Multilingual Australia Seminar Series | Negotiating Australia’s Land Border
Organised by the Department of Asian Studies as part of the ARC Discovery Project Opening Australia’s Multilingual Archive
Negotiating Australia’s Land Border
Professor Adrian Vickers
When the Dutch finally acknowledged Indonesian sovereignty in December 1949, debates on the land border with Australia reopened. Initially, as shown by the Tiki incident of 1952, the Commonwealth government continued to recognise the western part of the island of Papua as a Dutch territory. The 1957 beginning of the Irian campaign put pressure on Australia to take sides. Indonesian newspaper reports on Australia during the 1950s and early 1960s paint a surprising picture of Australia as accommodating of Indonesia’s position. These reports shed light on the complex picture of the region to Australia’s north in the context of the Cold War and decolonisation. The Indonesian image of Australia contrasts with attempts by the Netherlands government to foster affinities with Australia based on shared colonial interests and whiteness.
About the speaker
Professor Adrian Vickers researches and publishes on the cultural history of Southeast Asia. He has held a series of Australian Research Council grants (Discovery and Linkage), the most recent looking at modern and contemporary Indonesian art, Cold War history, and labour and industry in Southeast Asia.
For more information, contact: Judith Rozeboom – email@example.com
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