Researching Australia’s Relationship to the Pacific – A talk by Dr Ian Hoskins
Australia’s deep past and its modern history are intrinsically linked to the Pacific. In Australia & the Pacific, Ian Hoskins – award-winning author of Sydney Harbour and Coast – expands his gaze to examine Australia’s relationship with the Pacific region; from our ties with Papua New Guinea and New Zealand to our complex connections with China, Japan and the United States.
During this talk, Hoskins will reveal the sweeping narrative history that begins with the shifting of the continents to the coming of the first Australians and, thousands of years later, the Europeans who dispossessed them. Hoskins will also explore the colonists’ attempts to exploit the riches of the region while keeping ‘white Australia’ separate from neighbouring Asians, Melanesians and Polynesians.
The talk will examine how the advent of modern human rights and the creation of the United Nations after World War Two changed Australia and investigates our increasing regional engagement following the rise of China and the growing unpredictability of US foreign policy. Concluding with the offshore detention of asylum seekers and current debates over climate change, Hoskins will pose questions on Australia’s responsibilities towards our increasingly imperilled neighbours.