Remembering 1942 - 2002 History Conference

For Australians 1942 was a year of mixed tidings. Weighed against the victories on the Kokoda Trail, at Buna and Gona and at El Alamein was the loss of the 8th Division at Singapore and the realisation late in the year that although the tide of the war was turning in the Allies' favour there would be much bitter fighting ahead.


Speaker Topic
Keynote address:
Michael Caulfield Converting History into Film
Malaya and Singapore:
Dr Alan Warren Malaya-Singapore Campaign
John Moremon A failure to learn?: Preparing for war in New Guinea (drawing on the lessons of Malaya)
Garth Pratten Scraping the bottom of the barrel?: Battalion command in the 8th Division
The War to the North:
Brad Manera Australian Guerillas in Timor
Ian Hodges The loss of HMAS Armidale
Lunch Launch of Melanie Oppenheimer's book All work, no pay at 1pm
Australia at War:
Professor Alan Powell Darwin Retrospective, 1942
Dr Drew Cottle "A Brave Front?": Responses of Sydney's social classes to the Pacific War, 1942
Dr Peter Stanley Australia under threat of invasion (1.2Mb, pdf)
Dr Bobbie Oliver Conscientious objectors
Dr Melanie Oppenheimer 1942: Year of austerity
Counter Offensives:
Professor David Horner High Command and the Kokoda Campaign
Major General Steve Gower Sacking the generals in Papua
Dr John Mordike Air Power at Milne Bay, August - September 1942
Prisoners of War:
Professor Joan Beaumont Prisoners of War
Rosalind Hearder "Making bricks without straw": Australian doctors' responses to medical challenges in Japanese captivity
Dr Christina Twomey "Working for the Jap": Australian civilian internees remember 1942
Professor Fran De Groen Japan Party B Bound for Korea, 1942
Australia and the Global War:
Professor Peter Edwards Prime Minister Curtin turns to America
Alastair Cooper The Royal Australian Navy and Allied Command
Battles far Away:
Professor Hank Nelson Australians in Bomber Command
Dr Mark Johnston

El Alamein

Panel discussion: Australia and the war in 1942

About the Speakers

Keynote speaker: Mr Michael Caulfield

Michael Caulfield is a filmmaker and writer based in Sydney. He has most recently written, produced and directed the IMAX film, Africa's Elephant Kingdom and the eight-hour documentary series Australians At War. Michael is currently in post-production on his latest IMAX feature film, Horses: The Story of Equus.

Professor Joan Beaumont

Joan Beaumont is Professor of History and Dean of Arts at Deakin University, Victoria. She has on the history of Australian prisoners of war, Australia during the two world wars, and the history of Australian defence and foreign policy. She is currently on a book on the Second World War and Australian memory.

Mr Alastair Cooper

Mr Cooper has served at sea with the Royal Australian Navy and as the Research Officer for the Maritime Studies Program. He has written widely on the navy in historical journals and has contributed to several books. Mr Cooper is currently working on a study of the RAN.

Dr Drew Cottle

Dr Cottle teaches Australian Politics and International Studies at the University of Western Sydney. He has published articles and contributed to a number of books on Australia during the war. His next book, on the Brisbane Line, will be published in 2002.

Professor Fran De Groen

Associate Professor Fran deGroen works at the University of Western Sydney. Professor De Groen is currently collecting oral histories, memoirs and memorabilia from ex-POWs interned in Korean camps during the Second World War. Her collaborator, Ms Helen Masterman-Smith is a postgraduate student at the University of Western Sydney.

Professor Peter Edwards, AM

Professor Edwards is a consultant historian specialising in Australian defence and foreign policy. He is currently an Honorary Professor at Deakin University and also a Visiting Professor of the University of New South Wales at the Australian Defence Force Academy.

Major General Steve Gower

Formerly a regular soldier, Steve Gower served as a gunner in Vietnam. He retired from the Army as the GOC Training Command and became the Director of the Memorial in 1996. He published Guns of the Regiment in 1981.

Ms Rosalind Hearder

Ms Hearder was a Summer Vacation Scholar at the Australian War Memorial. She is currently completing her Ph.D at the University of Melbourne on Australian Prisoner of War doctors in the Second World War.

Mr Ian Hodges

Mr Hodges is a Senior Research Officer in the Memorial's Military History Section. His research interests include the wartime writing of C.E.W. Bean and he is currently working on an exhibition on the loss of HMAS Armidale.

Professor David Horner

Professor Horner, of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University, is the author or editor of over twenty books on Australian military history, most recently on the SAS.

Dr Mark Johnston

Dr Johnston is Head of History at Scotch College, Melbourne. He has written extensively on Australian soldiers in the Second World War, most recently in his book Fighting the enemy. His next book, on El Alamein, is co-authored with Dr Peter Stanley.

Mr Brad Manera

Mr Manera, of the National Museum of Australian, is presently attached to the Memorial. He was the historian on the 2001 Department of Veteran's Affairs pilgrimage to Greece and Crete and is writing a book on the battle of Retimo.

Dr John Mordike

Dr Mordike is Deputy Director of Historical Analysis at the RAAF Aerospace Centre. He is best known for his book An Army for a Nation.

Dr John Moremon

John Moremon is a historian with the Department of Veterans' Affairs. He received his doctorate from the University of New South Wales at the Australian Defence Force Academy in 2000.

Professor Hank Nelson

Professor Nelson works in the Division of Pacific and Asian History of the Australian National University. His books have been on Australia, Papua New Guinea and World War II. His most recent book is Chased by the Sun on Australians in Bomber Command.

Dr Bobbie Oliver

Dr Bobbie Oliver is Senior Lecturer at the Research Institute for Cultural Heritage, Curtin University. She is the author of Peacemongers: conscientious objectors to military service in Australia, 1911-1945 and is currently writing on conscientious objectors to the National Service schemes of the 1950s and the Vietnam War era.

Dr Melanie Oppenheimer

Dr Oppenheimer is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Humanities at the University of Western Sydney. She has published articles and books on voluntarism in wartime. Her book, All Work, No Pay: Australian Civilian Volunteers in War will be launched at the conference by Ms Martine Letts, Secretary General, Australian Red Cross.

Professor Alan Powell

Professor Powell was foundation Dean of Arts at both the University College of the Northern Territory and the Northern Territory University. His publications include, The Shadow's Edge: Australia's Northern War and War by Stealth: Australians and the Allied Intelligence Bureau 1942-1945.

Mr Garth Pratten

Mr Pratten is currently writing a doctoral thesis on battalion command in the Second World War under a joint Memorial-Deakin University scholarship. He is an officer in the Army Reserve.

Dr Peter Stanley

Dr Stanley is Principal Historian at the Memorial, where he has worked since 1980. In 2002 he will publish three books, Alamein: The Australian Story (with Mark Johnston), Whyalla at War 1939-1945, and For Fear of Pain: British Surgery 1790-1850.

Dr Christina Twomey

Dr Christina Twomey is a Lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Adelaide. Her most recent work will appear in an forthcoming edited collection Histories of the Present.

Dr Alan Warren

Dr Warren is Lecturer in History at Monash University. His most recent publication is Singapore 1942: Britain's Greatest Defeat.