Nigel Parbury - biography

Nigel Parbury is one of the keynote speakers at the Australian Day Debate at 2.30 pm on Sunday 23rd January 2011 at the Australian Museum.

Nigel Parbury

 © Vicki Barton

Nigel graduated in Latin and Fine Arts at Sydney University. He has been a teacher, taxi driver and radio operator. He wrote and illustrated Survival: A History of Aboriginal Life in New South Wales (NSW Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, 1986). He has worked in Aboriginal education for 22 years, the Aboriginal Education Unit, then the NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group (AECG) through the 1990s. He worked on Teaching the Teachers and Teaching Aboriginal Studies and edited the school musical-resource kit 1788: The Great South Land.

He joined the Department of Aboriginal Affairs in 1999, working in policy, checking briefs and updated Survival (Department of Aboriginal Affairs, 2005). Other writings are Croc Festival (2007) and The Education Movement: A People’s History of the AECG (2010). He also co-edited the update of Teaching Aboriginal Studies (Allen & Unwin, in press). A founding member of the Aboriginal Studies Association, he is vice president of the Aboriginal Education Council and a director of the Inner City Education Centre.

In his own words:

He is passionate about Aboriginal education for all Australians and recognising the real Australia. His next book is Blackfellow Days: Image and Identity in Australia – Australia has always used Aboriginal symbols (the boomerang is the tip of the iceberg); Aboriginality is the ‘X-Factor’ of Aussie creativity, the taproot of our humour, love of language, our unique identity. To say nothing of sport or art, or lifestyle. The happy ending of Bran Nue Dae is everyone is Aboriginal. About ... time. Wake up Australia!


Ms Helen Wheeler , Education Project Officer
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