Maggie Brady is an anthropologist with fieldwork experience in many locations across remote Australia with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and has published widely for both academic and community-based audiences on Indigenous alcohol and other drug use. Her book Heavy Metal: the Social Meaning of Petrol Sniffing in Australia (Aboriginal Studies Press 1992) was the first anthropological study of this volatile solvent use among Aboriginal youth. Since then she has published several monographs on the history and uses of alcohol in Australia and two more books: Indigenous Australia and Alcohol Policy: Meeting Difference with Indifference (UNSW Press 2004) and Teaching “Proper” Drinking? Clubs and Pubs in Indigenous Australia (ANU Press 2017).
Her community-based action-oriented resources have been widely disseminated across Australia and internationally, particularly The Grog Book: Strengthening Indigenous community action on alcohol (1998/2004), and Giving Away the Grog: Aboriginal Accounts of Drinking and Not Drinking (1995). Maggie and Kirstie Rendall-Mkosi researched and co-authored a South African version of the Grog Book which was published in Cape Town in 2005: Tackling Alcohol Problems. She also produced six illustrated resource booklets tracing the history of Indigenous Australians’ first encounters with strong alcohols (First Taste: How Indigenous Australians Learned about Grog, FARE 2008). Maggie has provided advice to Australian government departments as well as international agencies such as the World Health Organisation and the Pan-American Health Organisation. She has held research positions with the Northern Land Council (1982-1985); Human Rights Commission (1986); the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (1987-2000); and she has held two Australian Research Council fellowships at the Australian National University (2001-2015). At present she is an Honorary Associate Professor at CAEPR, working on several projects including the history of Indigenous fermentation practices, the ‘new’ temperance movement among Aboriginal women, and the dissemination of Gothenburg-style pubs to Australia and Scotland in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Maggie Brady (2021): The Reinvention of Sweden’s “Gothenburg System” in Rural Australia: The Community Hotels Movement, Journal of Australian Studies, DOI:
‘They are among the best workers, learning the ways of a vineyard quickly’: Aboriginal people, drinking, and labour in the Australian wine industry,
McIntyre J, Brady M, Barnes J, Global Food History 2019, 5 (1-2):45-66
Teaching 'Proper' Drinking? Clubs and pubs in Indigenous Australia, CAEPR Research Monograph No. 39, ANU Press, 2017.
Failing to 'carry the people along', commentary in Drug and Alcohol Review, 2015.
'Alcohol fermentation among Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, Encyclopaedia of the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine in Non-Western Societies, (3rd ed), 2014.
'Lessons from history of beer canteens and licensed clubs in Indigenous Australian communities, CAEPR Discussion Paper no 290/2014, Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, Australian National University.
Book Review, Drinking Smoke: the tobacco syndemic in Oceania, by Mac Marshall for Oceania, 2014.
'Law reforming layers and Aboriginal social controls: The case of the Western Australian Aboriginal Communities Act', Australian Indigenous Law Review 17 (1): pp. 38-46, 2013.
'Drug substances introduced by the Macassans: the mystery of the tobacco pipe', M. Clarke and S.K. May (eds) Macassan History and Heritage. Journeys, Encounters and Influences, Canberra, ANU E-Press, pp 141-157, 2013.
‘Radical Actions: Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal women’s temperance activism in nineteenth and twentieth-century Australia’
The Social History of Alcohol and Drugs, 33(2) Fall 2019:286-309
Interview for Radical Actions
For a full listing of Dr Brady's publications please refer to her ANU researchers page.