Jeff Kildea was educated at the University of Sydney, where he gained a BA, LLB and LLM, and at the University of New South Wales, where he received a MA in History and was awarded a PhD for his thesis on sectarianism in early 20th-century Australia.
He practised law as a solicitor (1974-1979) and barrister (1979-2013). After receiving his PhD he taught Irish and Australian history at the University of New South Wales (2004-2005, 2014) and at Sydney University’s Centre for Continuing Education (2006-2012). In 2014 he held the Keith Cameron Chair of Australian History at University College Dublin.
He has written books and articles and presented papers in Australia, Ireland and the United States on early 20th-century Irish-Australian history. His books include Tearing the Fabric: Sectarianism in Australia 1910-1925 (2002), Anzacs and Ireland (2007), Wartime Australians: Billy Hughes (2008) and Hugh Mahon: Patriot, Pressman, Politician, Vol 1 (2017) and Vol 2 (2020). His website includes some of his writings and a blog on aspects of Irish-Australian history.