Playing Cricket with Gallipoli

With the Cricket Australia scandal over ball-tampering during the March 2018 test in Cape Town, South Africa, rapidly receding in public consciousness, it is perhaps time to recall an experience I had seventeen years previously—soon after I began working in the...

Moreton Colyer at the fall of Tsingtao, 1914

One of the more interesting personal stories encountered while I have been revising my 1976 book The Citizen General Staff: The Australian Intelligence Corps 1907-1914 concerned Captain Moreton John Godden Colyer, who was an officer of the New South Wales section of...

A new Australia Day

It seems that a growing number of Australians are questioning whether 26 January is the right or best day on which to celebrate our national birthday. A prime factor for many of those advocating change is the view taken by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people...

Australia’s scars from first European contact

[This article was originally uploaded on 26 October 2017 but has been reposted following restoration of the website.] There has been a lot of heated talk in recent times, seeking to label the process of white settlement of Australia that began in 1788 as an...

Snapshots of Arrabury Station

I have written before about the images of Outback Australia in the 1920s that my brother and I were given during a visit to Sweden three years ago.  These were among a collection of photographs that once belonged to our grandfather, Olof Johanson, and were carried...

Isaiah Firebrace – from a distinguished line

This weekend Australia will be represented in the grand finals of the 2017 Eurovision song contest being held in Kiev, Ukraine, by a 17-year-old Indigenous singer named Isaiah Firebrace. Whether or not he (or the wider Australian public) knows it, he is almost...

Australia and the Chanak Crisis of 1922

With the inauguration of a new president in Washington at the start of this year there have been fears expressed about where the Trump administration’s determination to ‘make America great again’ might next see U.S. military forces committed around the globe. In...

Lasseter really was looking for Johanson’s Reef!

When writing my 2015 book Olof’s Suitcase: Lasseter’s Reef mystery solved, I was initially quite prepared to accept the conventional wisdom that my Swedish grandfather, Olof Johanson, was incidental to the drama surrounding the 1930 Central Australian Gold Exploration...