Did you ever work for, or with, the Australians?
Between 1946 and 1988, Australia established and maintained a number of overseas military bases in Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong. A new research project based at Monash University is investigating the history of Australian military bases at Butterworth and Terendak (Melaka) and the smaller group of military personnel in Singapore.
The project would like to hear from people in Malaysia and Singapore who worked for, or with, the Australians. You might have worked at schools or on the bases, or as an amah or other domestic worker for an Australian family. You might have run a business with Australian customers, befriended an Australian, or been involved with them in sporting clubs or other associations.
In order to gain insight into the opinions of local people, we are interested in interviewing people from Malaysia or Singapore who had direct experience with one these military communities, either as a civilian employed at Butterworth, Penang, Terendak or Singapore, an employee of Australian families in these locations, or a community member or business person who had some involvement with Australian expatriate communities.
The intention of this study is to investigate the social histories of these Australian military garrisons. One important aspect of the research is to understand how Australians were perceived and experienced by the local communities in which they were living. Rather than produce a history of Australia’s Asian Garrisons that is solely reliant on an Australian perspective, we want to include the views of people with whom the Australians interacted.
If you are interested in providing your perspective on Australia’s military communities, we would be very pleased to conduct an interview with you at a time and location of your choosing, in either Malaysia or Singapore.
About the interviews
We anticipate that interviews will take about 90 minutes, and an audio recording will be made of them. In some cases, the interviewer will request a follow-up interview, which will be of similar duration. We do not anticipate that the interview will cause you any personal discomfort. If you choose to disclose information of a sensitive or personal nature, either about yourself or another individual, you can choose to remain anonymous, as will any reference to third parties.
MUHREC Approval CF16/2102 – 2016001043 – Australia’s Asian garrisons: overseas military communities and regional engagement, 1945-1988
Header image: “Group portrait of RAAF and RAF wives accepting medical supplies on behalf of the Butterworth Red Cross branch, from the Western Australian Division, to treat Malaysian children, 1967.” (Courtesy Australian War Memorial: https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P02017.032)