Remembering World War One in the Pacific

The closing event for the Australian Association for Pacific Studies Conference OCEANSCAPES: cooperation across the Pacific

25 April, 2014

Overshadowed substantially by the western front, the Pacific theatre of World War One has not yet attracted the scholarship it deserves. For this Sydney Ideas panel three researchers make a fascinating start on redressing the gap. Christine Winter takes us into the Australian occupation of German New Guinea from late 1914 and investigates the myriad “mementos” brought back to the Australian home front. Sean Brawley takes a broader European view of the ways in which the Pacific was figured as both salvation and escape during and after the war. Finally, Max Quanchi looks at the differing practices of commemoration of war service in the Pacific – revealing little-recognized earlier Pacific Islander agency in the global conflict of 1914-1918.


Kate Fullagar

Dr Kate Fullagar (Chair), is a Senior Lecturer in Modern History at Macquarie University. She is the author of The Savage Visit: New World Peoples and Popular Imperial Culture in Britain, 1710-1795 (2012) and (as editor) The Atlantic World in the Antipodes: Effects and Transformations since the Eighteenth Century (2012).

Christine Winter

Dr Christine Winter is an ARC Future Fellow in REGS (Race and Ethnicity in the Global South) at the University of Sydney. Her presentation for the panel is the outcome of a joint project with Dr Barry Craig, South Australian Museum, and Ron Vanderwal, Melbourne Museum, 'From Curios to War Trophies: collecting in ex-German New Guinea 1914-1920', supported by a Darling Foundation grant and published by Melbourne Museum Press.

Sean Brawley

Professor Sean Brawley is Head of the Department of Modern History, Politics, and International Relations at Macquarie University. He is the author or co-author of seven books, most recently (co-authored with Chris Dixon from UQ) Hollywood's South Seas and the Pacific War: Searching for Dorothy Lamour (2012).

Dr Max Quanchi

Dr Max Quanchi is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Social Sciences at the University of the South Pacific. His most recent book is The A to Z of Discovery and Exploration of the Pacific with John Robson (2010) He is currently working on a book on Pacific postcards from the colonial era and a study of the Pacific photographer, Thomas McMahon.