Robert Foster

Associate Professor Robert Foster

Associate Professor

School of Humanities

Faculty of Arts

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.


Robert was appointed to the History Department in 2000, and his research focus has been Australian Aboriginal History, Comparative Indigenous History and general South Australian History. Prior to this time he worked as a consultant historian, especially in Native Title research. He has collaborated with Amanda Nettelbeck on a variety of projects dealing with the history and memory of frontier violence in Australia and Canada. He teaches courses on Australian Aboriginal History, Australian History and Ethnic Cleansing and Genocide. Until recently he was head of the History Department. His current research is focussed on Aboriginal advocacy in South Australia's interwar years, the origins of the North West Reserve and Colonial Nationalism.

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  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2012 Award Executive Dean of the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences' Award for Outstanding Student Feedback in Learning and Teaching
    2008 Achievement Shortlisted, Chief Minister's Northern Territory History Book Award for In the Name of the Law (Wakefield Press, 2007)
    2002 Achievement Shortlisted, NSW Premier's Award for Fatal Collisions (Wakefield Press, 2001)
    2002 Award Winner, John Tragenza National Community History Award for Fatal Collisions (Wakefield Press, 2001)
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    University of Adelaide Australia PhD
  • Research Interests

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  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2019 Co-Supervisor Documenting Suicides by Australian First and Second World War Veterans Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Jessie Kate Lewcock
    2019 Co-Supervisor Destitution and Wife-Desertion in the Yorke Peninsula c.1861-1900 Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Miss Claire Elizabeth Morey
    2019 Co-Supervisor Australia's Pivot from the UK to the USA in the Twentieth Century Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Mr Adam James Scorgie
    2019 Principal Supervisor The pre-WWI revival of trade unionism in NSW Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Jack Peter Crawford
    2018 Principal Supervisor Indigenous Inclusion in the Anzac Legend in Australia and New Zealand Since 1915 Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Miss Rachel Brigitte Caines
    2016 Principal Supervisor Ideas of Britishness and South Australian Identity During the Interwar Years Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Ms Carmel Rosalie Pascale
    2016 Co-Supervisor In A State of War: Women's Experiences of The South Australian Home Front, 1939 -1945 Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Rachel Diane Harris
    2016 Co-Supervisor European National Holidays & Their Use in National Narratives Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Mr David Charles Milazzo
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2012 - 2018 Co-Supervisor More than Just a Roof over Their Heads: Migrant Accommodation Centres and the Assimilation of "New Australians" 1947-1960 Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Dr Karen Agutter
    2012 - 2016 Principal Supervisor 'Plenty of Opal Back Then: Opal Pulkah': A History of Aboriginal Engagement in the Northern South Australian Opal Industry c.1940-1980 Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Mike Harding
    2012 - 2016 Co-Supervisor The Art of John Charles Dollman Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mr Walter Dollman
    2012 - 2016 Co-Supervisor 'Those Women With Banners': A history of the Save Our Sons movement, 1965-1973. Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Carolyn Maree Collins
    2011 - 2017 Co-Supervisor Formidable Rivals: Canada, Australia, and the Pursuit of British Agricultural Migrants, 1896 - 1914 Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Jill Allison MacKenzie
    2011 - 2016 Co-Supervisor Death of a Spectacle: The Transition from Public to Private Executions in Colonial Australia Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Steven Glenn Anderson
    2011 - 2013 Principal Supervisor 'Yet we are told that Australians do not sympathise with Ireland.' A study of South Australian support for Irish Home Rule, 1883 - 1912 Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Mrs Fidelma Breen
    2010 - 2013 Co-Supervisor Abortion, Homosexuality and the Slippery Slope: Legislating 'Moral' Behaviour in South Australia Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Clare Parker
    2009 - 2014 Principal Supervisor The Two Kingdoms: Lutheran Missionaries and the British Civilizing Mission in early South Australia Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mrs Christine Joy Lockwood
    2009 - 2010 Co-Supervisor Innovation and Difference: city planning in Adelaide from 1972 until 1993 within the historical framework of the politics of City/State relations from 1836 Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Michael Llewellyn-Smith
    2007 - 2018 Principal Supervisor Dream-Phantasy of a Utopia The Making of the Methodist Overseas Half-Caste Mission of Croker Island: A Personal History Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Dr Jennifer Caruso
    2007 - 2012 Co-Supervisor Orphans of Vietnam: A History of Intercountry Adoption Policy and Practice in Australia 1968-1975 Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Joshua Forkert
    2006 - 2015 Principal Supervisor Captain Sweet's Colonial Imagination: The ideals of Modernity in South Australian Views Photography 1866 - 1886 Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Karen Magee
    2006 - 2009 Principal Supervisor Gospel Power for Civilization: The CMS Missionary Perspective on Maori Culture Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Sarah Dingle
    2004 - 2008 Principal Supervisor The Narungga and Europeans: Cross-Cultural Relations on Yorke Peninsula in the Nineteenth Century Master of Arts Master Part Time Ms Skye Krichauff
    2003 - 2009 Principal Supervisor Disciplining Recreation in Colonial South Australia: Constraints, Controls and Conventions Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mr Denis David Molyneux
    2003 - 2005 Principal Supervisor The Creation of the Torrens: A History of Adelaide's River to 1881 Master of Arts Master Part Time Sharyn Beth Clarke
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  • Board Memberships

    Date Role Board name Institution name Country
    2017 - 2020 Advisory Board Member State Records Council Australia
  • Memberships

    Date Role Membership Country
    1999 - ongoing Member Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Australia
  • Position: Associate Professor
  • Phone: 83135616
  • Email: robert.foster@adelaide.edu.au
  • Fax: 8313 4341
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Napier, floor 5
  • Room: 5 10
  • Org Unit: History

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