Smith Robyn

Conjoint Lecturer, University of Newcastle; and Lecturer, Charles Darwin University

Truth-telling massacre history of Indigenous people in Australia


Australia’s colonial history is contentious and has been to some extent defined by ‘the history wars’ in which historians argue about whether or not the colonial frontier was forged and won by the massacre of Aboriginal Australians who were fighting against ceding ownership of their traditional lands. Dr Robyn Smith has been engaged on research with the University of Newcastle’s Colonial Frontier Massacres map and is responsible for the Northern Territory component of this award-winning undertaking. She will provide an overview of the project’s findings and discuss some of the characteristics of frontier massacres that are, incrementally, challenging the romantic dominant narrative that Australia was ‘settled’ peacefully and lawfully by the British.

Biography  Dr Robyn Smith, Independent Researcher, Northern Territory. Dr Robyn Smith is a Conjoint Lecturer at the University of Newcastle and has a PhD (Political History), a Master of Cultural Heritage degree and a Batchelor of Arts degree (Journalism and Anthropology). Robyn has published on the history, heritage and politics of the Northern Territory and has extensively researched massacre sites in the Northern Territory for the University of Newcastle’s Colonial Frontier Massacres Project with Professor Lyndall Ryan.