Dr Gaynor Macdonald

Senior Lecturer
International Student Co-ordinator

A26 - R.C. Mills Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9351 3351

Website Reframing Dementia Site

Research interests

I work within two main fields of Anthropology: the Anthropology of the Nation State and Ethno-historical research. Both are at the cutting edge of the discipline, and of strategic national and global importance, engaging with core elements of the discipline. My contribution to Australian Aboriginal anthropology has been in reinscribing recognition of the distinctive cultural practices characterising Aboriginal peoples’ lives in southeast Australia, challenging the long-held view that ‘difference’ reflects failed processes of incorporation. I pioneered ethnographic study with Wiradjuri communities in central NSW, where my field research has been combined with policy-oriented and historical enquiry. My analyses reveals a people who have shared their continuously changing self-definitions over time, reshaping their worlds of meaning and practice within the ever-changing constraints of the Australian nation-state.

Current work brings together themes of culture, conflict and governance in an ethnographically informed analysis of Wiradjuri experience over two centuries. I seek to develop a model of Aboriginal-state engagement which can address the complexities within specific Aboriginal historical experiences which produce the distinctive cultural configurations through which they have negotiated their lives. An interest in personhood and change in the context of colonial subjectivities has led to recent work on personhood and stigma in the context of ageing and dementia. Post-graduate supervision has included critical medical anthropology, domestic violence, cultural constructions of identity in the legal context of native title, race relations in rural Australia, and the experiences of Aboriginal youth.

For list of publications and downloads go to: https://sydney.academia.edu/GaynorMacdonald

Teaching and supervision

Current Research Students

  • Suzanne Ingram (PhD, Primary Supervision): Health communication among Aboriginal people whose first language is English
  • Emily Fitzpatrick (PhD, Associate Supervision):The picture talk project: conducting health research with Aboriginal People in the Kimberly
  • Nayeli Torres-Montenegro (PhD Primary Supervision): Who's in, Who's Out? Connection Research in the Pilbara

Current research students

Project title Research student
Access and equity in counselling for Australia's great lakes community war survivors: Prospective milestones toward peace and reconciliation Patrice NYEMBO

Associations

Consultancy Projects

2015-16. Native title anthropological reports, Wonnarua peoples of the Hunter Valley. Wonnarua Traditional Custodians Aboriginal Corporation.

2013 Anthropological report for the Neath land title claim; Macdonald G; Ungooroo Aboriginal Corporation/Research Support.

Videos

Dr Gaynor Macdonald talks about the study of the diversity of human life, and her research in Aboriginal Australia. here, and below.

Selected grants

2013

  • Anthropological report for the Neath land title claim; Macdonald G; Ungooroo Aboriginal Corporation/Research Support.

2012

  • Compilation and analysis of historical and anthropological materials concerning the Aboriginal peoples in the study areas of Gwydir River Basin; Macintyre and Weir River Basin; and Moonie River Basin; Macdonald G; Just Us Lawyers/Research Support.
  • Wonnarua native title; Macdonald G; Ungooroo Aboriginal Corporation/Research Support.
  • Law and Society; Beem B, Crofts T, Hendrischke H, Howard-Wagner D, Humphrey M, Lambourne W, Lee M, Macdonald G, Martin G, O'Brien K, O'Malley P, Park S, Piper N, Scott Bray R, Van Krieken R, Winter B; Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences/FASS Collaborative Research Scheme.

2011

  • Anthropology for native title in settled Australia project.; Macdonald G; Attorney Generals Department/Native Title Anthropologist Grants Program.

2009

  • Promises and lies: Australian Aboriginal experiences of modernity; Macdonald G; DVC Research/Thompson Fellowships.
  • Restoring the Past to Build the Future: Indigenous Culture, Heritage and Economy in Rural NSW; Macdonald G, Clarke A, Campbell S, Comber J; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Linkage Projects (LP).

2008

  • Turrbal Native Title Claim - Identification of practices associated with claimed rights and interest; Macdonald G, Baramba M; Turrbal Association/Research Support.
  • Internecine conflict and violence in NSW Aboriginal communities: an historicised assessment of governance and social control; Macdonald G, Grieves V, Atkinson V; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Australian Laureate Fellowships (FL).

2006

  • University of Sydney - Near Miss Scheme; Macdonald G; University of Sydney (CHASS)/Bridging Support.
  • Connection Report for the Kabi Kabi Region; Macdonald G, Ashton-Lomax G; 4-D I.P. Pty Ltd/BLO Project.

2005

  • Cultural historical research for the Malera kin network of the Bundjalung-speaking peoples of northern New South Wales; Currey N, Macdonald G; AurionGold Limited on behalf of Malera Native Title Claimants/BLO Project.
  • Research the genealogy to establish group descent from apical ancestors in each group with particular reference to the possible relationships between the Widjabul Applicants and the indigenous Respondent Parties; Drake D, Macdonald G; Commonwealth through the Native Title Register/BLO Project.

2004

  • Social hope as analytical category and an object of research; Macdonald G, Martin J; DVC Research/Research and Development Scheme: Research and Development (R&D).
  • NSW systems of land tenure, 2004; Macdonald G; NSW Department of Aboriginal Affairs (DAA)/Consultancy.
  • Culture and Economy in Aboriginal Australia; Austin-Broos D, Macdonald G; Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia/Workshop Grant.

2003

  • Flows and Fences project; Macdonald G, Austin-Broos D; DVC Research/Research and Development Scheme: Research and Development (R&D).

2002

  • Ten Hours in a Lifetime; Macdonald G; Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies/AIATSIS Research Grants.
  • Kinship & politics in the making of Erambie Aboriginal Station, Cowra.; Macdonald G; DVC Research/Research and Development Scheme: Newly Appointed Staff (NAS).
  • Working lives: Aboriginal engagements with work and welfare; Macdonald G; DVC Research/Research and Development Scheme: Research and Development (R&D).

Selected publications & creative works

Download citations: PDF RTF Endnote

Books

  • de Vries, N., Macdonald, G., Mears, J., Nettheim, A. (2012). One Life, Two Stories: Nancy de Vries' journey home. Sydney: Darlington Press.
  • Macdonald, G., Mears, J., Nettheim, A., de Vries, N., Reid, J. (2005). Ten Hours in a Lifetime: Nancy de Vries' Journey Home. Sydney, Australia: University of Western Sydney.
  • Macdonald, G. (2004). Two Steps Forward, Three Steps Back. A Wiradjuri Land Rights Journey. Canada Bay, NSW: LhR Press.
  • Macdonald, G. (2001). Keeping that good name: How Fred Powell of the Bogan river Wiradjuri built a cultural heritage. Canada Bay NSW Australia: Let Her Rip Press.

Edited Books

  • Bauman, T., Macdonald, G. (2011). Unsettling Anthropology: The demands of native title on worn concepts and changing lives. Canberra, Australia: Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS).

Book Chapters

  • Macdonald, G., Spruyt, D. (2016). Aboriginal Inequality: An Intractable Issue? In Susan K. Schroeder, Lynne Chester (Eds.), Challenging the Orthodoxy: Reflections on Frank Stilwell's Contribution to Political Economy, (pp. 101-128). Berlin: Springer.
  • Macdonald, G. (2016). Gardens, Landscapes, Wilderness: Ways of seeing ourselves. In G. Poiner & S. Jack (Eds.), Gardens of history and imagination: Growing New South Wales, (pp. 15-34). Sydney: Sydney University Press.
  • Macdonald, G., Boulton, J. (2016). The child and nurture in the human story. In John Boulton (Eds.), Aboriginal Children, History and Health, (pp. 19-28). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.
  • Macdonald, G. (2016). Traditions of Aboriginal parenting. In John Boulton (Eds.), Aboriginal Children, History and Health, (pp. 40-76). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.
  • Macdonald, G., Spruyt, D. (2014). Aboriginal Inequality: The Seemingly Intractable? In Susan K. Schroeder, Lynne Chester (Eds.), Challenging the Orthodoxy: Reflections on Frank Stilwell's Contribution to Political Economy, (pp. 101-127). Berlin: Springer.
  • Macdonald, G., Bauman, T. (2011). Concepts, hegemony, and analysis: Unsettling native title anthropology. In Toni Bauman and Gaynor Macdonald (Eds.), Unsettling Anthropology: The demands of native title on worn concepts and changing lives, (pp. 1-20). Canberra, Australia: Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS).
  • Macdonald, G., Boulton, T. (2011). Reconceptualising Mothering: Mothers and Infants in Crisis in the Kimberley, Western Australia. In Michelle Walks and Naomi McPherson (Eds.), An Anthropology of Mothering, (pp. 133-148). Ontario: Demeter Press.
  • Macdonald, G. (2011). Territorial boundaries and society in the New South Wales Riverine: A Wiradjuri analysis. In Toni Bauman and Gaynor Macdonald (Eds.), Unsettling Anthropology: The demands of native title on worn concepts and changing lives, (pp. 62-81). Canberra, Australia: Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS).
  • Macdonald, G. (2008). 'Promise Me You'll Come to My Funeral': Putting a Value on Wiradjuri Life Through Death. In Katie Glaskin, Myrna Tonkinson, Yasmine Mushabarash, Victoria Burbank (Eds.), Mortality, Mourning and Mortuary Practices in Indigenous Australia, (pp. 121-136). Surrey, United Kingdom: Ashgate.
  • Macdonald, G. (2007). 'Make a light' Aboriginal economic contributions to the emerging nation. In Gretchen Poiner and Sybil Jack (Eds.), Limits of location : creating a colony, (pp. 129-152). Sydney: Sydney University Press.
  • Macdonald, G. (2007). Silent Histories, Famous Names. In Gretchen Poiner (Eds.), Beyond Locations: Shaping thoughts, weaving histories, (pp. 37-46). NSW: NSW Chapter, Independent Scholars Association Inc.
  • Macdonald, G. (2005). Contradictory visions: the closure of Bulgandramine Mission. In Rowse, T (Eds.), Contesting Assimilation, (pp. 187-200). Perth: API Network.

Journals

  • Macdonald, G., Nettheim, A. (2015). Review of 'Yamakarra! Liza Kennedy and the Keewong mob'. Aboriginal History, 35, 307-310.
  • Macdonald, G. (2013). Autonomous Selves in a Bureaucratised World: Challenges for Mardu and Wiradjuri. Anthropological Forum, 23(4), 399-413. [More Information]
  • Maclean, N., Macdonald, G. (2013). Human Rights in Context: Culture, Power and Personhood. Australian Journal of Human Rights, 19(1), 1-9.
  • Macdonald, G. (2013). Who is the 'human' in 'human rights'? Australian Journal of Human Rights, 19(1), 107-131.
  • Macdonald, G. (2011). The Secularisation of Riverine Law in South-East Australia. Anthropological Forum, 21(3), 307-328. [More Information]
  • Macdonald, G. (2010). Colonizing Processes, the Reach of the State and Ontological Violence: Historicizing Aboriginal Australian Experience. Anthropologica, 52(1), 49-66.
  • Heil, D., Macdonald, G. (2008). 'Tomorrow comes when tomorrow comes': Managing Aboriginal Health within an Ontology of Life-as-Contingent. Oceania, 78(3), 299-319.
  • Macdonald, G. (2008). Colour & Power. Dissent, 28, 13-19.
  • Macdonald, G. (2008). Difference or Disappearance: The Politics of Indigenous Inclusion in the Liberal State. Anthropologica, 50(2), 341-358.
  • Macdonald, G. (2008). Painting the "Soft Knife": Harry Wedge's Colonial Canvas. Visual Anthropology Review, 21(1-2), 98-115.
  • Macdonald, G. (2007). Temporalising the Indigenous other: The Politics of tradition in nation-building. Re-public: re-imaging democracy, on line.
  • Macdonald, G. (2005). Painting 'the Soft Knife': Harry Wedge's Colonial Canvas. Visual Anthropology Review, 21(1 and 2), 98-115.
  • Macdonald, G. (2003). Photos in Wiradjuri biscuit tins: negotiating relatedness and validating Colonial histories. Oceania, 73(4), 225-242.
  • Macdonald, G. (2002). Book Review Article: Ethnography, Advocacy and Feminism: A Volatile Mix. A view from a reading of Diane Bell's Ngarrindjeri Wurruwarrin. The Australian Journal of Anthropology, 13, 88-110.
  • Macdonald, G. (2002). Does 'culture' have 'history'? Aboriginal History, , 176-199.

Conferences

  • Macdonald, G. (2011). Why a white horse is not a horse and an Aboriginal Australian is not Australian. Independent Scholars Association of Australia, Canberra: Independent Scholars Association of Australia.
  • Macdonald, G. (2010). Death as the end of a future. Anthropology and the Ends of Worlds, Sydney: WordPress.
  • Macdonald, G. (2007). When heritage gets hard to handle: confronting dissonance and disconnection. Interpretation Australia Association Conference: Building Blocks, online: Interpretation Australia Association.
  • Macdonald, G. (2005). Adversarial Law and Native Title: How Legal Models Reconstitute Persons and Socialities. 2005 ISAA Annual Conference - The Adversarial Society, Canberra, Australia: Independent Scholars Association of Australia.
  • Austin-Broos, D., Macdonald, G. (2005). Culture, Economy and Governance in Aboriginal Australia. Workshop of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, Australia: Sydney University Press.

Magazine / Newspaper Articles

  • Macdonald, G. (2016). How to live with Dementia as a common experience of ageing. SSPS Review, 3.
  • Macdonald, G. (2006). "Adversarial law and native title: How legal models reconstitute persons and socialities". D!ssent, 21.

Reference Works

  • Macdonald, G. (2015). Aboriginal Childhoods. In Heather Montgomery (Eds.), Oxford Bibliographies. Oxford University Press.

Research Reports

  • Austin-Broos, D., Macdonald, G., Bauman, T., Tonkinson, R., Weiner, J. (2011). Anthropologies of change: theoretical and methodology challenges, Canberra, Australia: AIATSIS Research Publications.

2016

  • Macdonald, G., Spruyt, D. (2016). Aboriginal Inequality: An Intractable Issue? In Susan K. Schroeder, Lynne Chester (Eds.), Challenging the Orthodoxy: Reflections on Frank Stilwell's Contribution to Political Economy, (pp. 101-128). Berlin: Springer.
  • Macdonald, G. (2016). Gardens, Landscapes, Wilderness: Ways of seeing ourselves. In G. Poiner & S. Jack (Eds.), Gardens of history and imagination: Growing New South Wales, (pp. 15-34). Sydney: Sydney University Press.
  • Macdonald, G. (2016). How to live with Dementia as a common experience of ageing. SSPS Review, 3.
  • Macdonald, G., Boulton, J. (2016). The child and nurture in the human story. In John Boulton (Eds.), Aboriginal Children, History and Health, (pp. 19-28). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.
  • Macdonald, G. (2016). Traditions of Aboriginal parenting. In John Boulton (Eds.), Aboriginal Children, History and Health, (pp. 40-76). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

2015

  • Macdonald, G. (2015). Aboriginal Childhoods. In Heather Montgomery (Eds.), Oxford Bibliographies. Oxford University Press.
  • Macdonald, G., Nettheim, A. (2015). Review of 'Yamakarra! Liza Kennedy and the Keewong mob'. Aboriginal History, 35, 307-310.

2014

  • Macdonald, G., Spruyt, D. (2014). Aboriginal Inequality: The Seemingly Intractable? In Susan K. Schroeder, Lynne Chester (Eds.), Challenging the Orthodoxy: Reflections on Frank Stilwell's Contribution to Political Economy, (pp. 101-127). Berlin: Springer.

2013

  • Macdonald, G. (2013). Autonomous Selves in a Bureaucratised World: Challenges for Mardu and Wiradjuri. Anthropological Forum, 23(4), 399-413. [More Information]
  • Maclean, N., Macdonald, G. (2013). Human Rights in Context: Culture, Power and Personhood. Australian Journal of Human Rights, 19(1), 1-9.
  • Macdonald, G. (2013). Who is the 'human' in 'human rights'? Australian Journal of Human Rights, 19(1), 107-131.

2012

  • de Vries, N., Macdonald, G., Mears, J., Nettheim, A. (2012). One Life, Two Stories: Nancy de Vries' journey home. Sydney: Darlington Press.

2011

  • Austin-Broos, D., Macdonald, G., Bauman, T., Tonkinson, R., Weiner, J. (2011). Anthropologies of change: theoretical and methodology challenges, Canberra, Australia: AIATSIS Research Publications.
  • Macdonald, G., Bauman, T. (2011). Concepts, hegemony, and analysis: Unsettling native title anthropology. In Toni Bauman and Gaynor Macdonald (Eds.), Unsettling Anthropology: The demands of native title on worn concepts and changing lives, (pp. 1-20). Canberra, Australia: Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS).
  • Macdonald, G., Boulton, T. (2011). Reconceptualising Mothering: Mothers and Infants in Crisis in the Kimberley, Western Australia. In Michelle Walks and Naomi McPherson (Eds.), An Anthropology of Mothering, (pp. 133-148). Ontario: Demeter Press.
  • Macdonald, G. (2011). Territorial boundaries and society in the New South Wales Riverine: A Wiradjuri analysis. In Toni Bauman and Gaynor Macdonald (Eds.), Unsettling Anthropology: The demands of native title on worn concepts and changing lives, (pp. 62-81). Canberra, Australia: Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS).
  • Macdonald, G. (2011). The Secularisation of Riverine Law in South-East Australia. Anthropological Forum, 21(3), 307-328. [More Information]
  • Bauman, T., Macdonald, G. (2011). Unsettling Anthropology: The demands of native title on worn concepts and changing lives. Canberra, Australia: Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS).
  • Macdonald, G. (2011). Why a white horse is not a horse and an Aboriginal Australian is not Australian. Independent Scholars Association of Australia, Canberra: Independent Scholars Association of Australia.

2010

  • Macdonald, G. (2010). Colonizing Processes, the Reach of the State and Ontological Violence: Historicizing Aboriginal Australian Experience. Anthropologica, 52(1), 49-66.
  • Macdonald, G. (2010). Death as the end of a future. Anthropology and the Ends of Worlds, Sydney: WordPress.

2008

  • Macdonald, G. (2008). 'Promise Me You'll Come to My Funeral': Putting a Value on Wiradjuri Life Through Death. In Katie Glaskin, Myrna Tonkinson, Yasmine Mushabarash, Victoria Burbank (Eds.), Mortality, Mourning and Mortuary Practices in Indigenous Australia, (pp. 121-136). Surrey, United Kingdom: Ashgate.
  • Heil, D., Macdonald, G. (2008). 'Tomorrow comes when tomorrow comes': Managing Aboriginal Health within an Ontology of Life-as-Contingent. Oceania, 78(3), 299-319.
  • Macdonald, G. (2008). Colour & Power. Dissent, 28, 13-19.
  • Macdonald, G. (2008). Difference or Disappearance: The Politics of Indigenous Inclusion in the Liberal State. Anthropologica, 50(2), 341-358.
  • Macdonald, G. (2008). Painting the "Soft Knife": Harry Wedge's Colonial Canvas. Visual Anthropology Review, 21(1-2), 98-115.

2007

  • Macdonald, G. (2007). 'Make a light' Aboriginal economic contributions to the emerging nation. In Gretchen Poiner and Sybil Jack (Eds.), Limits of location : creating a colony, (pp. 129-152). Sydney: Sydney University Press.
  • Macdonald, G. (2007). Silent Histories, Famous Names. In Gretchen Poiner (Eds.), Beyond Locations: Shaping thoughts, weaving histories, (pp. 37-46). NSW: NSW Chapter, Independent Scholars Association Inc.
  • Macdonald, G. (2007). Temporalising the Indigenous other: The Politics of tradition in nation-building. Re-public: re-imaging democracy, on line.
  • Macdonald, G. (2007). When heritage gets hard to handle: confronting dissonance and disconnection. Interpretation Australia Association Conference: Building Blocks, online: Interpretation Australia Association.

2006

  • Macdonald, G. (2006). "Adversarial law and native title: How legal models reconstitute persons and socialities". D!ssent, 21.

2005

  • Macdonald, G. (2005). Adversarial Law and Native Title: How Legal Models Reconstitute Persons and Socialities. 2005 ISAA Annual Conference - The Adversarial Society, Canberra, Australia: Independent Scholars Association of Australia.
  • Macdonald, G. (2005). Contradictory visions: the closure of Bulgandramine Mission. In Rowse, T (Eds.), Contesting Assimilation, (pp. 187-200). Perth: API Network.
  • Austin-Broos, D., Macdonald, G. (2005). Culture, Economy and Governance in Aboriginal Australia. Workshop of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, Australia: Sydney University Press.
  • Macdonald, G. (2005). Painting 'the Soft Knife': Harry Wedge's Colonial Canvas. Visual Anthropology Review, 21(1 and 2), 98-115.
  • Macdonald, G., Mears, J., Nettheim, A., de Vries, N., Reid, J. (2005). Ten Hours in a Lifetime: Nancy de Vries' Journey Home. Sydney, Australia: University of Western Sydney.

2004

  • Macdonald, G. (2004). Two Steps Forward, Three Steps Back. A Wiradjuri Land Rights Journey. Canada Bay, NSW: LhR Press.

2003

  • Macdonald, G. (2003). Photos in Wiradjuri biscuit tins: negotiating relatedness and validating Colonial histories. Oceania, 73(4), 225-242.

2002

  • Macdonald, G. (2002). Book Review Article: Ethnography, Advocacy and Feminism: A Volatile Mix. A view from a reading of Diane Bell's Ngarrindjeri Wurruwarrin. The Australian Journal of Anthropology, 13, 88-110.
  • Macdonald, G. (2002). Does 'culture' have 'history'? Aboriginal History, , 176-199.

2001

  • Macdonald, G. (2001). Keeping that good name: How Fred Powell of the Bogan river Wiradjuri built a cultural heritage. Canada Bay NSW Australia: Let Her Rip Press.

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