Australia's Northern Shield?
Papua New Guinea and the Defence of Australia since 1880
By Bruce Hunt
This book is the first to draw extensively on the recently released highly classified notes of the cabinet room discussions of successive Australian Governments from 1950 to the mid-1970s and details the changing attitude of the nation’s leaders towards the place of Papua New Guinea in Australia’s defence and security outlook. The Cabinet notebooks provide an unprecedented, uncensored insight into the opinion of Australia’s leaders towards Indonesia under Sukarno, Southeast Asia and Indo China in general, Britain and the United States and, finally, towards Papua New Guinea. The cabinet room discussions reveal attitudes towards Asia and Australia’s place in the region more nuanced, varied and sensitive than previously known. They also illustrate the dominant influence of Prime Minister Robert Menzies and Deputy Prime Minister John McEwen in shaping Australia’s response to the critical events of this time.
Australia’s Northern Shield? shows how, since colonial times, Australia has assessed the importance of Papua New Guinea by examining the ambitions of and threats from external sources, principally Imperial Germany, Japan, and Indonesia. It examines the significant change in Australia’s attitude as this region approached independence in 1975, amid concerns as to the new nation’s future stability and unity. The terms of Australia’s long-term defence undertaking are examined in detail and an examination is offered also of the most recent attempts to define the strategic importance of Papua New Guinea to Australia.
About the author
Bruce Hunt is a Research Fellow in the School of History, College of Arts and Social Sciences, at the Australian National University. He was an officer in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) from 1974 until his retirement in mid-2011. He was posted to the Australian High Commission in Port Moresby from 1985 to 1987 and was Director of the PNG Section in DFAT from 1990 to 1994 and again from 2000 to 2003.
In 1999 he was appointed Chief Negotiator in the Peace Monitoring Group on Bougainville. In 2000 he was an adviser to the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group set up to examine the challenges faced by the Papua New Guinea Defence Force. His other postings have been to Bonn, Harare, Tel Aviv and as High Commissioner to the Kingdom of Tonga.
In 1996 he attended the Australian College of Defence and Strategic Studies (now known as the Australian Defence College). He is a Fellow of the College.
He was awarded a PhD from the University of New England in 2003.
For media inquiries, please contact our Marketing Coordinator, Sarah Cannon.
While many of our books are published online for free, this does not mean that the books are in the 'public domain': copyright laws do still apply.
Copyright for all material published on this site is owned or licensed exclusively to Monash University Publishing. All rights reserved. Apart from any uses permitted by Australia's Copyright Act 1968, no part of this book may be reproduced by any process or in any form without prior written permission of the copyright owners. Inquiries should be directed to the publisher, Monash University Publishing.
Readers are free to read, copy, download, print and display a work provided that:
• this is solely for personal use or use within the reader’s organisation;
• full acknowledgement is made of the author/s and the original copyright owner;
• the work is not used for any commercial gain in any form; and
• the reader in no way alters, transforms or builds on the work outside of its use in normal academic scholarship without the express permission of the author and publisher of the publication in question.
In all cases of re-use or distribution, readers or authors must make clear to others the license terms of the work. Enquiries should be directed to Monash University Publishing.
Authors of Monash University Publishing titles are not permitted to publish these works on any website other than their personal sites, without written permission from the publisher. Authors are encouraged to post the title of their book on any website and post links on any site that direct readers to the Monash University Publishing site.
Every effort has been made to obtain copyright permissions for the images reproduced in our publications. If you are a copyright owner of materials reproduced in one of our works and have concerns regarding their use please contact Monash University Publishing.