This person does not currently hold a position at QUT.

Personal details

Ms Marcelle Burns
Discipline *
Law, Other Law and Legal Studies
+61 7 3138 5210
+61 7 3138 1775
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Bachelor of Laws (Southern Cross University), Bachelor of Arts (Southern Cross University)


Criminal Law, Critical Race Theory and Whiteness Studies, Human Rights, Indigenous law, Native Title

* Field of Research code, Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008


Marcelle Burns is a Lecturer in the Faculty of Law at Queensland University of Technology.  As a Kamilaroi women and descendant of the Stolen Generations she is a strong advocate for recognition of First Nations peoples law and culture. Her practical legal experience includes working as a solicitor with the Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT Limited, the Legal Aid Commission of NSW, and in private practice. Since joining QUT in 2008 she has led the inclusion of Indigenous knowledges and cultural competency in the Bachelor of Laws program. In 2010 she was awarded a Faculty of Law Teaching and Learning Grant to develop an Indigenous cultural competency program for legal academics.  Marcelle has also taught and developed curriculum at the College of Indigenous Australian Peoples, Southern Cross University.

Marcelle’s research interests include Indigenous peoples and international law, human rights, the Stolen Generations, native title, Indigenous identity, Indigenous legal curriculum, and critical race theory and whiteness studies. Her work has been published in a number of national and international journals and books.  She has also presented at key national and international conferences on Indigenous peoples and law. Her conference presentations include: 

  • The Concept of Society and the Recognition of Indigenous Peoples, Symposium: The Indigenous Subject in International Law, University of South Australia, May 2014.
  • Two Laws Together: The Challenge for Legal Education, National Indigenous Legal Conference 2013.
  • Shifting State Power: Re-Mapping Indigenous Sovereignty, Human Rights and Governance Colloquium: Shifting Global Powers, Opportunities and Challenges for International Law, Queensland University of Technology, November 2011.
  • Power to the People: A New View of Society, National Native Title Conference 2010.
  • Discriminatory Doctrine: Indigenous Sovereignty in Australia, Race and Sovereignty Symposium, University of California (Los Angeles), March 2010.

Marcelle is a member of the Law Node of the National Indigenous Research and Knowledges Network, funded by the Australian Research Council.  She is also a member of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, and the Indigenous Lawyers Association of Queensland.  Marcelle is a PhD candidate at the University of South Australia, with her thesis examining the concept of society and the recognition of Indigenous peoples in international and domestic law.  

This information has been contributed by Ms Marcelle Burns.


Units currently taught

This information has been contributed by Ms Marcelle Burns.


Research projects

Grants and projects (Category 1: Australian Competitive Grants only)

National Indigenous Research and Knowledges Network (NIRAKN)
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
Start year
Indigenous Knowledge;Research Capacity Building