Dr Virginia Marshall

Research Fellow
School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet)

Virginia is a Research Fellow at the School of Regulation and Global Governance with the Australian National University. She was the ANU inaugural Indigenous Postdoctoral Fellow at the School of Regulation and Global Governance and the Fenner School of Environment and Society. She is a practicing lawyer and in demand as a Keynote Speaker and Panel Member. A lifetime member of the Golden Key International Honour Society for scholarly achievement. She is recognised as a Distinguished Woman Scholar by Canada’s University of Victoria BC.

Virginia is a Deputy Chair on Australia’s Committee on Aboriginal Water Interests to refresh the National Water Initiative Mark 2. She is Chair of the ANU Indigenous Advisory Group and a member of the ANU Human Research Ethics Committee; Co-Chair of the ANU Indigenous Cluster with the Institute for Climate, Energy and Disaster Solutions; Climate Change Authority Board member and Research Associate and Board member of the ANU Australian Studies.

Virginia won the WEH Stanner Award for her doctoral research thesis ‘A web of Aboriginal water rights: Examining the competing Aboriginal claim for water property rights and interests in Australia’ and published as ‘Overturning Aqua Nullius: Securing Aboriginal water rights’, a seminal book on Aboriginal water rights and the foreword by the Hon. Michael Kirby. Virginia’s former roles include Senior Legal Officer with the Australian Law Reform Commission, criminal defence lawyer with Legal Aid, Associate and Researcher at the Federal Court Sydney and Executive Officer of NSW Government’s Aboriginal Water Trust. Virginia contributes to the COP events and the UN Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples meetings at COP26 Glasgow, COP27 Egypt and COP28 in Dubai.

Virginia is Lead Chief Investigator (Lead CI) with an ARC Discovery Indigenous Grant (2022-2024) ‘Barriers and Pathways to the development of Indigenous traditional medicines’ to ‘ unlock the significant, untapped potential for Indigenous Australians to benefit from the development of their traditional medicines regulated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration in Australia.

Research interests

Dr Marshall's research interests are:

  • Indigenous water law, rights & interests
  • Indigenous Traditional Knowledge, Information & Knowledge Systems
  • Indigenous environmental sciences & protected area management
  • Commercialisation of native foods, medicines & treatments
  • Indigenous business development livelihoods and climate change
  • Global Policy & Governance with Indigenous peoples
  • Domestic implementation of UNDRIP and the Nagoya Protocol  

Researcher's projects

Dr Marshall's key research focus is on the Australian Research Council Discovery Indigenous project IN220100031 ‘Barriers and pathways to development of Indigenous traditional medicines’ grant of $1,014,000 over 3-years. As the Lead Chief Investigator Dr Marshall is based at ANU and working in collaboration with Chief Investigator Professor Emma Kowal (Deakin University) and Chief Investigator Professor Ron Quinn (Griffith University), along with two Kimberley-based Nyikina Mangala Senior Elders (male and female) as Indigenous Research Collaborators, two Postdoctoral Researchers (at ANU and Deakin), three PhD scholars (two at Griffith and one at ANU) with a p/t Research Officer (ANU) assisting with the project.