Author/Editor: Diane Bell

Diane Bell

Over the past four decades, Diane Bell has undertaken extensive fieldwork in communities across the north and in the southeast of Australia as well as comparative research in North America. She has written with passion and courage of matters concerning Aboriginal society with particular emphasis on land rights, native title, law reform, women’s rights, violence against women, religion and the environment.

Diane Bell began her working life as a primary school teacher in the 1960s, returned to full time study in the 70s, and as a single mum, completed her BA Hons (Monash University 1975) and PhD (ANU 1981). She has held senior positions in higher education in Australia and the USA, acted as consultant to various NGOs, Indigenous organisations and governmental entities, and has been honoured as a writer, academic and social justice advocate.

After 17 years in the USA, Diane retired as Professor Emerita of Anthropology, The George Washington University, DC, USA and, on returning to Australia, settled on the banks of the Finniss River, South Australia, in Ngarrindjeri country. She prepared the Ngarrindjeri Consent Determination Native Title Report, ran for the House of Representatives seat of Mayo (South Australia) in the 2008 by-election, furthered her creative writing as Writer and Editor in Residence at Flinders University, taught at the University of Adelaide and, through membership of various environmental NGOs, argued for a return of water to the Murray-Darling River system.

Diane Bell now lives in Canberra where she continues to write, speak, strategise and advocate for a more just society: a concept that underwrites and unifies the various and varied facets of her feminist anthropological stance on life.



23 Jun 2014 DIANE BELL RETURNS TO THE ‘HINDMARSH ISLAND AFFAIR’ at Readings Bookshop, Hawthorn


 Gideon Haigh will launch the new edition of Diane Bell’s Ngarrindjeri Wurruwarrin which invites readers into the complex and contested world of the Ngarrindjeri people.

23 Jun 2014 DIANE BELL RETURNS TO THE ‘HINDMARSH ISLAND AFFAIR’ at Readings Bookshop Hawthorn


 Gideon Haigh will launch the new edition of Diane Bell’s Ngarrindjeri Wurruwarrin which invites readers into the complex and contested world of the Nga... more

05 Apr 2013 “What’s anthropology got to do with it?”

In this talk Spinifex author Professor Diane Bell looks back over four decades of

entanglements of anthropology and social justice. She recalls the heady

... more
19 May 2011 Diane Bell - Writing in the Eye of the Storm

A public lecture presented by the Centre for Australian Indigenous Studies (CAIS) at Monash University and Sustainable Melbourne.

Writing in the Eye of the ... more

05 Oct 2010 Di Bell speaking out about the Murray river

See Di Bell speaking about the imminent release of the Murray-Darling Basin plan on the 7.30 Report."These floodwaters at the moment are kind of a gift to ... more

02 Mar 2010 Diane Bell at Adelaide Writers' Week

Diane Bell is appearing at Adelaide Writers' Week on Thurs 4 March, speaking on a panel entitled Fire & Water. At: Pioneer Women's Gardens, West Tent, 10.30am, free.

18 Nov 2009 River Stories

On November 20th, Diane Bell, editor of Listen to Ngarrindjeri Women Speaking, will deliver the keynote address "River Stories" at Community Innovators, the ... more

30 Jul 2009 Ngarrindjeri Statement Regarding Clayton Regulator

The Ngarrindjeri of the Lower Murray River and Coorong have told the South Australian state government that the construction of regulators will seriously dam... more

2002 Inducted into the Golden Key Honor Society, November 28, as an Honorary Member for "commitment to higher education and an outstanding job in capacity as Director of Women's Studies"
2000 - 2003 Regional Editor for the Latin and North America Women’s Studies International Forum
2000 Senior Scholar Special Commendation of Honor received from the American Association of University Women (AAUW)
Book Awards
Daughters of the Dreaming: 1993 Finalist, JI Staley Prize
Ngarrindjeri Wurruwarrin:
Ngarrindjeri Wurruwarrin: Winner, NSW Premier’s Gleebook Award for Cultural and Literary Criticism Finalist, The Age Book of the Year Finalist, Queensland Premier’s History Award Finalist, Gold Medal of the Australian Literary Society Finalist, Kiriyama Award
Ngarrindjeri Wurruwarrin 1st edition: 1999 Finalist, Age Book of the Year
Ngarrindjeri Wurruwarrin 1st edition: 1999 Finalist, Queensland Premier's History Award
Ngarrindjeri Wurruwarrin 1st edition: 1999 New South Wales Premier's Gleebook Award received for cultural and literary criticism
Ngarrindjeri Wurruwarrin 1st edition: 2000 Finalist, Gold Medal for the Australian Literary Society
Ngarrindjeri Wurruwarrin 1st edition: 2000 Finalist, Kiriyama Award

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