Researcher biography

Professor Paul Memmott is an anthropologist and architect and is the Director of the Aboriginal Environments Research Centre (AERC) at the University of Queensland (School of Architecture and Institute for Social Science Research). The AERC provides an applied research focus on a range of topics in relation to Indigenous populations, including institutional architecture, vernacular architecture, housing, crowding, governance, well-being, homelessness, family violence and social planning for communities.

Paul was the first full-time architectural-anthropological consultant in Australia, being principal of a research consultancy practice in Aboriginal projects during 1980 to 2008. His research interests encompass Aboriginal sustainable housing and settlement design, Aboriginal access to institutional architecture, Indigenous constructs of place and cultural heritage, vernacular architecture, social planning in Indigenous communities, cultural change and architectural anthropology. Memmott also directs the Indigenous Design Place initiative which draws on inter-disciplinary researchers across from UQ faculties and engages with Indigenous clients and personnel.

Paul's scholarly research output includes over 280 publications (including 11 books and monographs), 215 applied research reports and 40 competitive grants. He has supervised 50 postgraduate and honours students and has won a number of prestigious teaching awards in Indigenous education (including an Australian Award for University Teaching – AAUT). One of his books, titled 'Gunyah, Goondie + Wurley: Aboriginal Architecture of Australia', received three national book awards in 2008, including the prestigious Stanner Award from the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies.

Paul also has extensive professional anthropological experience in Aboriginal land rights claims, Native Title claims and associated court work since 1980. He has presented evidence and been examined in a variety of Australian courts as an expert witness on a cross-section of Indigenous issues, in addition to the Native Title work.