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Associate Professor Kathleen Butler

Associate Professor

The Wollotuka Institute (Sociology and Anthropology)

Career Summary


I am an Aboriginal woman, belonging to the Bundjalung and Worimi peoples of coastal New South Wales. I have been an active member of Aboriginal organisations, holding executive positions on the Regional Aboriginal Education Consultative Group (AECG), Local Aboriginal Land Council and  Aboriginal Corporation. I am the current President of Itji Maru AECG and delegate to the Hunter Regional AECG.

I was employed as the Aboriginal Development Officer for and Aboriginal Corporation, which provided Home and Community Care (HACC) Services for frail, aged and disabled Indigenous peoples. My employment in education/youth related area’s has included Youth Worker and Relieving Co-ordinator for Northern Lakes Youth Service, Regional Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer for the then Department of School Education and Aboriginal Resource Person.

I have received two awards for my community engagement:

• National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) NSW Aboriginal Youth of the Year.

• NSW Department of School Education, Metropolitan North Region. Award of Excellence for Outstanding Achievement- Aboriginal Community.

I have a particualr focus on Indigenisation in Teaching and Learning:

• I received a UoN Teaching and Learning Fellowship in 2009 and a Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence-Indigenous Education in 2008.

• Team member & Indigenous Cultural Competency Co-ordinator 2010, Indigenous Cultural Competency Model Project, Universities Australia grant, $90,000

•Team Leader, Teaching and Learning Strategic Project Grant 2010, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Priorities for Indigenised Curricula at the University of Newcastle, $4700

• Team Member, Teaching and Learning Strategic Project Grant, Beginning the conversation: cultural competence, $20,000

• Team Leader, Wollotuka- Faculty Strategic Development Grant 2010, FEDUA Indigenisation train-the trainer program $10,000

• Team Member, Teaching and Learning Project Grant 2011, Establishing effective strategies and resources to facilitate teaching in the tertiary sector about minorities, $10,000

• Team Member, Teaching and Learning Project Grant 2011, Wiki Ways: Online Cultural Competency, $10,000

• Team Leader, Teaching and Learning Project Grant, 2012, Peer review of Teaching in Indigenisation of Curriculum, $10,000

• Team member, Teaching and Learning Project Grant, 2012, Teaching Diversity, $10,00

Research Expertise
- Sociology 

During my career I have participated in and managed numerous grants in Teaching and Learning and Research with a total budget in excess of $350,000. In all of these grants, project management, consultation and the ability to meet tight frames have been issues, which I have successfully negotiated. Within these areas I have managed research assistants and other team members involvement as well as budget allocations and acquittals. All of these grants have had a consultative aspect.


  • PhD, University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Social Science, University of Newcastle
  • Master of Social Science, University of Newcastle


  • Aboriginal Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology

Fields of Research

130399Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified50
160899Sociology not elsewhere classified50

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

DatesTitleOrganisation / Department
17/01/2015 - 8/01/2017Associate ProfessorUniversity of Newcastle
The Wollotuka Institute
8/07/2002 - 11/10/2002Associate LecturerUniversity of Newcastle
School of Humanities

Academic appointment

DatesTitleOrganisation / Department
1/01/2012 - Associate Professor, Teaching Quality and CoordinationUniversity of Newcastle
The Wollotuka Institute
1/02/2010 - 1/12/2011Senior Lecturer, Indigenous Curriculum Design and DevelopmentUniversity of Newcastle
Centre for Teaching and Learning
1/01/2008 - 1/01/2010LecturerUniversity of Newcastle
School of Humanities and Social Science
1/01/2007 - 1/12/2007LecturerUniversity of Newcastle
The Wollotuka Institute
1/08/1997 - 1/12/2006Associate LecturerUniversity of Newcastle
School of Education and Arts


For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Book (1 outputs)

2013Hansen C, Butler K, Exploring Urban Identities and Histories, AIATSIS Research Publications, Canberra, 185 (2013) [A3]

Chapter (2 outputs)

2013Butler K, Hansen C, 'Introduction', Exploring Urban Identities and Histories, AIATSIS Research Publications, Canberra 1-8 (2013) [B2]
2011Butler K, 'Rabbit Proof Fence', Making Film and Television Histories: Australia and New Zealand, I. B. Tauris, London 22-25 (2011) [B2]

Journal article (3 outputs)

2013Walter M, Butler K, 'Teaching race to teach Indigeneity', JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY, 49 397-410 (2013) [C1]
DOI10.1177/1440783313504051Author URL
2006Butler K, '(Re)presenting indigeneity: The possibilities of Australian sociology', Journal of Sociology, 42 369-381 (2006) [C1]
CitationsScopus - 2Web of Science - 2
2004Butler K, Butler J, 'Aboriginal Grandmothers and the Living Memorial of Oral History', Journal of Interdisciplinary Gender Studies, 9 174 (2004) [C1]

Conference (4 outputs)

2011Young TN, Pearse A, Butler K, 'Indigenising Curricula: Lessons from Tourism Studies', CAUTHE 2011 National Conference Program and Proceedings. Tourism: Creating a Brilliant Blend, Adelaide, SA (2011) [E1]
Co-authorsTamara Young
2010Holbrook AP, Chen S, Bourke SF, Holmes KA, Butler K, ''I can tell that English is not your first language'. Examiner comments and recommendations on the theses of students with ESL', 9th Quality in Postgraduate Research : Educating Researchers for the 21st Century, Proceedings of the 2010 Quality in Postgraduate Research Conference, Adelaide (2010) [E3]
Co-authorsSid Bourke, Shen Chen, Allyson Holbrook, Kathryn Holmes
2010Butler K, 'The doctoral journey as a means of (re)claiming Indigenous identity', AARE International Education Research Conference - 2010, Melbourne, Vic (2010) [E3]
2009Butler K, Young AF, 'Indigenisation of curricula: Intent, initiatives and implementation', Proceedings of AUQF2009: Internal & External Quality Assurance: Tensions & Synergies, Alice Springs, NT (2009) [E1]
Co-authorsAnne Young
Show 1 more conference

Grants and Funding


Number of grants2
Total funding$157,235

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.

20111 grants / $150,225

Indigenous Research Higher Degree candidature in Australian universities: Exploring identity at the cultural interface$150,225

Funding body: ARC (Australian Research Council)

Funding bodyARC (Australian Research Council)
Project TeamAssociate Professor Kathleen Butler, Professor Allyson Holbrook
SchemeDiscovery Indigenous Researchers Development Scheme
Funding Start2011
Funding Finish2011
Type Of FundingAust Competitive - Commonwealth

20091 grants / $7,010

Indigenisation of Curriculum in Sociology$7,010

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding bodyUniversity of Newcastle
Project TeamAssociate Professor Kathleen Butler
SchemeIndigenous Research Fellowship
Funding Start2009
Funding Finish2009
Type Of FundingInternal

Research Supervision

Current Supervision

CommencedResearch Title / Program / Supervisor Type
2013A Theology of the Land: Terra Australis from Christian - Indigenous Perspectives
Religious Studies, Faculty of Education and Arts
2012Respecting Aboriginal Tradition While Moving into the Future: The Value of Talking and Listening in Today's Society
Indigenous Studies, Faculty of Education and Arts
2012The Theatres of Post/Colonial Redaction: Mapping the Terrains of the Aboriginal Self
Indigenous Studies, Faculty of Education and Arts
2007What Policies and Strategies have Private Sector Organisations Adopted to Redress Labour Market Disadvantage for Indigenous Australians? (What Works and What Doesn't)
Business Management, Faculty of Business and Law

Associate Professor Kathleen Butler


Associate Professor
The Wollotuka Institute
Academic Division

Focus area

Sociology and Anthropology

Contact Details
Phone(02) 49 217 747
Fax(02) 4348 4075


RoomBirabahn Building
BuildingBirabahn Building
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308