John Mulvaney (FAHA, FBA) was the first university trained archaeologist to work in Australia. He became interested in prehistory while stationed in England during World War II and studied Roman history at the University of Melbourne. After writing a masters degree in 1950 on Roman history in Britain he became interested in Australian prehistory and applied to study archaeology at Cambridge Unviersity.
In 1957 John Mulvaney established an honours course on Pacific prehistory at the University of Melbourne. He was professor of prehistory at the Australian National University 1971-1985. His studies and excavations changed the prevailing understanding of Aboriginal history by showing that Australia had a history before European colonisation.
Source: Sally Pryor, 'Past Master', The Canberra Times (12 March 2011): Panorama 10-11