Mr Kevin Keeffe

BA Hons (ANU), Dip T
Honorary Lecturer, Centre for Native Title Anthropology
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
T: 0427676864

Areas of expertise

  • Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Law 180101
  • Australian Government And Politics 160601
  • Studies Of Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Society 169902
  • Anthropology Of Development 160101
  • Ecological Impacts Of Climate Change 050101
  • Curriculum And Pedagogy 1302


Kevin Keeffe is currently an Honorary Lecturer at the ANU Centre for Native Title Anthropology.


He recently retired from his role as Chief of Staff for Senator Patrick Dodson, Shadow Assistant Minister for Indigenous Affairs.


He was the Executive Director of Australian Red Cross in Queensland for four years from 2012.


He was the State Manager (Queensland) for the Department of Families, Housing and Community Affairs from 2009 to 2011 at First Assistant Secretary level.  He came to that role from the Department of Environment, Heritage, Water and the Arts. 


Kevin led the Commonwealth secretariat for the Garnaut Review on Climate Change during 2008 after acting as interim Chief of Staff to the new Minister for Climate Change and Water, the Hon Senator Penny Wong.


Kevin was the Assistant Secretary of the Communications and International Branch of the Department of the Environment and Heritage, responsible for communications, ministerial liaison, parliamentary and international coordination. Kevin has been Assistant Secretary for World Heritage representing Australia in the UNESCO World Heritage Committee and responsible for national and indigenous heritage programs. He led the campaign for listing Purnululu National Park for world heritage listing.  Kevin was Chair of the OECD Environment Policy Committee for five years. 


Born in Cairns, North Queensland, he first worked as a teacher in remote indigenous communities in Cape York (Kowanyama) and Central Australia (Papunya, Docker River, Utopia). After his ANU studies (BA Hons ANU), he worked as a research fellow in indigenous education and curriculum development at AITSIS. He worked as a Ministerial Adviser to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, the Hon R.E Tickner and in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet on reconciliation and native title issues.


Kevin has published widely on indigenous issues.  His last book, Paddy’s Road, was a biography and family history of Aboriginal leader, Patrick Dodson. His earlier book, From the Centre to the City focused on issues of Aboriginal education, culture and power.



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Updated:  19 October 2019 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers