Keynote Speakers


Professor Bettany Hughes
Award-winning historian, author and broadcaster
Keynote: Women in the Ancient World

Bettany has devoted the last 30 years to the vital communication of history and ideas. She is the recipient of the Norton Medlicott Medal for History, has been made a DfO of Oxford University for services to the academic and public outreach work of the University and in 2018 will be given Europe’s Helena Vaz da Silva Award for Raising Public Awareness of Cultural Heritage. Her books have been shortlisted for the Writers Guild and Runciman Awards and she was chair of the Orange Prize for Women’s Fiction. Bettany is author of titles which have garnered great critical acclaim and have been translated into over ten languages – they include Helen of Troy: Goddess, Princess, Whore; The Hemlock Cup, Socrates, Athens and the Search for The Good Life – which was a New York Times bestseller and Istanbul A Tale of Three Cities – which was a Sunday Times bestseller. She is a Research Fellow at Kings College London and a Professor of History at the New College of the Humanities. Bettany has long championed the re-writing of women of back into history and is a patron of a number of charities.


Professor Mark Edele
School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, University of Melbourne

Red Empire: Soviet History for the 21st Century

Mark Edele is a historian of the Soviet Union and its successor states, in particular Russia. He is the inaugural Hansen Chair in History at The University of Melbourne as well as an Australian Research Council Future Fellow. He was trained as a historian at the Universities of Erlangen, Tübingen, Moscow and Chicago. His publications include Soviet Veterans of the Second World War (2008), Stalinist Society (2011), Stalin’s Defectors (2017), Shelter from the Holocaust: Rethinking Jewish Survival in the Soviet Union (with Atina Grossmann and Sheila Fitzpatrick, 2017), and The Soviet Union. A Short History (2018). He is currently working on three books: a historiography of Stalinism, a history of Stalinism at war, and (with Martin Crotty and Neil Diamant) a global history of war veterans.

Professor Joan Beaumont
Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University

Aftermath: The legacy of World War I for Australians

Joan Beaumont is Professor Emerita, Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, The Australian National University. She is an internationally recognized historian of Australia in the two world wars, the history of prisoners of war and the memory and heritage of war. Her publications include the critically acclaimed Broken Nation: Australians and the Great War (Allen & Unwin, 2013), joint winner of the 2014 winner of the Prime Minister’s Literary Award (Australian History), the 2014 NSW Premier’s Prize (Australian History), the 2014 Queensland Literary Award.

John Paul Janke

John Paul Janke is from Wuthathi Country on Cape York Peninsula and from Murray Island in the Torres Strait. He has worked as a journalist in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs for nearly three decades. From 1993-2004, he worked in the Public Affairs Unit with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) and coordinated and managed several major national events. John Paul has previously worked for the NSW Aboriginal Land Council as their Director of Media and Marketing developing and implementing effective communication strategies promoting NSWALC’s Land Rights policies and processes and the need for further constitutional reforms to recognise the rights of Aboriginal peoples, particularly in NSW, and as the Director of Public Program in the Public Engagement Program at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) in Canberra.  He is currently co-owner of Rork Projects, a national Indigenous fit-out and refurbishment company servicing the corporate and government sectors, and the co-host of NITV’s flagship news and current affairs show ‘The Point’.  John Paul is the Co-Chair of the National NAIDOC Committee and is the Co-Chair of the Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre in Canberra. He is a passionate advocate for the need for a greater awareness and celebration of the rich histories and the diverse cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.


Professor Frank Bongiorno
Head of the School of History, Australian National University
How can we make Australian history global?

Frank has previously held teaching or research posts at Griffith University, the University of New England, the University of Cambridge and King’s College London. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, and he co-edited History Australia, the Australian Historical Association’s journal between 2013 and 2015. Frank is a regular contributor to the media. His books include The Sex Lives of Australians: A History (2012) and The Eighties: The Decade That Transformed Australia (2015) which both won ACT Book of the Year and were shortlisted for several national awards.


Ms Maree Whiteley
Association of Independent Schools of WA, History Teachers Association of WA (Vice-President), Primary Education Consultant

The Humanities and the Science of Being Social

Maree Whiteley has been a Curriculum Consultant for the Association of Independent Schools of WA since 2011. Prior to this, Maree was an active participant in the consultation process and writing of the F-6 Australian History Curriculum, whilst a school-based primary teacher and Curriculum Leader. In 2008 she completed a Graduate Certificate of Museum Studies and became involved with the History Teachers Association Australia (HTAA). Maree is a passionate advocate for cultural heritage, social history and global education and continues to share her experience, knowledge and expertise with others in workshops, conferences and in online forums.

Panel Discussion – Rise of new nationalism in Asia

Professor Gavan McCormack
College of Asia and the Pacific ANU

Gavan McCormack is a graduate of the Universities of Melbourne and London and Emeritus Professor of Australian National University in Canberra. He is the author of many books and articles in the field of modern Japanese and East Asian history and politics, most of which have also been translated into Japanese, Korean, and Chinese. He has been engaged with Japan since first going to live and study there in 1962. His most recent book is The State of the Japanese State: Contested Identity, Direction, and Role, London, Paul Norbury, Renaissance Books, 2018.

Dr Andrew Kennedy
Crawford School of Public Policy ANU

Andrew is Senior Lecturer in Policy and Governance at the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University. His research focuses on international politics in Asia, with particular interest in the foreign relations of China, India, and the United States. He is the author of The International Ambitions of Mao and Nehru: National Efficacy Beliefs and the Making of Foreign Policy (Cambridge University Press 2012) and The Conflicted Superpower: America’s Collaboration with China and India in Global Innovation (Columbia University Press 2018). Prior to his academic career, he worked as a consultant and journalist in Beijing, Hong Kong, and Washington.

Professor Edward Aspinall
College of Asia and the Pacific ANU

Edward Aspinall is a specialist in the politics of Southeast Asia, especially Indonesia. Based at the Coral Bell School of Asia-Pacific Studies at the ANU, he has authored two books, Opposing Suharto: Compromise, Resistance and Regime Change in Indonesia (2005) and Islam and Nation: Separatist Rebellion in Aceh, Indonesia (2009). A new book (co-authored with a Dutch colleague), tentatively entitled Democracy for Sale focuses on vote buying and related phenomena in Indonesia, and will be published in 2018. He has co-edited a further ten books, most recently Electoral Dynamics in Indonesia: Money Politics, Patronage and Clientelism at the Grassroots (2016). Most of his research has been on democratisation, ethnic politics and civil society in Indonesia, and the separatist conflict and peace process in Aceh, but he has also conducted field research in Malaysia, the Philippines and Timor-Leste. His most recent research projects focus on urban machine politics across Southeast Asia.


Professor Alan Cooper
Director – Australian Centre for Ancient DNA, University of Adelaide
Aboriginal Heritage Project – mapping Aboriginal Australia

Prof. Alan Cooper has played a central role in the development of the field of ancient DNA, since it started in the last 1980’s. During this period he has established and directed large ancient DNA research centres at both Oxford and Adelaide Universities. He has been awarded multiple Australian Research Council Fellowships: Federation (2005-2010); Future (2011-2015); and Laureate (2015-2019). He was named the 2016 South Australian Scientist of the Year, and in 2017 won a Eureka Prize for the field-leading Aboriginal Heritage Project.


Mr George Megalogenis
Australian Journalist, political commentator and author

Keynote Address: People, Power and Perspectives

George is an author and journalist with more than three decades’ experience in the media. The Australian Moment won the 2013 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Non-fiction and the 2012 Walkley Award for Non-fiction, and formed the basis for his ABC documentary series Making Australia Great. He wrote and presented the documentary tribute to former Australian prime minister Malcolm Fraser, Life Wasn’t Meant To Be Easy in 2015. George is also the author of Australia’s Second Chance, Balancing Act – Australia Between Recession and Renewal, The Longest Decade and Faultlines. His latest book is The Football Solution.