The University of Newcastle, Australia

Professor John Maynard to deliver Annual History Week Lecture

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Professor John Maynard of Indigenous Education and Research has been selected to deliver the prestigious Annual History Lecture – an event produced by the History Council of New South Wales as part of this year’s History Week.

Professor John Maynard
Professor John Maynard

Professor Maynard will speak on his paper, Counter Currents – Aboriginal Men and Women at the Heart of Empire, exploring the significant and largely missed movement of Aboriginal people to Britain from the late eighteenth century through to the twenty first century.

The lecture will look at the largely unreported movement of Indigenous people who traveled to Britain in significant numbers. Some were performers, others were footballers, boxers, jockeys, athletes, soldiers, sailors and political activists. They were innovative observers, intent on gaining as much information about the world around them as they could, utilising that knowledge within their rapidly changing world.

Other Aboriginal people had horrific experiences. Kidnapped and enslaved, they were eventually discarded on the far side of the world far from their homeland.

Professor Maynard will analyse memory and location in an Aboriginal context, far removed from the Australian experience, providing an Indigenous perspective and insight about these journeys.

He will ask key questions – Why were they there? What were the differences in experiences of these Aboriginal travellers? Did they come home, and if so, what experiences, memories, observations and understandings did they bring back with them of the lands outside Australia?

This year, the Annual History Lecture aims to put Aboriginal people at the heart of empire rather than the periphery.

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