1986 …2023

Research activity per year

Personal profile


Bain Attwood has published extensively in the history of colonialism. His sole authored books include The Making of the Aborigines (1989), Rights for Aborigines (2003), Telling the Truth About Aboriginal History (2005), Possession: Batman's Treaty and the Matter of History (2009), Empire and the Making of Native Title: Sovereignty, Property and Indigenous People (2020), and William Cooper: An Aboriginal Life Story (2021). He is jointly responsible for Thinking Black: William Cooper and the Australian Aborigines’ League (2004) and The 1967 Referendum: Race, Power and the Australian Constitution (2007). He has edited or co-edited several collections of essays, including Protection and Empire: A Global History (2017).  He collaborated with Anne Scrimgeour to create a major website on the Pilbara Aboriginal strike: https://pilbarastrike.org/. He has held fellowships at the Australian National University (2001-03) and Cambridge University (2007-08), and the Harvard Chair of Australian Studies (2014-15). Bain has also undertaken work for the National Museum of Australia and written on indigenous history for newspapers. His ninth monograph, 'A Bloody Difficult Subject': Ruth Ross, te Tiriti o Waitangi and the Making of History, will be published in May this year. He is currently working on a book about denial and Australia's black history, funded by the Gerda Henkel Foundation.

Supervision interests

I welcome students wishing to undertake theses in the fields of indigenous history, history and memory, and public history.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

History, PhD, La Trobe University


Award Date: 3 May 1985

History, MPhil, University of Auckland


Award Date: 2 Mar 1979

BSocSc, University of Waikato


Award Date: 1 Apr 1977

Research area keywords

  • History and Memory
  • Indigenous history