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Australia’s Fertility Transition »

A study of 19th-century Tasmania

Authored by: Helen Moyle
Publication date: 2020
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, most countries in Europe and English-speaking countries outside Europe experienced a fertility transition, where fertility fell from high levels to relatively low levels. England and the other English-speaking countries experienced this from the 1870s, while fertility in Australia began to fall in the 1880s. This book investigates the fertility transition in Tasmania, the second settled colony of Australia, using both statistical evidence and historical sources. The book examines detailed evidence from the 1904 New South Wales Royal Commission into the Fall in the Birth Rate, which the Commissioners regarded as applying not only to NSW, but to every state in Australia. Many theories have been proposed as to why fertility declined at this time: theories of economic and social development; economic theories; diffusion theories; the spread of secularisation; increased availability of artificial methods of contraception; and changes in the rates of infant and child mortality. The role of women in the fertility transition has generally been ignored. The investigation concludes that fertility declined in Tasmania in the late 19th century in a period of remarkable social and economic transformation, with industrialisation, urbanisation, improvements in transport and communication, increasing levels of education and opportunities for social mobility. One of the major social changes was in the status and role of women, who became the driving force behind the fertility decline.

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Vietnam Vanguard »

The 5th Battalion's Approach to Counter-Insurgency, 1966

Publication date: 2019
The Vietnam War, and Australia’s part in it, was a major military event, calling for willingness to face death and destruction on the battlefield on the part of those sent there, especially the men of our infantry battalions who formed the spearhead of our forces in Vietnam. For many reasons, the Australian public know relatively little about what our Army did in Vietnam during the war, particularly during the years of our peak commitment, 1965–72. This book attempts to make the true nature of the war clearer to readers, emphasising how hard fought it was during major operations. Twenty-seven of the contributing authors of this book were involved in the 1966 deployment of the 1st Australian Task Force into Phuoc Tuy Province. This formation was the first Australian Army force larger than an infantry battalion group to be deployed into a major war since World War II. 5th Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment (5 RAR), was in the vanguard as the task force’s first element committed to operations to seize and occupy Nui Dat base and embark on establishing dominance over the enemy. The narratives presented in this book give rare insights into thoughts of the soldiers at the time and how they have come to view the Australian Government’s hurried expansion of its initial commitment to that war, the Army’s state of preparedness for that wider involvement, and how those in its forefront adapted to get the job done, both in and out of operations, despite numerous shortcomings in higher level planning. Both professional soldiers and conscripted national servicemen have contributed viewpoints to these pages.

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International Review of Environmental History: Volume 5, Issue 2, 2019 »

Edited by: James Beattie
Publication date: November 2019
International Review of Environmental History takes an interdisciplinary and global approach to environmental history.  It encourages scholars to think big and to tackle the challenges of writing environmental histories across different methodologies, nations, and time-scales. The journal embraces interdisciplinary, comparative and transnational methods, while still recognising the importance of locality in understanding these global processes. The journal's goal is to be read across disciplines, not just within history. It publishes on all thematic and geographic topics of environmental history, but especially encourage articles with perspectives focused on or developed from the southern hemisphere and the ‘global south’.

Debating Lapita »

Distribution, Chronology, Society and Subsistence

Publication date: 2019
‘This volume is the most comprehensive review of Lapita research to date, tackling many of the lingering questions regarding origin and dispersal. Multidisciplinary in nature with a focus on summarising new findings, but also identifying important gaps that can help direct future research.’ — Professor Scott Fitzpatrick, Department of Anthropology, University of Oregon ‘This substantial volume offers a welcome update on the definition of the Lapita culture. It significantly refreshes the knowledge on this foundational archaeological culture of the Pacific Islands in providing new data on sites and assemblages, and new discussions of hypotheses previously proposed.’ — Dr Frédérique Valentin, Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Paris This volume comprises 23 chapters that focus on the archaeology of Lapita, a cultural horizon associated with the founding populations who first colonised much of the south west Pacific some 3000 years ago. The Lapita culture has been most clearly defined by its distinctive dentate-stamped decorated pottery and the design system represented on it and on further incised pots. Modern research now encompasses a whole range of aspects associated with Lapita and this is reflected in this volume. The broad overlapping themes of the volume—Lapita distribution and chronology, society and subsistence—relate to research questions that have long been debated in relation to Lapita.

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Framing the Islands »

Power and Diplomatic Agency in Pacific Regionalism

Authored by: Greg Fry
Publication date: October 2019
Since its origins in late eighteenth-century European thought, the idea of placing a regional frame around the Pacific islands has never been just an exercise in geographical mapping. This framing has always been a political exercise. Contending regional projects and visions have been part of a political struggle concerning how Pacific islanders should live their lives. Framing the Islands tells the story of this political struggle and its impact on the regional governance of key issues for the Pacific such as regional development, resource management, security, cultural identity, political agency, climate change and nuclear involvement. It tells this story in the context of a changing world order since the colonial period and of changing politics within the post-colonial states of the Pacific. Framing the Islands argues that Pacific regionalism has been politically significant for Pacific island states and societies. It demonstrates the power associated with the regional arena as a valued site for the negotiation of global ideas and processes around development, security and climate change. It also demonstrates the political significance associated with the role of Pacific regionalism as a diplomatic bloc in global affairs, and as a producer of powerful policy norms attached to funded programs. This study also challenges the expectation that Pacific regionalism largely serves hegemonic powers and that small islands states have little diplomatic agency in these contests. Pacific islanders have successfully promoted their own powerful normative framings of Oceania in the face of the attempted hegemonic impositions from outside the region; seen, for example, in the strong commitment to the ‘Blue Pacific continent’ framing as a guiding ideology for the policy work of the Pacific Islands Forum in the face of pressures to become part of Washington’s Indo-Pacific strategy.

Power, Protection and Magic in Thailand »

The Cosmos of a Southern Policeman

Authored by: Craig J. Reynolds
Publication date: October 2019
This biographical study of an unusual southern policeman explores the relationship between religion and power in Thailand during the early twentieth century when parts of the country were remote and banditry was rife. Khun Phan (1898–2006), known as Lion Lawman, sometimes used rather too much lethal force in carrying out his orders. He was the most famous graduate of a monastic academy in the mid-south, whose senior teachers imparted occult knowledge favoured by fighters on both sides of the law. Khun Phan imbibed this knowledge to confront the risks and uncertainty that lay ahead and bolster his confidence and self-reliance for his struggle with adversaries. Against the background of national events, the story is rooted in the mid-south where the policeman was born and died. Based on a wide range of works in Thai language, on field trips to the region and on interviews with local and regional scholars as well as the policeman’s descendants, this generously illustrated book, accompanied by short video clips, brings to life the distinctive environment of the lakes district on the Malay Peninsula.

Following the Water »

Environmental History and the Hydrological Cycle in Colonial Gippsland, Australia, 1838–1900

Authored by: Kylie Carman-Brown
Publication date: October 2019
Water reflects culture. This book is a detailed analysis of hydrological change in Australia’s largest inland waterway in Australia, the Gippsland Lakes in Victoria, in the first 70 years of white settlement. Following air, water is our primal need. Unlike many histories, this book looks at the entire hydrological cycle in one place, rather than focusing on one bit. Deftly weaving threads from history, hydrology and psychology into one, Following the Water explores not just what settlers did to the waterscape, but probes their motivation for doing so. By combining unlikely elements together such as swamp drainage, water proofing techniques and temperance lobbying, the book reveals a web of perceptions about how water ‘should be’. With this laid clear, we can ask how different we are from our colonial forebears.

Levelling Wind »

Remembering Fiji

Authored by: Brij V. Lal
Publication date: October 2019
‘What I have sought to do in my work is to give voiceless people a voice, place and purpose, the sense of dignity and inner strength that comes from never giving up no matter how difficult the circumstances. History belongs as much to the vanquished as to the victors.’ — Brij V. Lal ‘Professor Brij Lal is the finest historian of the Indian indentured experience and the Indian diaspora. His Girmitiyas is a classic.’ — Emeritus Professor Clem Seecharan, London Metropolitan University ‘Brij Lal is a highly respected, versatile and imaginative scholar who has  made a lasting contribution to the historiography of the Pacific.’ — Dr Rod Alley, Victoria University of Wellington ‘Professor Brij Lal’s life is a remarkable journey of a scholar and an intellectual whose writings are truly transformative; a man of moral clarity and courage who also has deep pain at being cut off from his homeland.’ — Professor Michael Wesley, Dean of the College of Asia and the Pacific, The Australian National University ‘Brij Lal is a singular scholar, whose work has spanned disciplines – from history, political commentary, encyclopedia, biography and “faction”. Brij is without doubt the most eminent scholar in the humanities and social sciences Fiji has ever produced. He also remains one of the most significant public intellectuals of his country, despite having been banned from entering it in 2009.’ — Emeritus Professor Clive Moore, University of Queensland ‘Brij Lal is an accomplished and versatile historian and true son of Fiji. Above all, there is affirmation here of the enduring worth of good literature and the value of good education that Lal received and wants others to experience. The world needs more Lals who speak out against ruling opinions and dare to stray into  the pastures of independent thought.’ — Professor Doug Munro, historian and biographer, Wellington, and Adjunct Professor at the University of Queensland

Australian Journal of Biography and History: No. 2, 2019 »

Publication date: October 2019
The second issue of the Australian Journal of Biography and History is a joint project between the National Centre of Biography at The Australian National University (ANU), and the Canberra and District Historical Society (CDHS). It seeks to recognise, perhaps reiterate, the relationship between the study of biography, as exemplified by the Australian Dictionary of Biography (ADB), and the practice of local and family history and heritage, the mission of the society. Most of the contributors are members of the society, and have been involved in the often painstaking and minute study of aspects of the history of Canberra and its region for many years. In ‘A City and Its People: Canberra in the Australian Dictionary of Biography’, Karen Fox explores Canberra history by discussing some of wide array of people ‘who have lived, worked, loved, and fought in the Canberra district’, and who are represented in the ADB. James McDonald, in his article ‘A Good Sheep Station Ruined’, examines the pastoral origins of the Canberra district, finding that the industry in the region was, before the founding of the capital city, a centre of innovation and enterprise, with stations such as Henry ‘Babe’ Curran’s Ginninderra a national exemplar of the wool industry. In a second article, ‘Migration as an Opportunity for Reinvention’, McDonald discusses the potential of immigration to refashion identities, using the biographies of Alfred and Margaret Rich, early settlers at Gundaroo, who had faced disadvantages in England because of their racial backgrounds. ‘Three Years in the Life of Chief Constable Patrick Kinsela’, by Gillian Kelly, examines the role of the first policeman in the district, who took up his posting at the nascent town of Queanbeyan in 1837, and in many ways exemplified the system of justice in the region until his early death in 1841. Kinsela is an unusual biographical subject as very little is known about his life until he assumed the role, while from then on, his life and times comes into focus by virtue of his reports, reports in the local press and colonial government inquiries. Michael Hall, in his article ‘The Sentinel over Canberra’s Military History’, explores the connections between the Anglican Church of St John the Baptist, now in the Canberra suburb of Reid, and the military, and the war experiences of some of its parishioners. The final two articles of the issue move towards aspects of the modern history of Canberra, the first exploring the life stories of Vince and Viola Kalokerinos who, for many years, ran a milk bar at Curtin, a place that has assumed a prominent place in both the commercial and social history, and indeed has become almost a part of the folklore, of the city. Their story is a reminder of the impact of Greek immigrants on the development of Canberra, and their willingness to work long hours to provide essential services to a population that was made up largely of government employees. Finally, Nick Swain discusses the life and work of one of Canberra’s early photographic entrepreneurs, Les Dwyer, who came to Canberra as a construction labourer in 1924 but, as a consequence of the Depression and workplace injury, converted a hobby into an enterprise. Included also are two essay length review articles, and a series of reviews on recently published Australian biographical works.

Tulagi »

Pacific Outpost of British Empire

Authored by: Clive Moore
Publication date: September 2019
Tulagi was the capital of the British Solomon Islands Protectorate between 1897 and 1942. The British withdrawal from the island during the Pacific War, its capture by the Japanese and the American reconquest left the island’s facilities damaged beyond repair. After the war, Britain moved the capital to the American military base on Guadalcanal, which became Honiara. The Tulagi settlement was an enclave of several small islands, the permanent population of which was never more than 600: 300 foreigners—one-third of European origin and most of the remainder Chinese—and an equivalent number of Solomon Islanders. Thousands of Solomon Islander males also passed through on their way to work on plantations and as boat crews, hospital patients and prisoners. The history of the Tulagi enclave provides an understanding of the origins of modern Solomon Islands. Tulagi was also a significant outpost of the British Empire in the Pacific, which enables a close analysis of race, sex and class and the process of British colonisation and government in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.