Colin Mackerras

Professor Emeritus Colin Mackerras

  • Post Nominals: FAHA
  • Fellow Type: Fellow
  • Elected to the Academy: 1999
  • Section(s): History, Asian Studies


Professor Mackerras is expert in foreign affairs and an authority on East Asia, in particular China. He was Foundation Professor in the School of International Business and Asian Studies at Griffith University until his retirement late in November 2004. He was given the title Professor Emeritus in December 2004.

He had previously held positions as foreign expert for the Beijing Foreign Studies University; Research Scholar for the Department of Far Eastern History at the Australian National University; Chairman of the School of Modern Asian Studies at Griffith University; and Co-Director of the Key Centre for Asian Languages and Studies at Griffith University. Professor Mackerras has been the President of the Asian Studies Association of Australia and the President of the Chinese Studies Association of Australia; Chairman of the National Asian Languages and Studies in Australian Schools Taskforce and of the Queensland School Curriculum Council.

He has contributed to the script for Dragon’s Tongue: Communicating in Chinese, a series of nineteen half-hour programs on Chinese language and culture produced by the ABC in association with Griffith University and the Asian Studies Council. In 2015 with Prof Makeham became the first Australians to be awarded the Special Book Award of China.

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.