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...

Lasseter a ‘neurotic narcissist’?

While researching the book Olof’s Suitcase: Lasseter’s Reef mystery solved, I could hardly avoid being drawn into examining the personal history of Lewis Harold Bell Lasseter (real name Lewis Hubert Lasseter), the man who claimed to have once discovered a rich gold...

Actual film footage of the 1942 Coral Sea battle

There are a number of photographic images that show the moment when, on 7 May 1942, the mixed Australian-American squadron under command of Rear Admiral Jack Crace, RN, came under Japanese air attack in waters off the eastern tip of Papua, during the first day of the...