Project team

christina.twomeyProfessor Christina Twomey is a Professor of History at Monash University. She has published extensively on the issue of captivity and imprisonment in wartime, particularly with reference to the Second World War. More recently, she has been researching concentration camps in South Africa and policies of ‘reconcentration’ during the Philippines-American War. She is the author of three books, including Australia’s Forgotten Prisoners: Civilians Interned by Japan in World War Two (2007), and, with her co-author Mark Peel, A History of Australia (2011). She has just completed The Battle Within Ourselves: POWs of Japan in post-war Australia. Christina also has a personal connection to the Australia’s Asian Garrisons research project. Between 1979-1981, when her father (then FSGT P. Twomey) was posted to Butterworth, Christina lived with her family on Penang and attended RAAF School.

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Recent projects: The Battle Within Ourselves: POWs of Japan in post-war Australia


SeanBrawleyProfessor Sean Brawley is Professor and Head of the Department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations at Macquarie University. His areas of interest include Australia’s Asian Context and themes around war, migration and sport in the Asia-Pacific in the twentieth century. He is author of eight books, two textbooks (on the Pacific War and the Vietnam War) and two edited collections. His most recent books (co-authored with Chris Dixon) are The South Seas: A Reception History from Daniel DeFoe to Dorothy Lamour (2015) and Hollywood’s South Seas and the Pacific War: Searching for Dorothy Lamour (2012). He is a former serving member of the RAAF.

SSB RAAF


Agnieszka Sobocinska - publicity imageDr Agnieszka Sobocinska is a Senior Research Fellow at the National Centre for Australian Studies at Monash University. She is an historian with research interests in the intersection of popular opinion and foreign affairs, particularly in the context of Australia and Asia and of Western constructions of the Third World. She holds an ARC DECRA fellowship (2016-2018), working on a transnational cultural history of foreign aid. Her monograph, Visiting the Neighbours: Australians in Asia (NewSouth, 2014), was shortlisted for the 2015 Queensland Literary Awards. With David Walker, she coedited Australia’s Asia: from Yellow Peril to Asian Century (UWA Publishing, 2012).


E Koh photo croppedDr Ernest Koh is a historian of modern Southeast Asia, and received his BA Hons in History and PhD in Asian Studies from the University of Western Australia. His research maps the evolution of competing post-colonial nationalisms in Southeast Asia, and seeks to explain how these have come to shape the nature of the modern states that have emerged in the region. He is the author of Diaspora at War (Brill 2013) and Singapore Stories (Cambria 2010), and co-editor of The Pacific War (Routledge 2014) and Oral History in Southeast Asia (Palgrave 2013). He is currently completing a book on domestic service in post-colonial Singapore.


KevinBlackburnYOG7cropped Kevin Blackburn is an Associate Professor in History at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He has taught in Singapore since 1993, when he left the History Department of the University of Queensland to take up his present teaching position. He has co-authored with Karl Hack, Did Singapore Have to Fall? (Routledge, 2004) and War Memory and the Making of Modern Malaysia and Singapore (NUS Press, 2012). He also authored War, Sport and the Anzac Tradition (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016).


Mathew Radcliffe croppedDr Mathew Radcliffe is a Post-doctoral Research Fellow at Monash University. He completed a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering (Hons) at the University of Queensland before joining the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in 1996. After serving as an Engineering Officer in the RAAF, he completed a BA (Hons & University Medal) at the University of New South Wales before receiving his PhD from Macquarie University in 2015. His PhD thesis explored the experience of establishing and maintaining a large RAAF base on the north-west coast of the Malay Peninsula at Butterworth from 1955-1988. Kampong Australia: The Royal Australian Air Force at Butterworth, 1955-1988 was published by NewSouth Publishing in early 2017.

Book Review: Mathew Radcliffe, Kampong Australia: The RAAF at Butterworth, reviewed in Sydney Morning Herald, 17 February 2017