Personal profile

Personal profile

Dominic O’Sullivan is a New Zealand Maori scholar whose research influence encompasses the disciplines of political science, education and public theology, with indigeneity providing a unifying scholarly theme. The international comparative focus of his work has led to it being influential in shaping indigenous policy in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Malaysia.

Research Interests

Dominic is vastly experienced in translating research into practical public policy. An Australian Research Council independent assessor has said that he is ‘particularly adept at showing the mutual relevance of research in normative political theory and research on public policy – a link often gestured at, but rarely made as consistently and as effectively as O’Sullivan does’. As an example of his translation of research into policy practice Dominic has been a key note speaker to groups including the New Zealand Health Promotion Forum, the New South Wales Aboriginal Education Consultative Group, Wiradjuri Council of Elders and the New Zealand Human Rights Commission. Dominic’s board and statutory authority appointments also emphasise his attention to relationships between research and policy. He was a member of Charles Sturt University’s Academic Senate for five years between 2014 and 2019, and served four years on its Human Research Ethics Committee. Dminic has served on the Bathurst Health Council (NSW Health), the Board of Caritas New Zealand and was appointed by the Minister of Health as a lay member of the Osteopathic Council of New Zealand, where he chaired the Council’s education committee. Dominic has also held senior administrative positions at Charles Sturt University, is a former school acting Principal and member of a school Board of Trustees.

Dominic is an experienced independent political commentator for the ABC and a number of other news outlets. Additionally, Dominic has over 60 quality assured research publications including 8 books and more than 40 journal articles and book chapters. Influential publications and consultancies are briefly described below; and a full list of publications is available on his LinkedIN page; and an article, recently posted on the University of Canberra’s Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis’ blog site, The Policy Space, can be found here:

An example of Dominic’s presentation of his research to a general audience can be found at this link to an interview on Fijian Indigenous politics with Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat programme


The National Assembly of Québec’s examination of New Zealand’s electoral system draws on Dominic’s work on Maori parliamentary representation and he has publications listed in the select bibliography to the report of the New Zealand Government’s Constitutional Advisory Panel. His work has been cited to support proceedings in the High Court of New Zealand, the Australian Commonwealth Parliament’s Joint Select Committee Report on Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, and the Commonwealth Productivity Commission’s Better Indigenous Policies: the role of evaluation.

A full and up to date list of Dominic's publications can be found at


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Education/Academic qualification

Graduate Certificate in University Leadership and Management (Leadership and Management), Charles Sturt University


Doctor of Philosophy, University of Waikato


Bachelor of Social Science (Public Administration and Public Policy) (H1 Honours), University of Waikato


Diploma in Business Studies, Massey University


Diploma of Teaching, University of Waikato


Bachelor of Arts (History), Victoria University of Wellington


External positions

Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences, Auckland University of Technology

Dec 2019 → …

Member, Bathurst Health Council, NSW Health


Political Commentator, ABC Goulburn-Murray and ABC Central-West, Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Jan 2013 → …

Senior Teacher, Postdoctoral Fellow, Research Fellow, University of Waikato


Lecturer, Waiariki Institute of Technology



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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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