Professor Heidi Norman is a leading researcher in the field of Australian Aboriginal political history. Her research sits in the field of history and draws on the cognate disciplines anthropology, political-economy, cultural studies and political theory. She has made significant contributions to understanding of Aboriginal social, cultural, economic and political history where she addresses questions of power in relation to Aboriginal citizens, the state and settler society and Aboriginal land justice.
Her research has included: a history of the NSW Annual Aboriginal Rugby League Knockout; the social and economic impact of mining in relation to Gomeroi lands and people; study of economic change over time and relationship to Aboriginal lives in cities. In 2015 she published a political history of Aboriginal land rights in NSW titled 'What Do We Want? A Political History of Aboriginal Land Rights in NSW'. In this first-ever study of land rights in NSW she documents the movement for land rights, how the laws changed relationships between Aboriginal people, the state and one another. From 2018 she has commenced a large ARC funded study of the social, economic and cultural benefits of Aboriginal land repossession in NSW.
She is an award winning researcher and teacher. She was awarded the UTS research excellence medal for collaboration (2015), National Teaching Excellence Award for her work in Indigenous studies (2016), awarded the inaugural Gough Whitlam Research Fellowship (2017-18) and in 2018 she was announced as a 'Top 5' ABC humanities researcher.
She is from the Gomeroi nation of north western NSW.
She is a member of the NSW Aboriginal Affairs Research Advisory Board, AIATSIS, Congress and convener of the 'Indigenous Land and Justice Research hub'.