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Mark McMillan on Indigenous Identity and the Law


Mark McMillan is a senior lecturer at Melbourne Law School, the 2013 NAIDOC scholar of the year, and a board member of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples. Here, he brings his vast experience to bear in examining Indigenous Identity and the law.

Highlighting the difference between freedoms and protections when it comes to Indigenous peoples – and why Indigenous identity is still intrinsically linked with discrimination – Mark gives an insider’s perspective on several contentious issues including the 2011 Eatock vs Bolt case, in which columnist Andrew Bolt and his employers were found by the Federal Court to be in breach of the 1975 Racial Discrimination Act for publishing articles about fair-skinned Indigenous Australians in 2009. Mark analyses the efficacy of the Racial Discrimination Act, particularly in relation to freedom of speech.


We love exploring ideas at the Wheeler Centre, and encouraging others to do the same. That’s why every Thursday lunchtime we hand the microphone over to the great thinkers, dreamers and orators of our time.

With a dazzling range of passionate speakers and unusual topics, our soapbox provides a platform for the eclectic, topical and enlightening stories you won’t hear elsewhere. This is the most memorable lunch break you’ll have all week.

If you’re in need of sustenance of body as well as mind, the MOAT lunch cart will be serving delicious $15 lunchboxes in the performance space from 12.20pm.



Mark McMillan

Dr Mark McMillan is a Wiradjuri man from Trangie, NSW. He is a Professor and Deputy Vice Chancellor (Indigenous Education and Engagement) at RMIT University. In 2013 Mark was awarded the National NAIDOC Scholar of the Year award. Mark has received his Bachelor of Laws from The Australian National U... Read more


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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional owners of the land on which we work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, past and present.