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In Search of the Never-Never

Appendix 1


Mickey Dewar

Career summary

I came to the Northern Territory in 1979 after gaining my first degree in history and qualified as a teacher and educator working with the Northern Territory Education Department and Charles Darwin University. I finished my doctorate on Northern Territory writing and then was appointed Curator then Senior Curator of History at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. Between 2002 and 2005 I took leave to work for the Chief Minister as Ministerial Advisor for Arts and Museums and was then promoted to Senior Advisor. After leaving the political office I returned briefly to the museum before starting work as a Darwin-based freelance historian. I received national recognition when I was appointed a Frederick Watson Fellow at National Archives of Australia (2007) and then Director’s Fellow at the National Museum of Australia (2008). In 2011, I returned to study and began a Masters in Library and Information Management. Since 2013 I have been based at the Northern Territory Library as Northern Territory Heritage Coordinator part-time.

My passions are Northern Territory history, politics, knowledge information and retrieval, collections management, exhibition development, museums, libraries and archives.

Career highlights

  • Winner Chief Minister’s History Book Award for the best publication in Northern Territory history: Darwin – No Place Like Home (2011)
  • Short-listings in NSW Premier’s History Award for Community and Regional History Prize Inside-Out: A Social History of Fannie Bay Gaol (2000) and In Search of the ‘Never-Never’: Looking for Australia in Northern Territory Writing (1998), which was also joint winner Jessie Litchfield Award for Literature (1997)
  • Design and development of the Territory History Gallery and creation of the Cyclone Tracy Gallery Museum and Art Gallery NT (1994–2007)
  • ALIA NT Recognition Award for curating the ‘Borella’s War: The Making of a Legend’, exhibition with touring component as part of the NT government’s Centenary of Anzac project (2015)


  • Masters of Library and Information Management, 2015, University of South Australia
  • Doctor of Philosophy, 1994, Charles Darwin University
  • Master of Arts (Hons), 1989, University of New England (Louise T. Daley Prize for Australian History)
  • Graduate Diploma of Education, 1981, Darwin Community College (now Charles Darwin University)
  • Bachelor of Arts (Hons), 1978, University of Melbourne

Appointments to boards and statutory authorities

  • Chair Northern Territory Place Names Committee 2008–2009
  • Northern Territory Government Heritage Advisory Council/Heritage Council 2008–2014; Deputy Chair (2012–2014)
  • National Archives of Australia Advisory Council 2008–2014; 2015 – present

Membership of professional organisations

Australia ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites); Professional Historians Association NT; Australian Library and Information Association (Associate); Australian Historical Association; Historical Society of the Northern Territory; Museums Australia (NT); National Trust of Australia (NT); Life Membership: Fannie Bay History and Heritage Society; Police Historical Society; National Pioneer Women’s Hall of Fame

Employment summary

  • July 2013 – present: Northern Territory Heritage Coordinator, Northern Territory Library
  • June 2012 – July 2013: Information Services Librarian, Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Education
  • February 2007 – present: Principal, Mickey Dewar Historical Research and Consulting
  • February 1994 – September 2006: Curator Territory History, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
  • September 2002 – September 2005: Adviser to the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, the Hon Clare Martin
  • March 1995 – February 1996: Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Arts and Law Charles Darwin University
  • 1986–1993: Lecturer/tutor (various contracts), Charles Darwin University
  • 1981–1986: Teacher/Editor Northern Territory Education Department (including two years maternity leave)

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