Dr Peter Crabb

BSc (Hons), Glasgow; Post-Graduate Certificate in Education, London; MA, Adelaide; PhD, Hull
Honorary Senior Lecturer

Career brief

Teaching and research positions held at University of Adelaide, University of Hull, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Macquarie University, and University of NSW (ADFA).

Professional activities

Established the Association for Canadian Studies in Australia and New Zealand.

Academic highlights

Northern Telecom Five Continents Award in Canadian Studies, 1989, for services to Canadian Studies.

Merit Award in recognition of ten years' service to the Murray Darling Association, 2001.

Inaugural Australian Community Maritime History Prize, 2011, co-sponsored by the Australian National Maritime Museum and the Australian Association for Maritime History, for my book Shipping and Shipwrecks: Stories from Jervis Bay and its Neighbouring Coasts.

Research interests

Natural resource and environmental management, particularly water resources in inter-jurisdictional river basins, such as the Murray-Darling Basin.  With respect to this, I am currently undertaking an historical study of the Inter-State Commission (specified in the Constitution but not in existence) and its relationship with the River Murray Water Agreement, the first of the inter-jurisdictional agreements for the management of the Basin.  

I am undertaking other historical research concerned with the reporters and reports of the nineteenth century goldfields in Colonial New South Wales and Victoria, published in such newspapers as the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.  Reporters of particular interest include Charles de Boos, John Hux, Frederick Dalton, and Daniel Bunce. 


  • Selection of publications, 1995-2017.
  • “Managing water resources: seeking unity in the interests of diversity”.  Conserving Biodiversity: threats and solutions, edited by R.A. Bradstock et al.  Surrey Beattie, Chipping Norton, 1995, pp. 162-173.
  • Murray-Darling Basin Resources.  Murray-Darling Basin Commission, Canberra, 1997, 300 pp.
  • “Straddling boundaries: inter-governmental arrangements for managing natural resources”.  Managing Australia’s Environment, edited by S. Dovers and S. Wild River.  Federation Press, Sydney, 2003, pp. 229-254.
  • Managing the Australian Alps: a history of cooperative management of the Australian Alps national parks.  Australian Alps Liaison Committee/CRES, ANU, Canberra, 2003.  156 pp.
  • “The Darling River: coping with the pressures of change?”  The Darling, edited by R. Breckwoldt et al.  Murray-Darling Basin Commission, Canberra, 2004, 408-433, 472-473.
  • “Managing natural resources across jurisdictions: lessons from the Australian Alps”.  Australasian Journal of Environmental Management, 14(2007), 210-219.  With Professor Steve Dovers.
  • Shipping and Shipwrecks: stories from Jervis Bay and its neighbouring coasts.  Lady Denman Heritage Complex, Huskisson, 2010.  80+iii pp.

    “We need our Alps, so why aren’t we looking after them?”  The Conversation, October 25, 2011.  http://theconversation.edu.au/we-need-our-alps-so-ehy-arent-we-looking-after-them-3831

    The Necessity for Multi-Disciplinary Research: Ralph Jacobi’s Institute for Freshwater Studies”.  Australian Geographer, 43(1) 2012, 1-16.

    Stories from Erowal, St Georges Basin: from Land Grant to Retirement Resort.  Lady Denman Heritage Complex, Huskisson, 2014.  78 + v pages.

    “Who Wrote ‘A Visit to the Western Goldfields’?  Using Computers to Analyse Language in Historical Research”.  With Alexis Antonia and Hugh Craig, University of Newcastle.  History Australia, 11(3), 2014, 177-193.

    “’His life history may be told in a few words’ Charles Edward Augustus de Boos, 1819-1900”.  pp. 109-120 in A New Tapestry: Australian Huguenot families, edited by Robert Nash.  The Huguenot Society of Australia, Sydney, 2015.

    “Just where will you spend your ‘inevitable citizenship in the country of the old’?” Geographical Research, 54(3), 2016, 348-354.

    “Identifying another goldfields reporter: Frederick Dalton (1815-1880)”.  History Australia, 13(4), 2016, 557-574.  With Brendan Dalton (CSIRO), and Alexis Antonia and Hugh Craig (University of Newcastle).

    “The Fighting Newfoundlanders: remembering the small nation’s sacrifice”.  Wartime: official magazine of the Australian War Memorial, 79, 2017, 64-67.


Formal and more especially informal assistance with the research of honours and graduate students.