Ms Therese Apolonio

Ms Therese Apolonio

Research Support Co-ordinator

BA (Honours I) History (USyd); BSc Psychology (USyd)

Arts, Design & Architecture (ADA)
School of Humanities & Languages

I am the research co-ordinator for the Indigenous Land and Justice Research Group, which sits within Humanities & Languages in Arts, Architecture & Design. I am a first-generation settler of Filipina descent. My research aims to support Aboriginal landholders and their aspirations for cultural revitalisation, economic prosperity and self-determination. 

I am currently working on a project funded by the James Martin Institute and Boundless, which investigates the renewable energy potential of the New South Wales Aboriginal land estate. In partnership with Local Aboriginal Land Councils (LALCs), we aim to identify landholdings that are suitable sites for renewable energy projects, develop models that align with the LALCs' needs, aspirations and preferences in relation to the ownership, operation, and governance of renewable energy on their land. 

In 2018, I obtained a BSc (Psychology) and BA (History) (Honours I) from the University of Sydney. My honours thesis traced the provenance of an animal skull collected from on the bank of Murrumbidgee River in Balranald in 1835. The skull is linked to Mutthi Mutthi Bunyip lore and was an object of taxonomic debate among Australian natural scientists. 

From 2018-2023, I was a research officer at the Centre for the Advancement of Indigenous Knowledges, in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at the University of Technology Sydney where I now hold an honorary appointment. During this time, I worked an extensive place-based study which investigated the benefits of Aboriginal land restitution in New South Wales, led by Professor Heidi Norman and funded by the Australian Research Council.

I am experienced researcher and research co-ordinator with a track record of collaborations with multidisciplinary research teams, Aboriginal community, government, and industry stakeholders. I am a member of the UNSW Environment & Society Group, the Australian Historical Association, the First Nations Clean Energy Network, and the NSW Decarbonisation & Innovation Hub. I am interested in Aboriginal history and politics, land and water rights, treaty and agreement-making, climate justice, environmental studies, gender studies, and the history and philosophy of science. 


Room 320, Level 3, Morven Brown Building
  • Journal articles | 2023
    Norman H; Briggs C; Apolonio T, 2023, 'Advancing Aboriginal interests in the New South Wales renewable energy transition', CAEPR Discussion Paper, 23,
    Journal articles | 2021
    Norman H; Apolonio T; Parker M, 2021, 'Mapping local and regional governance: reimagining the new south wales aboriginal sector', Cosmopolitan Civil Societies, 13, pp. 1 - 14,
    Journal articles | 2020
    Norman H; Krayem M; Bain C; Apolonio T, 2020, 'Are Aboriginal people a threat to the modern nation?: A study of newsprint coverage of a racial discrimination complaint', Australian Aboriginal Studies, pp. 18 - 35
  • Working Papers | 2023
    Norman H; Briggs C; Apolonio T, 2023, Advancing Aboriginal interests in the New South Wales renewable energy transition, http://dx.doi.org10.25911/BW7K-MM24,
  • Reports | 2019
    Norman H; Steele A; Ingrey C; Snape F; Freeman N; Scott G; Parker M; West M; Moran N; Apolonio T, 2019, Local Aboriginal Land Councils’ evaluation of the Land Negotiation Program

  • 2018: Charles Trimby Burfitt Prize for the Study of Australian History Prior to 1900