EDUTV.12882167. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/EDUTV.12882167

Jones, T., Cannane, S., Pecotic, A., Maynard, J., Bush, S., & Crafti, D. (2009). iiNet Sued for Allowing Film Piracy: Internet service-provider iiNet is being sued in the Federal Court for allowing customers to access copyright videos through file-sharing networks, but critics of the action say outdated business models should instead be blamed. Lateline. Tvnews.tex20094801214. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/tvnews.tex20094801214

Jones, T., Cannane, S., Robertson, D., Williams, P., Abbott, T., Bush, S., Crafti, D., Hatipoglu, T., Hockey, J., Humphries, G., Johnson, M., Macfarlane, I., Maynard, J., Pecotic, A., Schuler, U., Turnbull, M., & Wong, P. (2009). Lateline: 30/11/09. . Edutv.13455. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/edutv.13455

Lasker, P., McDonald, P., Maynard, J., Joyce, S., & Bolger, J. (2010). NZ Begins Wind Down of Snail Mail Deliveries: A decline in earnings from mail due to the rise of email has seen a proposal by New Zealand’s postal service to cut mail deliveries to two days per week or make people pick up their mail from the local post office. Lateline Business. Tvnews.tex20102309205. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/tvnews.tex20102309205

Lemke, L., Maria Nicholson, A., Maynard, J., & Trewhella, D. (2009). Main Contenders for AFI Awards: “Samson and Delilah” and “Balibo” will be going head to head for this year’s AFI Awards with both scoring multiple nominations. ABC News NT. Tvnews.tef20094300519. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/tvnews.tef20094300519

Liddle, R., Fittler, B., Hill, S., & Maynard, J. (2019). Sport report: The AL league newest club will have a strong connection to the traditional owners of South West Sydney. NITV News. Tvnews.tsm201905150201. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/tvnews.tsm201905150201

Maynard, J. (1995). Eye of the Eagle [Book Review]. Aboriginal History, 19, 228. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/ielapa.861122173445217

Maynard, J. (1996). Fighters from the Fringe [Book Review]. Aboriginal History, 20, 224–225. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/ielapa.861587997726672

Maynard, J. (1997). Fred Maynard and the Australian Aboriginal Progressive Association (AAPA): One God, One Aim, One destiny. Aboriginal History, 21, 1–13. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/ielapa.858383126670261

Maynard, J. (1998). Aboriginal Stars of the Pigskin. Aboriginal History, 22, [116]-142. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/ielapa.825067374060600

Maynard, J. (2001). Muloobinbah (Newcastle) an Aboriginal industrial presence: past and present. Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, 87(2), 248–266. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/ielapa.200116653

Maynard, J. (2003). Australian History – Lifting Haze or Descending Fog? Aboriginal History, 27, 139–145. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/ielapa.821979987021873

Maynard, J. (2005a). For liberty and freedom: Fred Maynard and the Australian Aboriginal Progressive Association. [Paper delivered as a special seminar presentation held at the NSW State Library on 18 Nov 2004 for the History Council of NSW]. Teaching History, 39(1), 6–12. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/ielapa.200505731

Maynard, J. (2005b). “In the Interests of Our People”: The Influence of Garveyism on the Rise of Australian Aboriginal Political Activism. Aboriginal History, 29, [1]-22. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/ielapa.182472094744718

Maynard, J. (2005c). “Light in the Darkness”: Elizabeth McKenzie Hatton. In Uncommon Ground: White Women in Aboriginal History. Aboriginal Studies Press. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/informit.409309886842045

Maynard, J. (2007a). Circles in the Sand: An Indigenous Framework of Historical Practice. Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 36, 117–120. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/informit.909500627422494

Maynard, J. (2007b). Sovereign Subjects: Indigenous Sovereignty Matters. Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 36, 120–121. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/informit.897221499363340

Maynard, J. (2008). The shark, remora and Aboriginal history. International Journal of Critical Indigenous Studies, 1(1), 45–51. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/informit.498867818713230

Maynard, J. (2013a). Acknowledgements. In Aborigines and the “Sport of Kings”: Aboriginal jockeys in Australian racing history. Aboriginal Studies Press. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/informit.411463087929438

Maynard, J. (2013b). Ahead of the field: More indigenous Australian jockeys. In Aborigines and the “Sport of Kings”: Aboriginal jockeys in Australian racing history. Aboriginal Studies Press. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/informit.411537619814471

Maynard, J. (2013c). Awabakal voices: The life and work of Percy Haslam. Aboriginal History, 37, 77–92. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/ielapa.762836398859922

Maynard, J. (2013d). Awabakal voices: The life and work of Percy Haslam. Aboriginal History, 37, 77–92. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/informit.762836398859922

Maynard, J. (2013e). Behind the barriers – the background to indigenous involvement in racing. In Aborigines and the “Sport of Kings”: Aboriginal jockeys in Australian racing history. Aboriginal Studies Press. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/informit.411500353871954

Maynard, J. (2013f). Introduction: Aboriginal jockeys – a proud past but an uncertain future? In Aborigines and the “Sport of Kings”: Aboriginal jockeys in Australian racing history. Aboriginal Studies Press. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/informit.411481720900696

Maynard, J. (2013g). Preface. In Aborigines and the “Sport of Kings”: Aboriginal jockeys in Australian racing history. Aboriginal Studies Press. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/informit.411444454958180

Maynard, J. (2013h). Riding high: The stars of the turf. In Aborigines and the “Sport of Kings”: Aboriginal jockeys in Australian racing history. Aboriginal Studies Press. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/informit.411518986843212

Maynard, J. (2014). The politics of war and the “battle of Balaklava.” Cosmopolitan Civil Societies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 6(3), 83–95. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/informit.931311613187288

Maynard, J. (2015a). “Let us go” … it’s a “blackfellows” war’: Aborigines and the Boer War. Aboriginal History, 39, 143–162. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/ielapa.775061202406157

Maynard, J. (2015b). “Let us go” … it’s a “blackfellows” war’: Aborigines and the Boer War. Aboriginal History, 39, 143–162. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/informit.775061202406157

Maynard, J. (2018). “The men only worked when necessary, we called no man master and we had no King.” The Queensland Journal of Labour History, (26), 38–51. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/informit.944032246366504

Maynard, J. (2023a). The other fellow: “We want to be in charge of our own destiny.” Judicial Review: Selected Conference Papers: Journal of the Judicial Commission of New South Wales, 15(1), 109–121. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/informit.884725073252509

Maynard, J. (2023b). The other fellow: “We want to be in charge of our own destiny.” Judicial Review: Selected Conference Papers: Journal of the Judicial Commission of New South Wales, 15(1), 109–121. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/agispt.20230306084277

Medlen, P., Conifer, D., Maynard, J., Di Natale, R., Shorten, B., Turnbull, M., & Turvey, D. (2017). Indigenous treaty: Political leaders are reserving judgement on an ambitious bid if Indigenous constitutional change. ABC News WA. Tvnews.tsm201705270155. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/tvnews.tsm201705270155

Negus, G., Davis, M., Ramos Horta, J., Maynard, J., & La Paglia, A. (2009). What About Roger?: Reporter Mark Davis uncovers new evidence in the case of the sixth Australian journalist to die in East Timor, Roger East. Dateline. Tvnews.tex20093604123. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/tvnews.tex20093604123

North, J., Johnston, R., Liddle, R., Jacobs, N., Walsh, S., & Maynard, J. (2021). Sport report: Think First Nations football and you’ll likely to recall the exploits of current Matildas Kyah Simon and Lydia Williams.: Think First Nations football and you’ll likely to recall the exploits of current Matildas Kyah Simon and Lydia Williams. . TVNEWS.TSM202111190150. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/TVNEWS.TSM202111190150

O’Brien, K., Peacock, M., Shackleton, G., Tedeschi QC, M., Maniaty, T., Maynard, J., Joliffe, J., Woolcott, R., & Shackleton, S. (2009). New Spotlight on Balibo Killings: More than 30 years after the Indonesian invasion of East Timor, the controversy over the killing of five Australian newsmen is about to be rekindled, with the release of two books on the subject, followed by a feature film. 7.30 Report. Tvnews.tex20092202023. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/tvnews.tex20092202023

Paul Janke, J., Hocking, R., Fitzsimons, P., Maynard, J., & Daley, P. (2020). Some really interesting perspectives there that you don’t normally hear about what that first contact experience would have been like. . Tvnews.tsm202004290179. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/tvnews.tsm202004290179

Petersen, J., Connellan, M., Maynard, J., Ryan, L., & Max Dulamunmun Harrison, U. (2018). A landmark project by the University of Newcastle has documented more than 250 massacres of Indigenous people across Australia. World News Australia. Tvnews.tsm201807270125. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/tvnews.tsm201807270125

Petersen, J., Hill, C., Corbett, H., Enus, A., Russell, K., & Maynard, J. (2013). Aboriginals On Australia Day: Aboriginal people considered Australia day, as a day of mourning. World News Australia. Tvnews.tev20130407547. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/tvnews.tev20130407547

Petersen, J., Tomalaris, M., Fletcher, P., Morrison, S., Maynard, J., Daley, P., & Fitzsimons, P. (2020). On this day 250 years ago, a Seminole event changed the course of the history of the Australian continent. . Tvnews.tsm202004290210. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/tvnews.tsm202004290210

Phillips, J., Maria Nicholson, A., Maynard, J., & Trewhella, D. (2009). Main Contenders for AFI Awards: “Samson and Delilah” and “Balibo” will be going head to head for this year’s AFI Awards with both scoring multiple nominations. ABC News NSW. Tvnews.ten20094301773. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/tvnews.ten20094301773

Riminton, H., & Maynard, J. (2014). The family of Peter Maynard made a heartbreaking return home from Bali after the search for the Australian surfer was called off. Ten 5pm News. Tvnews.tsm201409120130. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/tvnews.tsm201409120130

Schwartz, D., Maria Nicholson, A., Maynard, J., & Trewhella, D. (2009). Main Contenders for AFI Awards: “Samson and Delilah” and “Balibo” will be going head to head for this year’s AFI Awards with both Australian films scoring multiple nominations. ABC News WA. Tvnews.tes20094301593. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/tvnews.tes20094301593

Stayner, G., Conifer, D., Di Natale, R., Turvey, D., Maynard, J., Shorten, B., & Turnbull, M. (2017). Indegenous treaty: Political leaders are reserving judgement on an ambitious bid for Indigenous constitutional change. ABC News Victoria. Tvnews.tsm201705270002. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/tvnews.tsm201705270002

Sully, S., Maynard, J., & Maynard, P. (2014). The search for a missing surfer in Bali is being stepped up with the family of Peter Maynard flying into the resort island today. Ten 5pm News. Tvnews.tsm201409050213. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/tvnews.tsm201409050213

Tingle, L., Archibald-Binge, E., Maynard, J., Moran, N., Ingram, S., & Druett, A. (2023). How the 1938 Day of Mourning protest still resonates with Aboriginal activists today: Almost a century ago, an unassuming hall in the heart of Sydney was the site of one of Australia’s first Aboriginal civil rights protests.: Almost a century ago, an unassuming hall in the heart of Sydney was the site of one of Australia’s first Aboriginal civil rights protests. . TVNEWS.TSM202301240011. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/TVNEWS.TSM202301240011

Van Vonderen, J., Conifer, D., Maynard, J., Di Natale, R., Shorten, B., Turnbull, M., & Turvey, D. (2017). Indigenous treaty: Political leaders are reserving judgement on an ambitious bid for Indigenous constitutional change. ABC News QLD. Tvnews.tsm201705270142. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/tvnews.tsm201705270142

Walsh, S., Jacobs, N., North, J., Liddle, R., & Maynard, J. (2021). Think First Nations football and you’re likely to recall the exploits of current Matildas, Kyah Simon and Lydia Williams. . TVNEWS.TSM202111150027. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/TVNEWS.TSM202111150027


Video Transcript

Could you please introduce yourself and your background that led you into academia?

Yeah, look, I’m John Maynard, a Worimi man from Port Stevens region, which is just across the river in Newcastle, across the Hunter River, or Coquun, which is the Awabakul name for the river. And I’ve been in academia for the past 30 years, which is I left school at the age of 15, halfway through year nine, and I grew up in the school system of the 1950s and 1960s where we as Aboriginal people weren’t in the history or the textbooks. So I had a, not a fun time in school. I mean, I switched off from the time I got there. There was nothing to inspire me or encourage me or support me as an Aboriginal kid coming through the school system of those days. So as I said, I left in 1969, spent the next 25 years in a whole variety of jobs, none even remotely related to academia or education or history. And it was not until I was just nearly 40 and I’d landed back at home with my parents. I’d come out of a marriage separation. I was unemployed and my parents were somewhat surprised to see my return at that particular point in time. And not to say they were ready to shut the door in my face, but you know, somewhat surprised. And my father basically, to give me a kick up the bum, wanted me to do something. And I had, in a sense, always had a real deep interest in reading, consumed a lot of books from a very young age. In some sense I think I educated myself. I switched off school, but I was reading a lot of material. I also loved to write. I was always writing stories from a little kid. So my father, with that background knowledge, encouraged me to undertake a family history project which was putting together the story of my grandfather and the rise of early Aboriginal political activism, which began here in New South Wales in 1924 in Sydney with the formation of the Australian Aboriginal Progressive Association, the AAPA. And as I said, the first united all-Aboriginal political group to form in this country. And their platform back then was first to demand, if you like, a national land rights agenda because they demanded enough land for each and every Aboriginal family in the country. They also put up self-determination 50 years before the Whitlam government. And also we’ve just had the referendum for The Voice. In 1927, they had a widely published manifesto which went to the Commonwealth government, state government, and published widely, in which they demanded the abolishment of all the government state-controlled protection boards to be replaced by an all-Aboriginal board to sit under the Commonwealth government. That is a voice to parliament 100 years ago. So that is the reality of where that comes from. It’s not a recent phenomena that people are talking about. This began in 2017 with the Uluru Statement. It is not. The reality is our people have made that demand for 100 years. So that’s something as far as history needs to record and acknowledge. So that’s my background, I guess. And I said I’ve had a rich journey in the sense I finished up as putting this family history together, going to the university. I’d never set foot in a university before. But I went there not to enrol. I knew about archives and libraries and little museums and historical societies. We had photographs. We had some of my grandfather’s letters to government. And we had some newspaper cuttings. But I intended to expand on that and actually see what was there. So going to Wollutuka, the Aboriginal Education Centre at the University of Newcastle in late 1993, I thought I might be able to get some more information on other areas that I hadn’t actually thought of exploring. I went over there. Tracy Bunda, a Murri Aboriginal woman, was the director of Wollutuka in those days. We had a very brief conversation. By the time I turned around, I’d been enrolled. Tracy had kidnapped me into a diploma course. And I owe her a deep sense of gratitude for that. I did the diploma in two years. I did a BA with the University of South Australia in two years. And I did a PhD in three years. So that’s been the journey. And here I am today sitting up retired, but busier than I was before, as an Emeritus Professor with 15 books published. So that’s my journey.

What has been the influence of your renowned predecessors on your journey?

Yeah, as I said earlier, you know, I didn’t get a lot of inspiration or support or encouragement coming through the school system. I drew my inspiration, particularly from my father. You know, my father was an inspiring individual and gave me great support and encouragement. And certainly in the sense, despite my failing through school and switching off school, I mean, my father and my mother, non-Indigenous is my mother’s background, they gave me a great outlook on the world. There’s nothing you can’t achieve if you put your mind to it and you apply yourself to it. And my father, of course, was a top Aboriginal jockey. And you know, he was a, you know, as a jockey, he’s not a big man, but to me, my father was a big man, you know, and he was, he just had that presence about him. And he was a great jockey, a great country jockey. But as a young man, he rode in Brisbane and Sydney and Melbourne, he rode in three Caulfield Cups, he rode in the Melbourne Cup. He rode winners in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia, over 1500 winners in his career, which went from 1948 to 1994. He was still riding at the age of 64. And he was also introduced to the Queen. She came out here in 1992, and Prince Philip on a visit. And my parents received a phone call from the Premier’s office that the Queen had requested to meet him because she was going to Randwick to open up a new grandstand there in 1992. And it coincided with the running of the Queen’s Cup. The Queen’s Cup had been run since 1952, all the way through to 1992. And the winner of the first Queen’s Cup was my father as an 18 year old apprentice. And he would have met the Queen because they were on their way to Australia in 1952 had just been married. They were in South Africa on their honeymoon and received news that the King had died. And instead of continuing on to Australia, one of their jobs to present the trophy of the Queen’s Cup, they turned around and went back to England. And of course, the Queen was in coronation and took up the mantle as the Queen of the Commonwealth. So my father always said that except for the King dying, he would have met the Queen. So they must have had long memories because the reality is that she had made this request. And he went down to Randwick and spent about 45 minutes with the Queen and Prince Philip because they’re mad racegoers. And actually asked my father if which horse he would like to ride. They were going around the enclosure and he said that one. But of course, it won. So I don’t know if they backed it or not. But yes, he was an inspiring individual. But he also carried the stories of my grandfather. My grandfather died eight years before I was born. So I never had the opportunity of meeting this remarkable Aboriginal patriot and activist and, you know, and individual. But there was my father’s memories, my uncles’, my aunties’ memories. So of him as an individual and also the material that the family had maintained with photographs and letters and also some newspaper cuttings. And of course, my research, which has gone over 30 years, which was a PhD, a book and probably dozens and dozens and dozens of articles has revealed the depth of his activism, not just him, you know, others like Sid Ridgway, Dick Johnson, Tom Lacey, Jimmy Doyle, Johnny Donovan. These were Jane Doreen. These were the Aboriginal activists, the 1920s. This is 14 years before the Day of Mourning in 1938. And it was significant. They held four annual conferences in Sydney, Kempsey, Grafton and Lismore. They had a membership that grew to over 600. They had 14 branches with four sub branches. They even opened their own offices in Crown Street, Sydney with the phone connected, which was in the board records. And the Protection Board did everything possible to stamp out this flickering flame of hope that was put up by these early Aboriginal activists and the challenge they put to the board by exposing them and embarrassing them in the press, particularly over the removal of Aboriginal children, which had begun to escalate, and also the tearing away of Aboriginal independent farms. What a lot of people aren’t aware of is the fact that between 1860, and I’m talking New South Wales here, but it’s also in Queensland and Victoria and South Australia, Aboriginal people in the mid-19th century had begun to regain land, independent farms. They were writing to state governments and either self-educated themselves or they had assistance from white supporters. So in this period, Aboriginal people regained something like – in New South Wales, 27,000 acres of land. Now in the first instance, the Protection Board would write a letter because there was no manager out on the mission or reserve. It was under the police control. They’d write a letter to the local policeman where this letter had come from. So look, go out and have a look at this land these Aboriginal people are asking for. Now these letters are in the archives. A lot of these letters in regards to this land. So police officers go out, come back, write a letter back to the state government. The Protection Board said it’s heavily timbered, worthless scrub, give it to them. So the land was handed over to Aboriginal people. Within 12 to 18 months, the same police officers were writing back to inform them the land’s been cleared, they’ve fenced it, they’ve got crops, they’ve got livestock, they’ve built homesteads. Aboriginal people prospered on this land for 40 and 50 years. In the records, they’re clearing 100, 200, 300, 400, 500 pounds. That is a lot of money at the turn of the century of success. They’re winning the blue ribbons in the local regional shows. They know the seasons better than anyone else. The land they’re asking for is on their traditional land. No one knows that better than themselves. That’s why they were prospering on this land. So these are the two catalysts that saw the rise of organised Aboriginal political activism, the tearing away of that land, and then the tearing away of Aboriginal kids to be institutionalised. That was the catalyst for the rise of organised Aboriginal political activism. Heather Goodall has called that tearing away of land as the second dispossession. So it was dramatic, horrific. In many instances, the records state the police have went in with guns and Aboriginal people were thrown off. No compensation for four and five decades on these farms, with nothing more than the shirts on their back. The ramifications of that are where we are today, still in a hole trying to crawl back out, because the, as I said, the horrific impact of that we have not recovered from. But as I said, that was the catalyst for the rise of Aboriginal political revolt and my grandfather’s impact in that space.

Can you tell us about some of your lead research interests across your career?

Yeah, yeah, well certainly, you know, the first major research study for me was, you know, set off by my father wanting me to undertake family history. Well I carried that on through all of my university studies and it culminated in the PhD and then the book Fight for Liberty and Freedom which was published in 2007 which told the story of the AAPA and my grandfather and all of those other early Aboriginal political activists. It impacted on to many people. Gary Foley’s great-grandfather Jimmy Doyle was an office bearer of the AAPA, that’s why Gary and I was such a strong connection. Gary Williams, who was at University with Charlie Perkins in 1964, his grandmother’s brother, Lambert Whaddy, was an office bearer of the organisation. So there’s very many significant Aboriginal activists of the 60s, 70s and 80s whose forebears were actually with the Australian Aboriginal Progressive Association back in the 1920s. But continuing on from there, I’ve explored so many different areas. I mean, I just wasn’t doing Aboriginal political activism and focusing on that. For a time there I was working with the Health Faculty at University of Newcastle on a major national health project, Healing Our Way, which saw me working many of our communities, urban, rural and remote, looking to educate non-indigenous doctors, nurses, medical students, going out into work in an Aboriginal community for the first time, having no knowledge of what it was like and how to operate and no knowledge of Aboriginal people or culture. The project was all about interviewing people in our communities and having their voice to inform us. It’s going to be a CD-ROM, an interactive CD-ROM, which was quite revolutionary and out there at that particular point in time in the 90s. It was a two-year project and it was a wonderful experience, as I said, to work in so many places inspiring people. That CD-ROM, Healing Our Way, finished up, I can probably say it was being used in every health faculty in the country at one point as far as educating the medical students coming through and nurses. It made a major impact. I’ve also did the history of Aboriginal jockeys because my father was a top jockey and I grew up on the race course here at Newcastle and I knew that there was Stan Johnson, Normie Rose, Gordon Taylor, Davy Matthews, my father Merv Maynard,  there was a whole host of Aboriginal jockeys riding here. But if you picked up in the racing histories of Australia, there was no mention of Aboriginal jockeys. So I thought, here is a story that needs to be told and it also involved the horse as far as Aboriginal people were concerned, which was a weapon in the first instance by settlers. They could cover great distances with speed. The horse was a terrifying animal with people riding in with guns and cutlasses. But then of course Aboriginal people, they wanted to learn how to ride horses and the impact they then later made in the stock industry, which they say that Australia was carried on the sheep’s back. I’d say it’s carried on the black’s back who was riding in the stock industry, sheep and cattle and carried that industry. So many great Aboriginal horse men and women. Racing was no different. We had top jockeys all the way across the decades and many. I remember Darby McCarthy was another one that he came from Cunnamulla and I interviewed Darb and he said, “Bro, where I come from in Cunnamulla wasn’t the top end of town. On one side we had the sewerage outlet and the other side was the garbage dump and we were in tin lean-tos. But racing took me from there, and horse racing took Darby McCarthy. He was riding in France for a French trainer. He was living in a two-storey French mansion with a French maid and went to the races in England to the Derby with top hat and tails. That is an incredible journey. I actually had a picture of Darby McCarthy on my wall in 1967 or 1968 getting out of a chauffeur driven Rolls Royce and his top hat and tails. But his was a remarkable journey. So these are the stories that I have always been driven to tell because our history is like a giant jigsaw puzzle with most of the pieces missing, and we need to put those pieces back into the puzzle. For inspiration I’ve said before that I was deprived that inspiration as history and textbooks because we weren’t in it except as a dying race or belonging to the Stone Age. So we needed inspiration for our young people. The stories that I tell are the missing histories. And they’re there for our people and our communities and particularly the younger generation that know that they’ve got heroes and heroines in their past and that’s where they draw their inspiration and pride from. That’s been the main driver for me as far as history is concerned in putting us back on the page, the history page.

Can you talk about the importance of knowing, researching and teaching Aboriginal history?

Yeah, look history is critically important for us and I’ll re-emphasise that importance that we were deprived history. We were cut off from history. As I said before, we were told we belonged to the Stone Age and we’re a dying race. The reality is we needed to challenge that and we need to put ourselves back in. It’s not just about discoverers and explorers and settlers and Don Bradman and even Pharlap, Aboriginal people have played a major part in the history of this country and needed to be brought into that space. So these are the stories that I like to see delivered to our communities, our families and our younger generations. But it’s not just us. It’s non-Indigenous people. They need to be told the truth of what happened in this country across the last 230 odd years to know the truth about this country and how that history has impacted onto us. But even of greater importance is the fact that this is 65,000 years of history. That is the country’s greatest treasure, greatest cultural treasure. That is there to be shared by everybody and the reality is that’s the thing that tourists from overseas want to come and hear about and see. That’s what needs to be capitalised on and that’s what needs to be told. And as I said, non-Indigenous people that are largely ignorant of history, they need to be informed of what’s happened. Not just the tragedy of and horror of what’s happened but also the incredible triumphs that Aboriginal people have been part of. So that’s a really important part of history.

Can you talk about the role of sport in shaping Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identities within broader Australia?

Yeah, we take it for granted today, you know, with Rugby League and AFL, you know, the Buddy Franklins and you know, your Johnathan Thurston, Greg Inglis, you know, your Michael Longs. I mean, you’ve had a whole generations now, four or five decades of Aboriginal success on Rugby League and AFL grounds, which have, you know, garnered incredible support. Prior to that, it is important to realise there were barriers of colour bar. You could count on two hands, the number of Aboriginal players that had actually got a go prior to that. We had many great players that didn’t get the opportunity because of the colour bar that stopped them from actually getting the opportunity to take part in these sports. It wasn’t just Rugby League and AFL, athletics, cricket. We had a bowler, you know, that Eddie Gilbert, who bowled Don Bradman for a duck and was barred from cricket. They said he was a chucker. The reality was he was so fast, they had to get him out. Probably the major sport that Aboriginal people were given a go in was boxing. And of course, you can get killed in the boxing ring. But something like 15% of Australian boxing champions have been Aboriginal fighters. And that’s from a 3% population. So it marks that incredible gift. And we had Lionel Rose. I mean, I followed Lionel during the 60s and had a big scrapbook and used to listen to his fights on the radio and later on on television. And he was an inspiring figure. Yvonne Goolagong Cawley. And Ash Barty, of course, has repeated that just recently. And of course, the probably the most significant moment was Cathy Freeman at the 2000 Olympic Games, one lighting the torch at the top of the stadium there, but then, of course, winning the gold medal, which complete I don’t think there’d be many people in the country who weren’t there watching that race that night. The country held its breath and bang, Cathy delivered. So you know, these are the big sporting moments. But in understanding that, people have got to understand that there were barriers to Aboriginal people for a long period of time taking part. And some of those barriers are still there. You scratch the surface and racism will rear its ugly head. Look what happened to Adam Goodes, you know, and which has recently happened as well in Rugby League with Latrell Mitchell. And I mean, there’s a whole history of this where people with racist bigotry and ignorance set out to denigrate and attack, you know, Aboriginal sports men and women. So there is a history of it.

What are some of the findings from your comparative historical studies of North American and Australian colonial processes?

I’ve done a lot of work in the US primarily from my Aboriginal political activism research that I was able to reveal that my grandfather’s organisation had international connections with African Americans and Marcus Garvey, the leader of the biggest black nationalist movement ever assembled in the United States, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King and many others drew strength from that particular organisation. So my grandfather was a dock worker and other Aboriginal activists were coming into contact with visiting merchant sailors, black sailors and after 1904 you know with the beginning of the White Australia Policy there’s no red carpet being rolled out to international black sailors coming off ships. They were made to feel very uncomfortable but they spotted black workers on the docks and they’d congregate with them. So through that my grandfather gained information on manifestos and newspapers and he realised then that the racism, the prejudice, the oppression that we’re facing here is not localised, it’s a global thing and that’s where we need to you know fight it in that sense. So they had connections with these large you know black movements overseas. Of course I also did a study on Native American comparisons and there’s no greater mirror image of experience for Indigenous peoples than the Native American and the Aboriginal experience. You know invasion, occupation, dispossession, cultural destruction, you know disease, being congregated onto reserves and closed off from the rest of society, kids being taken away and put into institutions. So there’s all of these similar experience that were bubbling away historically which you know my research was able to bring to the fore and look at those comparatives and having the good fortune to visit Native American centres in universities but also visit Native American communities on the ground you know and hear stories on the ground of those those times and experiences and the similarities was you know revealing.

What have been some of the impacts of Aboriginal involvement in the World Wars (and other wars)?

Yeah, yeah. Well, Aboriginal servicemen and women was another history that the country was largely unaware of. My work on the rise of early Aboriginal political activism in the 1920s was revealing in the sense that a number of those early Aboriginal activists were returned soldiers from the First World War. And what many people didn’t realise, they went and fought for their country and were under the impression that what they were fighting for was that their own people would get greater recognition and support through their efforts fighting for Australia. When they returned, they were shocked at the impact that they weren’t treated the same as non-Indigenous soldiers. Government brought in the soldier resettlement scheme, which made available farming land for returned servicemen. Many Aboriginal people were told, servicemen were told, doesn’t apply to you, you’re Aboriginal and were turned away. I finished up, I was, Mick Dodson and I were part of a large six year project, Serving our Country. There were six or seven researchers. That involved the Department of Defence, the Veterans Affairs, the War Memorial, Australia National University, University of Newcastle, Catholic University, Melbourne University. And we went round the country and did lots of interviews with the forebears  who fought and their families had stories to tell of that. And also going back in the records, Aboriginal men and women fought in every campaign and war this country’s fought in from the Boer War, First World War, Second World War, Korea, Vietnam, right through to Afghanistan and Iraq. Back in the 1980s with the Bicentenary, there was a thing that revealed that 280 Aboriginal men had fought in World War I. Work that we’d done has taken that up to over a thousand Aboriginal men fought in World War I. That was at Gallipoli on the Western Front. Many died. The charge of the, what is it, the, in Bathsheba in Palestine, interestingly enough, the light horse. Aboriginal men were in that ride and quite a number of died. And as I said, Aboriginal people died at Gallipoli. Aboriginal people died at the Western Front. And it’s important that the country recognises that. Over 3000 Aboriginal men fought in the Second World War. And again, you know, but it was the same thing. Returning home, they were not treated the same as non-Indigenous returning soldiers. So it’s important that the country recognises this history. Again, another missing aspect of history and that Aboriginal people deserve their recognition. Aboriginal families, communities carry great pride in their servicemen  and women who fought for the country, you know, and that’s a part of our history.

Can you share some of your recent insights about deep time and how Aboriginal people marked time?

Yeah, yeah, well, you know, you know, there’s Western world and science it’s time, you know or history is linear, just runs… this happened, that happened then our history is circular now history is circular in that sense and when you realise and people have now realised that scientifically Aboriginal people have been here for 65,000 years in just my lifetime. I’m 70 next year and growing up back in the 50s Aboriginal people were thought to be here for 10,000 years Then it was 20,000 years then it was 30,000 years and it was 40,000 50,000 now at 65,000 years It continues to go up, so that incredible amount of time, you know We had you know, we had words for history. Here on Awabakal Country the missionary Threlkeld recorded as yuraki which is long ago, since, past, history, you know that and we had our storytellers and our historians If you like who told these stories and reinforced what had happened to people we have stories of the rising sea levels ice ages volcanoes earthquakes, major fires. These are stories that are embedded in Aboriginal knowledge and memory and time So it’s it’s a different way of looking at time and the past certainly through Aboriginal eyes. I think there’s a There is I really like a quote an old elder in Central Australia was when they’d marked, you know, the Aboriginal Australian Australians have been here for 50,000 years And I think it was a journo that said to this old fellow. He said, oh, you know, what do you think? You know, you’ve been here for 50,000 years and he looked at the guy quizzically n said, 50,000 years? We’ve been here much longer. We’ve been here in the time before time began We have come directly out of the Dreamtime  of the creative ancestors and we have lived and kept the earth as it was on the very first day. And that’s the importance of Aboriginal culture looking after the environment and ensuring that each next generation is handed, you know a world still in a pristine state and not exploited with where we are today. And I think that that brings the point that we’re at a cataclysmic moment in history and you have to look with global warming and rising sea levels and catastrophic storms and fires and floods. I mean Best go back to indigenous knowledge of what needs to be done.

What impacts are First Peoples’ student and research centres having at universities, such as the Wollotuka Institute and Umulliko?

Talking about the Wollotuka Institute and the Umulliko Research Centre at the University of Newcastle, I wouldn’t be sitting in this seat today except for those centres. I mean, I went to Wollotuka not to enrol as a mature age student, 39 years of age, and my journey today is because of the incredible support and encouragement I got from Wollotuka as a 39, 40 year old student. It was nothing like my school years where I got no support or no encouragement. All the lecturers, all the support staff were Aboriginal. There was an incredible sense of camaraderie and belonging to a family in that space and you were given that support. As students, we we studied hard, we partied hard, but it was an incredible space to be in. There’s incredible pride in people’s memories who’ve been through these places and as I said the incredible support received. Umilliko, the Indigenous, well I should go on, Wollotuka was established in 1983 and it’s 40 years this year since it was formed and that was a lot of Aboriginal community input and their success, there’s 1700 Indigenous students there today. You know, back in 1993 I think we had 25 in my class but half of those were Indigenous, you know, so that’s the incredible growth and success of these places. Umulliko came into being in 1997 there was six universities were rewarded or awarded Commonwealth funding to set up Indigenous research centres and Umulliko, which was set up at the University of Newcastle, was the only one on the east coast of Australia. Each of those centres got 2.5 million dollars to set up. As far as I’m aware Umulliko is the only one still in existence today and it’s just there I guess, but it is still there. But the incredible success we had at that particular point in time there was myself, John Lester was the director and Nerida Blair and I don’t know whether you call us the three musketeers or the three stooges but anyway we were the team that kicked that off and within two years we’d had a 75% strike rate with ARC grants, incredible success with attracting funding and research outcomes across a whole vast spectrum of areas, most largely driven by community and it was a very, very successful time period and you know I look back to those days with great delight.

What do you say to Aboriginal students embarking on tertiary education today?

Oh look, you know, I get to talk to schools and certainly to young Indigenous students just starting. You know, set your sights high. There’s nothing you can’t accomplish today. You know, and as I said, we’ve got people in universities. When I left school in 1969, there was no Wollotuka. You know, there was no land councils, there were no Aboriginal medical services, there were no children’s services, there were no legal services, and there was certainly no thought in my mind that you could go to university. That just wasn’t on the agenda. That shows the incredible progress we’ve made largely driven by Aboriginal people across the higher education sector and through the school systems. Still got a long way to go, I might add, but that’s the incredible success we’ve had. I would say to them, as I said, aim your sights high. There’s nothing you cannot achieve as long as you apply yourself. In the future, if you want to fly a rocket ship to Mars, you can do it if you apply yourself. And I think it’s also important to carry that belief of what you’re achieving has impact into our communities and is there to inspire future generations. So the people coming through, they pick up the torch and carry it on and bring more and more through the gate. You know, and we’ve got lawyers, we’ve got doctors, we’ve even had a pilot come through at Newcastle. There’s so many areas, such an exciting time period to be a part of. So, and as I said, set your sights high, nothing you can’t do.

How do you think 2023 will be remembered as an historical moment for Australia?

Yeah, a great disappointment on what could have been achieved, I think, will be the reflection on 2023. And it’s just a tragedy. I think the government should have went early with this because they had 75% support very early. I think they relaxed and took it too easy and just thought it was a done thing. And giving them the opposition time to mobilise and the right wing extremism and when you’ve got social media to play its part in convincing, you know, middle Australia is so easily led, you know, and stampeded in the opposite direction. That’s the tragedy of what happened. So there’s a lesson in that sense. You know, we’ve got to educate, you know, wider non-Indigenous Australia. That’s where history comes in. The next big thing is truth telling. We need to move into that space. We need to do that quickly. We need support. We need Indigenous historians to be trained and go out and work, non-Indigenous historians to go out and work with our people and communities and educate wider, you know, white Australia on the real history of this country. And I said, when people are more better informed, then you can point out the misinformation, the ludicrous statements that are made. That’s what we’ve got to do. You know, and as I said, I think the future is always bright. I mean, in that sense, and that we do move on to this truth telling and we look on that and celebrate the country’s richest cultural treasure, which is sixty five thousand years of Aboriginal connection to this continent. That is there to be shared by all.