Dr Siobhan McDonnell

Research Fellow

BEc (Hons) / LLB (Hons)
PhD (The Australian National University)

T +61 2 6125 0092

E siobhan.mcdonnell@anu.edu.au


Siobhan Mcdonnell joined NCIS in May 2016 as a Research Associate and became a Research Fellow with NCIS in January 2017. Siobhan is a Legal Anthropologist with eighteen years' experience working on legal and policy issues with Indigenous people in Australia and Melanesia. She completed her PhD in Legal Anthropology entitled ‘My Land My Life: Property, Power and Identity in Land Transformations in Vanuatu’.


Siobhan McDonnell is a lawyer, economist and an anthropologist with an interest in applied research.

She has previously worked as a policy advisor at the Central Land Council and at Reconciliation Australia. She began her research career at the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research. She has served two terms as the Legal Advisor to Vanuatu’s Minister for Lands, Mr Ralph Regenvanu. In 2014, she was the principal drafter of a new set of land laws in Vanuatu, as well as amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Vanuatu. In 2015, she worked with the Solomon Islands Government to develop a pathway for land reform discussions. She also worked as a Researcher in Professor Margaret Jolly’s ARC Laureate project ‘Engendering Persons, Transforming Things: Christianities, Commodities and Individualism in Oceania’.

Siobhan convenes and lectures in a number of courses at The Australian National University and is regularly engaged as a consultant by both government agencies and non-government organisations.

Scholarly interests

Siobhan scholarly interests include: Indigenous people and land; Property rights issues; Social justice issues for Indigenous people; Gender and natural resource management; Legal Anthropology; Customary law and legal pluralism; Pacific studies; Indigenous History; Urbanisation; Cultural Economics; Cultural heritage management; Disaster recovery and climate change.

Recent publications

View Siobhan McDonnell's complete list of publications (PDF 43KB)

Updated:  24 January 2017/ Responsible Officer:  NCIS Project Coordinator/ Page Contact:  NCIS Administrative Officer