Associate Professor Cressida Fforde

NCIS Deputy Director

PhD (University of Southampton, UK)
BA (Hons) (University of Southampton, UK)

T +61 2 6125 9321



Dr Cressida Fforde joined NCIS as its Deputy Director in November 2011. Cressida has a PhD from the Department of Archaeology, Southampton University, UK, on the topic Controlling the Dead: An analysis of the collecting and repatriation of Aboriginal human remains.


Cressida's doctoral research investigated the history of the removal and subsequent study of Indigenous human remains by European institutions in the 19th century and the rise of the reburial movement. Completing her PhD at the University of Southampton, UK in 1998, she continued working within the repatriation field for Indigenous communities and museums in Australia, Hawaii, New Zealand and the UK, particularly in the location and identification of Ancestral Remains through archival research. Her extensive work in this area is also reflected in her publication record.

Cressida worked as a cultural heritage consultant until 2009, on a range of repatriation projects in the UK and overseas. She also worked on community projects in the UK, particularly in relation to local heritage, focussing on oral history interviews, museum exhibition, community publications, and online presentation and transmission of information. In January 2009 she joined the Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) as its Coordinator of Research Publications and Public Programs. This role included convening the 2009 and 2011 AIATSIS National Indigenous Studies Conference and a range of symposia and seminar series, as well as editing the AIATSIS journal, Australian Aboriginal Studies, and its Discussion Paper series.

Scholarly interests

Cressida's primary area of research focus has been the history of the removal and subsequent study of Indigenous human remains by European institutions within the 'race' paradigm in the 19th century and the campaigns to secure their return. She is particularly interested in how this history illustrates mechanisms of identity representation and construction, how similar mechanisms operate today, how to identify their presence and impact, and to invoke change. She is interested in the communication of information about the meaning and value of cultural heritage, particularly in relation to local communities and Indigenous cultural heritage housed in museums and other collecting institutions.

She continues to be a Visiting Fellow at the Department of Archaeology, University of Southampton, UK.

Research outputs: most recent

  • Fforde, Cressida; Ormond-Parker, Lyndon; Turnbull, Paul, 'Repatriation research: Archives and the recovery of history and heritage', in: R. Redmond-Cooper (ed.), Heritage, ancestry and law: Principles, policies and practices in dealing with historical human remains, Institute of Art and Law, Builth Wells, UK, 2015, pp:xxx. BOOK CHAPTER.
  • Fforde, Cressida; Bamblett, Lawrence; Lovett, Ray; Gorringe, Scott; Fogarty, William, 'Discourse, deficit and identity: Aboriginality, the race paradigm and the language of representation in contemporary Australia', Media International Australia, Vol.149, 2013, pp:162-173. JOURNAL ARTICLE.
  • Ormond-Parker, Lyndon; Corn, Aaron; Fforde, Cressida; Obata, Kazuko; O’Sullivan, Sandy (edited) 'Information technologies and Indigenous communities', AIATSIS Research Publications, Canberra, ACT, 2013, 254 pages. BOOK.
  • Guthrie, Jill; Levy, Michael; Fforde, Cressida, 'Investment in Prisons: Investment in Social Inclusion? - linking the theories of Justice Reinvestment and Social Inclusion to examine Australia’s propensity to incarceration', Griffith Journal of Law & Human Dignity, Vol.1, Iss.2, 2013, pp:254-281. JOURNAL ARTICLE.
  • Fforde, Cressida, 'In search of others: The history and legacy of ‘race’ collections', in: L. N. Stutz and S. Tarlow (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of Death and Burial, Oxford Handbooks Online, Oxford University Press, UK, 2013, pp:709-731. BOOK CHAPTER.
  • Gorringe, Scott; Ross, Joe; Fforde, Cressida, 'Will the real Aborigine please stand up? Strategies for breaking the stereotypes and changing the conversation', AIATSIS Research Discussion Paper No. 28, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), Canberra, ACT, 2011. 23 pages. WORKING/TECHNICAL PAPER.
  • Fforde, Cressida, 'From Edinburgh University to the Ngarrindjeri nation, South Australia', Museum International, UNESCO Publishing and Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Vol.61, Iss.1-2, 2009, pp:41-47. JOURNAL ARTICLE.
  • Handley, Fiona; Fforde, Cressida; Gardner, Judith; Fforde, Mari (edited) 'The story of Kington Camp', Logaston Press, Herefordshire, UK, 2007, 148 pages. BOOK.
  • Fforde, Cressida; Hubert, Jane, 'Indigenous human remains and changing museum ideology', in: R. Layton, S. Shennan and P. Stone (eds.), A future for archaeology, Left Coast Press Inc., California, USA, 2006, pp:83-96. BOOK CHAPTER.

» view/search Cressida Fforde's complete list of research outputs; download selected documents

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