Stephen Garton

Professor Stephen Garton

  • Post Nominals: AM, FAHA, FASSA, FRAHS, FRSN
  • Fellow Type: Fellow
  • Elected to the Academy: 2000
  • Section(s): History


Professor Stephen Garton is the current President of the Australian Academy of the Humanities (2023 – onwards). He is currently the Principal Advisor to the Vice-Chancellor at the University of Sydney.

He has held senior management positions at the University for two decades, including Vice-Chancellor and President (December 2020 to July 2019), Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor (September 2019 to December 2020), Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (2009 to 2019) and Dean of the Faculty of Arts (2001 to 2009).

Professor Garton is a graduate of the University of Sydney (BA) and the University of NSW (PhD). He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, the Royal Australian Historical Society and the Royal Society of NSW.

His area of research expertise is Australian history, although he has also published in the fields of American and British history. His major books include Medicine and Madness: A Social History of Insanity in NSW 1880-1940 (1988), Out of Luck: Poor Australians and Social Welfare 1788-1988 (1990),The Cost of War: Australians Return (1996 and republished in 2020) and Histories of Sexuality: Antiquity to the Sexual Revolution (2004). He is also a co-author with Shane White, Stephen Robertson and Graham White of Playing the Numbers, a study of the culture of the numbers rackets in Harlem in the 1920s, published by Harvard University Press in 2010, and Preserving the Past: The Unified National system and the University of Sydney 1986-1995 with Julia Horne. He has published extensively in such fields as the history of psychiatry, crime, poverty, social policy, eugenics, policing, masculinity, higher education, nationalism, war and society and returned service personnel.

At the University of Sydney Professor Garton has also been Head of the Department of History (1996-98), an Associate Dean and Pro Dean in the Faculty of Arts (1991–95, 1999) and a member of the Academic Board for nearly 30 years. He was appointed Professor of History in 2000 and Challis Professor in 2004. In addition he has been a member of the Editorial Board of the Australian Dictionary of Biography, the Executive Committee of the Australian Historical Association and on the Council of the Australian Academy of the Humanities.

Acknowledgement of Country

The Australian Academy of the Humanities recognises Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the traditional owners and custodians of this land, and their continuous connection to country, community and culture.