Roberta McRae OAM

Lecturer and Director - GDLP & MLP
BA (ANU); LLB (Macq); GDLP(ANU); GD Arts (ANU) Ed Stud (Armidale); Legal Practitioner NSW; Barrister & Solicitor ACT
+61 2 6125 0809
0414 470 295
Room 6.2.7

home icon ANU College of Law, Bld 6, Fellows Rd, Acton ACT 2600

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Research Theme


Roberta was the third female to hold the role of Speaker in any Australian Parliament. She was elected to the ACT Legislative Assembly in 1992 and served as Speaker until 1995. From 1996 to 1998 she was shadow Minister for Education and Sport. Prior to her work in the Assembly, Roberta's career was in education and the public sector. She picked that up again when she lost her seat in 1998. She began to study law in 1999. On completing her law degree she worked as a private sector lawyer.

Long active in the community and particularity passionate about multiculturalism, Roberta received an Order of Australia Medal in 1990 for services to migrant services.

Recent news

Roberta McRae
Roberta is a lawyer who has specialised in property and continues to practice to support student placements at the ACT Legal Aid Office.
ANU College of Law

Eight ANU College of Law staff members were awarded for their excellent contribution to teaching in 2012.

Please note, only a small selection of recent publications and activities are listed below.

Research biography

A late-comer to the legal profession, Roberta McRae is an emerging researcher. Roberta is absorbed in teaching and convening a major on-line course in the Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (GDLP) and has begun two research projects.

Research projects & collaborations

  • The first relates to the casual sessional staff employed to work for the GDLP and explores the question of how practitioner teachers adapt to becoming on-line teachers. Roberta is collaborating with Ms Glenda Bloomfield on this project.
  • The second project, a collaboration with other ANU Law staff  (Ms Helen Roriguez, Mr Ben Battcock, Ms Glenda Bloomfield and Ms Laurann Yen and guidance from Professor Margaret Thornton), is a survey and interview based exploration of emerging legal identities. Roberta hopes to publish the research findings of both projects in 2017.

Conference papers & presentations

  • Poster entitled "Markers or Mentors", summarising initial findings of tutors approach to on-line teaching, at APLEC conference in Hobart 2013.
  • Conference presentation entitled “Emerging Legal Identity” on the preliminary findings of a survey of 570 students beginning their GDLP studies at ANU, at APLEC conference in Brisbane 2016.

Honours thesis supervision

I am willing to supervise in the areas:

  • Property Law
  • Law and Literature
  • Legal Theory and Legal History

I have previously supervised:

  • Honours papers on Property law and an MLP paper on Multiculturalism and the law



Previous courses

Philosophy & approach

Steeped in Dewey my approach to teaching is to try and lead students from the known to the new. In other words, placing law in context and then exploring the theoretical and social assumptions that enrich judicial thinking.

I find on-line teaching challenging and interesting. I really appreciate it because that is how I completed my LLB. Not every course can, or should be taught  on-line but such an alternative offers opportunities to those not in a positon to attend face-to face lectures.

I also have a volunteer practising certificate so I can supervise and teach students involved in the Legal Aid Clinic run by ANU.


Past courses

2008 - 2009 Real Estate for ACT and NSW :  compulsory subjects in the Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (GDLP) courses  

2010 - 2013 Property Law for the Professional Practice Core (PPC)  - a course combining all the compulsory elements of the GDLP

2014 - 2015 PPC convenor

2016 - Property Law for the PPC

How my works connects with public policy

Roberta is a member of the ACT Law Society property committee. This enables her to keep close touch  with ACT property law issues and keep the committee informed on the property course in the GDLP.

Updated:  10 August 2015/Responsible Officer:  College General Manager, ANU College of Law/Page Contact:  Law Marketing Team