Dr Christine Nicholls

BA Honours UNSW 1974; Diploma of Education UNSW 1973; NSW Teaching Certificate 1975; Resource Teachers’ Certificate (Literacy and ESL)
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
T: (08) 8338-4068

Areas of expertise

  • English As A Second Language 200303
  • Education Systems 1301
  • Communication And Media Studies 2001
  • Cultural Studies 2002
  • Anthropology 1601
  • Other Education 1399
  • Curriculum And Pedagogy 1302
  • Humanities And Social Sciences Curriculum And Pedagogy (Excl. Economics, Business And Management) 130205
  • Sociology 1608
  • Social And Cultural Anthropology 160104
  • Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Cultural Studies 200201
  • Literary Studies 2005

Research interests

Australian Studies across a broad spectrum; Visual Art including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art; Sociology; Sociolinguistics; Humour Studies; Australian literature including Aboriginal liteerature and Eco-crime literature; Australian politics.


Born in a small South Australian town, Curramulka, then moved to Mannum on the River Murray; at the age of 11 went to Sydney where I lived from late 1963-1982; went to SCEGGS Redlands Cremorne 1964-1969; then to university 1970-1974; worked at Balmain High School then Keira Boys' High School until I was appointed to Milperra College of Advanced Education at a time it was transtioning into UWS, and worked there from 1978-82; from early 1982 I worked first as a linguist then as Deputy Principal and then as Lajamanu Bilingual (Warlpiri/English) School Principal 1984-1991, when I worked in Darwin in 1991-1992 as Principal Education Officer in BIlingual Education,which included many visits to bilingual Aboriginal schools, and testifying to the Aboriginal Deaths in Custody investigation. Appointed to Flinders University (Australian Studies) 1993-2019, although I was away 2004-2005, working as Professor of Australian Studies in Japan at the University of Tokyo. Worked for 6 months in the MA in Art History at Adelaide University before returning to Flinders uni.

Regarding curating, I was co-curator of the Kathleen Petyarre solo exhibition and also the Dorothy Napangardi exhibitions at the MCA Sydney, along with many other group exhibitions, one of which has travelled to many parts of the world ("Yilpinji: Love, Magic and Ceremony").

Have published more than 20 books through commercial publishers, for both adults and children, and while at Flinders published numerous peer-reviewed articles (see ResearchGate Flinders) as well as visual art catalogues). Visual art reviewer for The Advertiser for many years in the 90s; and have written extensively for The Conversation.

Researcher's projects

I'm currently writing a series of articles about over-valued books, beginning with Bruce Chatwin's The Songlines, with more to follow.

In addition I'm writing a book on humour and rhetoric.

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Updated:  31 May 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers