School of Arts

Dr James Waghorne

Position: Honorary Research Fellow
Study area: Collaborative Research Centre in Australian History
Location: Level 1, E Building, SM


PhD - University of Melbourne - 2007
BA/BE (Hons) - University of Melbourne - 200


James leads the University History program at the Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education, University of Melbourne. He completed his PhD in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies at the University of Melbourne. He has since published a number of histories of organisations associated with the University of Melbourne, including: a history of civil liberties in Australia, focusing on the Australian Council for Civil Liberties and its successor organisations; a history of changes in judicial administration, tracing the work of the Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration, and a history of the Melbourne University Family Club Co-operative child-care centre, the first child-care centre associated with an Australian university, formed in 1965.

Areas of expertise

James is a historian who works on the history of universities. His research considers the emergence of university programs and methods of university teaching, the influence of university campuses and their wider precincts, and staff, student and alumni organisations, in order to explore universities’ wider social, political and cultural roles.

He has written about the Immigration Reform Group, a study group formed by graduates of the University of Melbourne to oppose the White Australia Policy; the University’s role in responding to the HIV/AIDS crisis of the 1980s, and on the enduring legacies of World War I on university disciplines.

He is currently a CI on an ARC study tracing the lives of individual members of the university who served in World War I, their role in building professional networks after the war, and their influence on the university.

Research interests

  • Australian History
  • History of Universities
  • Public History



James Waghorne, The Family Club: A Short History, Melbourne University Family Club Co-op, 2016 (forthcoming)

James Waghorne. Improving Justice: A History of the Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration. Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration, 2014.

James Waghorne and Stuart Macintyre. Liberty: A History of Civil Liberties in Australia. University of New South Wales Press, 2011.

Journal Articles

Kate Darian-Smith and James Waghorne, ‘Australian universities and the commemoration of the First World War’, History of Education Review, vol. 45, no. 2, 2016, pp.239-255

Kate Darian-Smith and James Waghorne, ‘Australian-Asian Sociability, Student Activism, and the University Challenge to White Australia in the 1950s’, Australian Journal of Politics and History, vol. 62, no. 2, June 2016, pp. 203-218

James Waghorne. ‘Civil liberties and the Referendum’. Australian Historical Studies, vol. 44, no. 1, April 2013.

Book Chapters

‘“Tempering the Wind”: Brian Fitzpatrick and the Australian Council for Civil Liberties under the Curtin Labor Government’. In Sheila Fitzpatrick and Stuart Macintyre, eds, Against the Grain: Brian Fitzpatrick – Manning Clark & Australian History. Carlton: Melbourne University Press, 2007.


Witness Seminar, ‘Communication and Health Policy Creation during the Australian AIDS Crisis’, 20 July 2014 [producer].

Witness Seminar, ‘Remembering the Immigration Reform Group’, 19 June 2013 [producer].