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Dr Agnieszka Sobocinska joins us as the new Director of the Menzies Australia Institute. Agnieszka is a historian and historical geographer working in twentieth century international history, with expertise in histories of foreign aid and Australian-Asian relations.
Before joining the Menzies Australia Institute she was Associate Professor of History at Monash University. Agnieszka has held visiting positions at Yale University, Georgetown University, Universitas Udayana (Indonesia), the Royal University of Phnom Penh (Cambodia) and the Australian Studies Centre at Canakkale Onsekiz Mart Universitesi (Turkey).
Australia has long been connected to its region and the world beyond. Before colonisation, Yolŋu people from northeastern Arnhem Land traded with sailors from nearby Makassar (now in Indonesia) and connected Indigenous Australians with supply chains stretching to China. Settler colonialism heralded widespread institutional and personal links with Britain as well as other parts of Europe, Asia, the United States and beyond.
These links inspired a great deal of travel and mobility, and today, Australians are among the world’s most voracious travellers and significant numbers of Australian expats can be found around the world, including in London.
Delivered by former Director of the Menzies Australia Institute, Professor Carl Bridge, the 2022 Menzies Lecture reflected on Billy Hughes, Australia’s Prime Minister during the Great War.
A firebrand, socialist and determined race patriot, Hughes was a factious figure with a legacy that continues to divide opinion.
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