John Hobson - Lecturer

John joined the staff of the Koori Centre in 1995 as the coordinator of student support services after spending 10 years working with Aboriginal languages in Central Australia. During that time he held a range of positions including linguist at the Institute for Aboriginal Development, linguist/literature production coordinator for Yipirinya School and coordinator of the Centre for Australian Languages and Linguistics of Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education in Alice Springs.

Since 2002 he has been a lecturer for the Koori Centre teaching in a broad range of courses including the Diploma and Bachelor of Education (Aboriginal), the Bachelor of Education and the Bachelor of Arts. John’s teaching subjects include Indigenous Australian studies, Indigenous languages revitalisation, linguistics, technology in education and language teaching, academic literacies and research skills.

John’s principal expertise is in Australian languages and linguistics, particularly the languages of Central Australia, including analysis of language use, Aboriginal English, and dialect distribution and variation. He speaks Luritja and Arrernte and has spent many years directly supporting community education and publication in these and other languages, as well as developing the first computer-based interactive dictionary in an Aboriginal language. John has mapped the contemporary distribution of Aboriginal dialects in Central Australia and has published on its languages and tourism geography. His expertise in Australian languages revitalisation is widely recognised, and in 2011 he was called before the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs on two occasions to give evidence to the Inquiry into language learning in Indigenous communities.

Over recent years John has co-authored two units of study in the Gamilaraay language of northwest NSW for delivery in the University’s Bachelor of Arts program. In 2006 he established the Master of Indigenous Languages Education program, which he coordinates, and is the only recognised degree in the field nationally. In 2010 he implemented the unit of study Re-awakening Australian languages and, in 2011, First People: Last Contact, an examination of the particular history of Central Australian colonisation.

John has a long-standing interest in the application of computer-mediated communication in Aboriginal education. He has researched the representation of Indigenous Australians on the internet and provided technical support to numerous community groups in developing their own internet presence. John was instrumental in establishing the KooriNet site and provided editorial services and technical support to the IndigOz Indigenous Australian internet portal.

His research and community development experience includes literature production in on-campus and remote community situations; training and support for Aboriginal language teachers, interpreters and translators, and the publication of literature in Aboriginal languages. He has presented at conferences and international symposia in these areas and has had extensive experience across Australia in liaison with government, community organisations, schools, and community education centres. He has substantial experience in administrative and financial management gained in government, community and private sector organisations having been the founding president of the AIDS Council of Central Australia and, for a brief period, executive officer of the NT AIDS Council.

John holds a first class Honours degree from Macquarie University and a Diploma of Education in Adult Education from the Northern Territory University. He is currently on leave from a Doctor of Education program examining computer-mediated communication in Indigenous education.

Key Publications

Contact Details

Phone: (02) 9351 6994
Toll Free: 1800 622 742
Fax: (02) 9351 6924
Location: Room 214 Old Teachers College
Email: john.hobson@sydney.edu.au