Activism in the Archives

Australia’s role in post World War two Indonesia is well documented but not well known. In the aftermath of the Japanese surrender, the previous colonial authorities- the Dutch- attempted to take control of the island nation once again rather than allow independence in the region. The British at the same time were intent on maintaining their hold on India.

Out of this post war turmoil comes a story of union organisation and seafaring rebellion. Author and historian, professor Heather Goodall has delved into archives and the result is a new book, Beyond Borders: Indians, Australians and the Indonesian Revolution, 1939 to 1950.

Heather visited the Indian archives in Delhi and Bombay searching for documents and discovered an Indian journalist, P.R.S. Mani who covered this time of turmoil.

Anna Clark was joined by new GLAMcity presenter Kiera Lindsey.

They asked Heather about her long interest in activism and politics which has dominated her research. She’s worked on two Australian Royal Commissions and has investigated decolonisation in Australia and the broader Asia-Pacific region.

Read more about Heather Goodall’s work

History of Tranby Aboriginal College

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