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Articles on Australian history

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Survivors of Namibia’s Herero tribe surrendering after a battle with German forces. Ullstein Bilderdienst Berlin/Supplied

Move over Breaker Morant: the forgotten story of Edward Presgrave

More than a century ago, on 26 September 1905, in a remote and isolated part of German Southwest Africa (present day Namibia) a young Australian lay dying amid the sand dunes and salt pans. Lured across…
Australian humanities subjects need to get on board with MOOCs and develop Australian voices in online learning. World image from

Deadset? MOOCs and Australian education in a globalised world

FUTURE OF HIGHER EDUCATION: We continue our series on the rise of online and blended learning and how free online courses are set to transform the higher education sector. Today Ruth Morgan looks at the…
A United States Air Force RF-101 Voodoo aircraft pilot photographs a Russian ship loaded with missiles while the aircraft itself casts a shadow in Port Casilda, Cuba, Nov. 6, 1962. EPA/Defense Imagery

Australia’s untold reaction to the Cuban Missile Crisis

Fifty years ago, the United States and the Soviet Union stood on the brink of nuclear war over Soviet missiles in Cuba. Since then, the Cuban Missile Crisis has been recognised as one of the most definitive…
Former Prime Minister John Howard is misinformed about the Australian history curriculum. AAP Image/Julian Smith

Howard’s history repeating: curriculum complaints nothing new

There is a great deal of derogatory, evidence-free and ill-informed opinion about how history is taught in Australian schools. But these tired arguments are so often repeated that we can actually put them…
The families of the interned men of the Caminiti clan in Queensland, circa 1940. Supplied

When ethnicity counts: civilian internment in Australia during WW2

When Fascist Italy declared war on Britain in mid-1940, almost 5,000 Italians living in Australia were imprisoned in internment camps. Few Italian families escaped the human cost of detention as “enemy…
Nobel physics laureate and ANU Distinguished Professor Brian Schmidt says the transit of Venus has a special place in recent Australian history. EPA/Bertil Ericson

Q&A: Brian Schmidt observes the transit of Venus

The 6½-hour journey of Venus across the path of the sun has enthralled thousands of Australians gathered at viewing locations to witness the event. Nobel Prize-winning astrophysicist Brian Schmidt, a Distinguished…
Australia has a long history of engagement with Asia, as Melbourne’s Chinese Museum demonstrates. Greenstone Girl

Engaging with Asia? We’ve been here before

AUSTRALIA IN THE ASIAN CENTURY – A series examining Australia’s role in the rapidly transforming Asian region. Delivered in partnership with the Australian government. Today, Professor David Walker looks…
Look out! They’re poisonous! AAP

Why don’t we cuddle funnel-webs?

Consider two furry Australian animals: the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) and the Sydney funnel-web spider (Atrax robustus). Both icons in their own way, both live only in Australia and both were…
Pardoning Breaker Morant should not be a priority for the government. AAP Image/Australian War Memorial

Pardon me, but Breaker Morant was guilty

Early in the New Year, while most of us were thinking about going to the beach or when it would be okay to consign those unwanted Christmas presents to a charity bin, Commander Jim Unkles of the Royal…
Maintaining a presence: the race is on to save images and recordings of modern indigenous history. AAP/Andrew Brownbill.

Cash-strapped archive struggles to preserve indigenous history

Australia’s flagship institute for indigenous studies has stopped giving out research grants as it diverts funding to save a century of cultural recordings from oblivion. The Australian Institute of Aboriginal…
The velocipede created one of several cycling booms in Australia. Harpers Weekly (Dec 18, 1868)

Bigger than Cadel: Australia’s century-old love affair with cycling

CYCLING IN AUSTRALIA: Forget about the wild scenes of public adulation for Cadel Evans following his Tour de France triumph. Forget about the widespread admiration for champion cyclist Anna Meares following…
The man behind the mask. Ned Kelly’s skeleton can finally be laid to rest. the euskadi 11

Ned Kelly remains are positively identified … but how was it done?

The remains of iconic bushranger Ned Kelly have been positively identified by forensic scientists more than a century after his hanging in 1880. The identification was made after an exhaustive forensic…

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