Professor Michael Christie

BEd, MA, PhD


Areas of Expertise and Research Interests

A fluent speaker of Yolngu languages, Professor Christie has worked for more than 30 years collaboratively with Indigenous elders and communities to preserve Indigenous culture and heritage and knowledge for all Australians.

Professor Christie has worked as a teacher linguist at Milingimbi and Yirrkala in the 1970s and ‘80s and with Yolngu elders to establish the Yolngu studies program at CDU, which won the Prime Minister’s prize for Australia’s best university teaching program in 2005.

His research and teaching brings Indigenous and non Indigenous knowledge systems together to work on “both ways” school curriculum, medical interpreting and Aboriginal housing.
Prof Christie's research interests include:

  • Yolngu Languages and Culture
  • Yolngu Philosophy of Identity
  • Communication across cultures
  • Indigenous Epistemologies and Pedagogies
  • Digital Technology and Indigenous Knowledge Systems
  • Participatory Action Research

Current Projects

  • Digital Technology and the Intergenerational Transmission of Indigenous Knowledge
  • Australian Research Council Linkage Project
  • Print-on-demand technologies in Aboriginal communities
  • Yolngu Long-grassers on Larrakia Land
  • The mobilisation of Yolngu philosophy in educational debate and research

Professional Memberships and Awards

  • 2011: Northern Territory Australian of the Year
  • 2007: Awarded Charles Darwin University Vice-Chancellor's Award for Exceptional Performance in Research
  • 2005: Awarded Prime Minister's Award for Excellence in Tertiary Teaching for the Yolgnu studies teaching program
  • 2005: Awarded Business-Higher Education Round Table national award for best research collaboration with a CRC
  • 2002: Awarded Wyeth Prize for best research article published in the Medical Journal of Australia
  • 1988: Winner NT Red Earth short story award


Refereed journal articles

  • Christie, M. (2007) 'Indigenous Knowledge management and Natural Resource management'. Investing in Indigenous Natural Resource Management, M.K. Luckert, B.M. Campbell, J.T Gorman, S.T. Garnett, Darwin: CDU Press, pp86-90.
  • Christie, M. (2007) ‘Yolngu Language Habitat: Ecology, Identity and Law in an Aboriginal Society’ in Australia’s Aboriginal Languages Habitat, G. Leitner and I. Malcolm (Eds) Berlin, New York: Mouton De Gruyter pp57-78
  • Christie, M. (2007) Verran, Helen, Michael Christie, Bryce Anbins-King, Trevor van Weeren, and Wulumdhuna Yunupingu. 'Designing Digital Knowledge Management Tools with Aboriginal Australians'.  Digital  Creativity, Volume 18 (3), September 2007 , pp. 129-142(14)
  • Christie, M. (2007) Verran, Helen and Michael Christie  "Using/Designing Digital Technologies of Representation in Aboriginal Australian Knowledge Practices". Human Technology; Interdisciplinary Journal of Humans in ICT Environments Vol 3 (2) May 2007, 214-227
  • Christie, M. (2007) ‘Fracturing the Skeleton of Principle: Australian Law, Aboriginal Law, and Digital Technology’ Learning Communities: International Journal of Learning in Social Contexts, November 2007, pp 30-39
  • Christie, M. (2006) Transdisciplinary Research and Aboriginal Knowledge Australian Journal of Indigenous Education. (Vol 35, 1-12)
  • Christie, M. (2006)  ‘Boundaries and accountabilities in computer-assisted ethnobotany’. Research and Practice in Technology Enhanced Learning Special issue on Multicultural Issues in the Design of Learning Technologies Vol 1(2), 1-12
  • Christie, M. (2006) 'Local versus global Knowledges: A fundamental dilemma in ‘remote education’' Education in Rural Australia, (Vol 16 #1, 27-38)
  • Christie, M. (2005) 'Aboriginal Knowledge Traditions in Digital Environments'’, Australasian Journal of Indigenous Education, Volume 34, 61-66.
  • Christie, M. (2005) ‘Local Versus Global Knowledge: Resolving a fundamental dilemma in ‘remote Education’ in Our Stories: Innovation and Excellence in Rural Education Colin Boyle (Ed), Toowoomba: Society for the Provision of Education in Rural Australia.
  • Christie, M. (2005) 'Words, Ontologies and Aboriginal Databases Multimedia International Australia' No. 116, pp52-63.
  • Christie, M. and Greatorex, J. (2004). 'Social Capital in the Contexts of Yolngu Life'. Learning Communities: International Journal of Learning in Social Contexts, Number 2, 2004.
  • Christie, M. and Greatorex, J. (2004). 'Yolngu Life in the Northern Territory of Australia: The Significance of Community and Social Capital'. Asia Pacific Journal of Public Administration, 2004.
  • Christie, M. (2003). 'Computer Databases and Aboriginal Knowledge'. Learning Communities: International Journal of Learning in Social Contexts, 1, pp 4-12.

Cass, A., Lowell, A., Christie, M., Snelling, P., Flack, M., Narrnganyin, B. and Brown, I. (2002). 'Sharing the True Stories: Improving communication between Aboriginal patients and Health Care'. Medical Journal of Australia, 176, pp 466-70.

Christie, M. (1998). 'Non-Aboriginal Pedagogues in the Production of Aboriginal Knowledge'. In: Hackforth-Jones, J. (ed). (Re) forming Identities: Intercultural Education and the Visual Arts. Canberra School of Art, Canberra, Australia.

Christie, M. and Perrett, B. (1996). 'Negotiating resources: Language, knowledge and the search for 'Secret English' in northeast Arnhem Land'. In: Howitt, Connell, R. and Hirsch, P. (Eds). ‘Resources, Nations and Indigenous Peoples’. Melbourne OUP.


P: +61 8 8946 7338
Address: School of Education
Faculty of Law, Education, Business and Arts
Charles Darwin University
Darwin NT 0909
Location: Building Yellow 1, Level 2, Room 19, Casuarina campus