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Professor Michael Ondaatje


  • Bio/Profile
  • Michael Ondaatje is Head of the School of Humanities, Languages and Social Science, and Professor of History, at Griffith University. Awarded his PhD with Distinction by the University of Western Australia in 2008, Michael is a prize-winning researcher and teacher and a regular commentator on American history and politics in the media. He has been a Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Oxford and was selected by the US Embassy in Australia for the International Visitor Leadership Program, the premier professional exchange program of the US government. He is also a recipient of the Max Crawford Medal, ‘Australia’s most prestigious award for achievement and promise in the humanities’ (Australian Academy of the Humanities). Michael’s primary research focus is African American history, with a particular emphasis on the history of Black conservatism. But his interest in race and conservatism extends to the Australian context, where he is currently writing a biography of Neville Bonner, the first Indigenous Australian elected to federal parliament. The book is under contract with Melbourne University Press. Michael also has a strong track record in university leadership. Areas of particular focus have included research strategy, curriculum innovation, student experience, external engagement, and philanthropy. Before joining Griffith in 2022, Michael held appointments at ACU, the University of Newcastle and the University of Western Australia.