Professor Sue O'Connor

BA (Hons I) (UNE), PhD (UWA)
Distinguished Professor, School of Culture, History & Language
College of Asia & the Pacific

Areas of expertise

  • Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Archaeology 210101
  • Archaeology Of Asia, Africa And The Americas 210103
  • Archaeological Science 210102
  • Archaeology Of New Guinea And Pacific Islands (Excl. New Zealand) 210106
  • Archaeology 2101

Research interests

Australian and Southeast Asian archaeology; Pleistocene colonisation of Island Southeast Asia, Australia and Papua New Guinea by modern humans and the links between these regions; change and continuity across the boundary of the Neolithic transition in Island Southeast Asia; human impacts on the environment, rock art.


I am currently conducting major archaeological research projects in Indonesia and East Timor investigating the earliest evidence for human settlement on potential pathways through Wallacea.  This project complements and builds on previous research in eastern Maluku, and Papua New Guinea and the Kimberley region of northern Australia which focused on Pleistocene settlement and subsistence and interaction and exchange. I am also interested in the rock art of northern Australia and Island Southeast Asia and evidence for symbolic exchange in the mid to late Holocene.

Career highlights

Awarded Australian Research Council Kathleen Fitzpatrick Laureate Fellowship in 2012 

Awarded Australian Research Council QEII Fellowship (1999-2003); Project title: Characterising the Island Southeast Asian Neolithic Transition: a comparison of preceramic and ceramic (Neolithic) maritime cultures.


Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  12 April 2021 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers