In 2022 we launched our new research theme, Global Australia, to reflect the dynamic nature of contemporary Australia and highlights connections between Australia and the world.
In the past, settler Australians lamented the ‘tyranny of distance’ separating Australia from Europe and the United States. But in fact, 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. Even in the nineteenth century, these links inspired a great deal of travel and mobility, as well as a widespread taste for global commodities. Today, Australians are among the world’s most voracious travellers and significant populations of expatriates