Chief Investigator & People Theme Leader

Australian National University

Sue O’Connor is a Distinguished Professor and an ARC Laureate Fellow in the College of Asia Pacific at The Australian National University. She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London.

Sue’s research focuses on migration and colonization in the Indo-Pacific region. She is particularly interested in the cultural flexibility of modern humans and has contributed to our understanding of early maritime adaptations and developments in fishing technology. She has undertaken numerous research projects in Indonesia, Timor-Leste and in Australia in Arnhem Land and the Kimberley. Sue also writes on rock art production in Australia and Southeast Asia. Sue has a current ARC funded project with Associate Investigator Professor Jane Balme from UWA; Lifeway’s of the First Australians located in the gorge country of the Oscar Napier Ranges of the Kimberley. Sue has published more than 100 articles and five books including 30,000 Years of Aboriginal Occupation, Kimberley, Northwest Australia (1999), East Of Wallace’s Line: Studies of Past and Present Maritime Cultures of the Indo-Pacific Region (2000) and The Archaeology of the Aru Islands, Eastern Indonesia (2005) and New Directions in Archaeological Science (2009).


An essential item in Sue’s toolkit

“A sound understanding of archaeological context. Collaboration with experts across a range of disciplines such as dating and geoarchaeology is needed to understand the context of all our exciting archaeological finds.”