The Diary of Francesco D’Urbano

by Giorgia Alù Delia. Diario di guerra was penned in Italian by Francesco D’Urbano (1920-1967) during WWII. The diary’s cover is made of brown cardboard, with visible creases and signs of wear. Its first page is titled “Diario di Guerra” (War Diary), and below the title it reads “Fronte Cirenaica” (Cyrenaica Front) and “Zona d’ …

A Dutch Doctor Struck by Gold fever

Gerardus Johannes van Rossum (1832-1861) arrived in Sydney from Utrecht, the Netherlands in 1854. From a series of letters he wrote home to his parents and brother, we get a lively account of his life as a Dutch migrant intent on seeking a fortune during the peak years of the gold rush. These letters, 28 …

Comte Gabriel de Milhau

Sonia Wilson Considered one of the founders of Hunters Hill in Sydney, Comte Gabriel de Milhau (1819-1893) and his recently wed wife, Marian Adcock, arrived in the colony of New South Wales on 21st July 1849. Born in Castres in the south of France of aristocratic parentage, Gabriel de Milhau fled to England from Paris …

A Collection of Common Phrases in Chinese and English

Josh Stenberg Ashfield & District Historical Society (NSW) holds a book of which the title page, below, is Huaying tongyu jiquan 華英通語集典 (A Collection of Common Phrases in Chinese and English), printed in the Jiashen year of the Guangxu reign (1884) in Hong Kong, by Wenyu tang 文裕堂.  It is indicated that it is a …

The Greek-Australian Harbin Connection

Eva Boleti Greek immigration to China, particularly Harbin, represents a significant yet understudied facet of global migration patterns. The commencement of the 20th century witnessed a dynamic surge in Greek migration towards Asia, notably China, characterized by a considerable influx from Aegean and Ionian ports, primarily from regions like Kefalonia, Corfu, Samos, and Chios. A …

Lord Gowrie’s visit to Indonesia

Adrian Vickers The First Earl of Gowrie, Alexander Hore-Ruthven https://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/gowrie-first-earl-of-6441, was the only Governor General of Australia to make a state visit to the Netherlands East Indies, in 1938. He was received in Batavia (now Jakarta) by the Dutch Governor General, Alidius Tjarda van Starkenborgh Stachouwer https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alidius_Tjarda_van_Starkenborgh_Stachouwer. Of greater interest than the meeting of the …

Prime Minister Menzies’ visit to Indonesia

Adrian Vickers Robert Gordon Menzies was the first prime minister of Australia to visit Indonesia. This may come as a surprise to those who follow the conventional view in Australian-Indonesian relations that it was Labor governments that always had the best relations with Indonesia. This article is one of several from the first week of …

Goa wants Australia back

Adrian Vickers A rather strange footnote in the history of Australian-Indonesian relations. Based on his claim to be the heir to the Sultanate of Goa (which was defeated by the Dutch East India Company in 1669), the king of Goa asked the British ambassador to Indonesia, Kermode, for the return of ‘Marege.’ The king claimed …