Dr Michael Pickering

Adjunct Associate Professor

B.A.(Hons) (La Trobe University)
Litt.B. (The Australian National University )
PhD (La Trobe University)

T 02 6208 5243

E michael.pickering@nma.gov.au


Michael Pickering is currently a Senior Curatorial Fellow with the National Museum of Australia and the Museum's Head of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Program.


Following an Honours degree from La Trobe University, Michael Pickering worked for the Western Australian Aboriginal Sites Department for two years as an archaeologist. He then completed a Bachelor of Letters at ANU whilst working as a consultant archaeologist and anthropologist. He went on to work as an anthropologist for the Central Land Council and then the Northern Land Council. Dr Pickering was the Regional Officer for the Central Australian region of the Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority in the Northern Territory while completing his PhD at La Trobe University. He worked as a Research Officer on Native Title for Aboriginal Affairs Victoria and then as Head Curator for the Indigenous Cultures program of Museum Victoria. He moved to the National Museum of Australia as the Director of the Repatriation Program, later taking on the role of Head of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Program.

Dr Pickering is a member of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS). He has previously been a member of the Collections Council of Australia Expert panel on repatriation and has recently been a member of an ethics panel convened by the 9/11 memorial Museum in New York. Dr Pickering is on the editorial boards of the journals 'ReCollections' and 'Museum Management and Curatorship.' He has twice received an Australian Public Service Australia Day Achievement medal.

Scholarly interests

Michael Pickering has a wide range of research interests and has published over 40 articles on topics ranging from political cartoons, material culture, cannibalism, settlement patterns, exhibitions, ethics and repatriation.

Recent publications

  • Pickering, M. (2011) 'Picturing an Exhibition' in La Fontaine, M. and Carty, J. (eds.) Ngurra Kuju Walyja: One Country One People. Stories from the Canning Stock Route Macmillan Publishers Melbourne, Victoria, pp213-217.
  • Marstine, J., Greenspan, E., Pickering, M. and Williams, P.H. (2011) 'Ethics and the 9/11 Museum Complex: A response to Colwell-Chanhaphonh 'The disappeared'. Power over the dead in the aftermath of 9/11, Anthropology Today 27(3), August 2011.
  • Pickering, M and Gordon, P. (2011) 'Repatriation: The End of the Beginning' in Griffin, D. and Paroissien, L. (eds.) Understanding Museums: Australian Museums and Museology, National Museum of Australia.
  • Pickering, M. (2011) 'Dance through the minefield. The development of practical ethics for repatriation', in: Marstine, J (ed.) 2011 Routledge Companion to Museum Ethics, Routledge, Chapter 16, pp 256-274.

View Michael Pickering's complete list of publications (PDF 125KB) »

Updated:  1 May 2015/ Responsible Officer:  NCIS Project Coordinator/ Page Contact:  NCIS Administrative Officer