Woman Moreton-Robinson, Aileen

Quandamooka First Nation (Moreton bay), Queensland, Australia
Aboriginal activist, Feminist, Professor and Sociologist

Written by Ann Standish, The University of Melbourne

Aileen Moreton-Robinson is a Goenpul woman from Minjerribah (Stradbroke Island), Quandamooka First Nation (Moreton Bay) in Queensland, Australia. She is now Professor of Indigenous Studies at Queensland University of Technology (QUT).

Moreton-Robinson received a BA (Hons) from the Australian National University in 1989 and a PhD from Griffith University, Queensland, in 1999. Since then, her academic career has included teaching Women's studies at Flinders University, Indigenous studies at Griffith University and a postdoctoral position at the University of Queensland, before being appointed to QUT in 2006.

Moreton-Robinson's work is multidisciplinary and covers areas including law, sociology, feminism, Indigenous Studies, Australian Studies and history. She has been the driving force behind critical whiteness studies in Australia. Her 1999 book, Talkin' Up to the White Woman, which was shortlisted for the New South Wales Premier Literary Awards and the W.E. H Stanner Award, is a leading text in the area. It is a groundbreaking study of how 'whiteness' persists as an unquestioned marker of privilege in Australian - and most Western, middle-class - feminist analysis. The global reach of her work is evidenced by invitations to present and teach at various universities in the United States of America, Canada and Europe. In 2011 she was elected to serve as a member of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association Council for a three year term. She is the founder and co-editor, with Dr Mark McMillan of the International eJournal of Critical Indigenous Studies. Moreton-Robinson was also the founding President of the Australian Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Association (www.acrawsa.org.au).

Along with her own influential academic work, Moreton-Robinson has played a major role in encouraging other Indigenous scholars to pursue higher qualifications. She was deputy chair of the National Indigenous Education Advisory Council between 2009-2011 and is the Director of the Australian Research Council funded National Indigenous Research and Knowledges Network (NIRAKN) at QUT. In this role, she aims not only to see more Indigenous scholars pursue postgraduate work, but to ensure there is a recognisable 'critical mass' of skilled and qualified Indigenous scholars across a multitude of disciplines. She believes this will help develop a 'different kind of research agenda, that relies more on indigenous people's knowledges and ways of being in the world' (Patrick).

Published Resources


  • Patrick, Rhianna, Community of Excellence and Professor Aileen Moreton-Robinson, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC): Local: Speaking Out, with Moreton-Robinson, Aileen, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), Sunday 25 November 2012. http://www.abc.net.au/speakingout/stories/s3647230.htm. Details


  • Moreton-Robinson, Aileen, Talkin' Up to the White Woman: Indigenous Women and Feminism, University of Queensland Press (UQP), Brisbane, Queensland, 2000. Details
  • Moreton-Robinson, Aileen, Talking up to White Women, University of Queensland Press (UQP), Brisbane, Queensland, 2000. Details
  • Moreton-Robinson, Aileen, Whitening Race: Essays In Social And Cultural Criticism In Australia, Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, 2004. Details
  • Moreton-Robinson, Aileen, Sovereign subjects : indigenous sovereignty matters, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, New South Wales, 2007. Details

Book Sections

  • Moreton-Robinson, Aileen, 'I Still Call Australia Home: Indigenous Belonging and Place in White Post colonizing Society', in Ahmed, S; Caastaneda, C; Fortier, A; and Sheller, M (eds), Uprootings/​regroundings : questions of home and migration, Berg, Oxford, England, 2003, pp. 23 - 40. Details

Edited Books

  • Moreton-Robinson, Aileen; Casey, Maryrose; and Nicoll, Fiona (eds), Transnational whiteness matters, Lexington Books, London, England, 2008. Details

Online Resources

See also

Digital Resources

Community of Excellence and Professor Aileen Moreton-Robinson
25 November 2012
Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)