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Carmel Niland graduated from the Universities of New South Wales and of Illinois and began her career as a teacher in Sydney, Australia and Ithaca, New York,USA 


She worked for thirty years for the NSW Government leading agencies on gender, racial equality, human rights, child protection and disability services. She was elected as the Deputy Chancellor at the University of New South Wales


Carmel was honoured by the Medal of Australia for her work.  She is married to John and they have two children, and live in Sydney.


Her first book, A Darker Magic This Way Comes has received critical acclaim, earning Honourable Mentions at the 2017 Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York Book Festivals.​


An author and activist for social justice with a keen intellect, seasoned political and moral judgement, and a reputation for integrity and balance with a proven track record in education, women’s rights, anti-discrimination, child protection  and disability services.


  • First Women's Advisor to the Premier of NSW, first woman as Counsellor for Equal Opportunity in (1979-82).

  • First woman President of the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board (1982-88).

  • First woman to address the Broken Hill Barrier Industrial Council. 

  • Created the first Women’s Register in Australia for the appointment of women to Boards and Authorities.

  • Developed funding model for the first women’s refuge network in NSW.

  • Established first government liaison group with gay and lesbian community (1982).

  • Conceived Australia’s first landmark sexual harassment case.

  • Drafted and advocated Australia’s first Racial Vilification bill which became law in 1989.

  • Researched and wrote novels 'A Darker Magic This Way Comes' and The Curse of the Dragon Kings.....

  • More...


1970s: created first women’s register in Australia for appointments to boards and authorities; developed funding model for first Women’s Refuge Network in New South Wales, Australia.

1980s: first woman Counsellor for Equal Opportunity; first woman President of the New South Wales Anti-Discrimination Board and ran the Board for five years, managing an extensive research and community consultative program; advocated gay law reform and established first AIDS liaison team in 1983; drafted and advocated Australia’s first Racial Vilification bill, which became law in 1989.

1990s: Deputy Chancellor, UNSW 1989-92 and led move of the University of New South Wales to be Australia’s first green university; mediated over one hundred complex community, educational, environmental and employment disputes.

2000s: ??

2010s: Honourable Mentions awarded for her first book, 'A Darker Magic This Way Comes' by Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York Book Festivals. Wrote her second novel The Curse of the Dragon Kings and prepared The Line to God' for publication.



  • Chair, Taskforce on Implementing Ombudsman’s Report for Department of Juvenile Justice, reforming the way children are punished in detention centres.

  • Member of the Board of Management, Asia Australia Institute.

  • Commissioner, New South Wales Technical and Further Education (TAFE) Commission

  • Member of the Governing Council of University of New South Wales (8 years)

  • Member of New South Wales Teachers Federation (25 years) 

  • Member of Operational Review Committee, Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC, 5 years)

  • Board Member, National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA)

  • Member, Board of Relationships Australia

  • Member, Advisory Council Indigenous Law Centre

  • Governor, Board of Governors of University of New South Wales Alumni Association

  • Member, Evatt Foundation

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