Kokoda: beyond the legend
International conference, Thursday 6 – Friday 7 September 2012
In September 2012, the Memorial convened a major international conference to mark the 70th anniversary of the Kokoda and Papuan campaigns in 1942. Kokoda now dominates Australia’s popular memory of the Second World War and has become the focus for the war’s commemoration. Popular narratives of Kokoda, however, rarely discuss the campaign in the war’s broader context or pose new questions concerning its conduct. Bringing together military historians and emerging scholars from the world, the conference reassessed the principal battles fought in Papua and discussed the campaign from both an Allied and Japanese perspective.
Antony Beevor, internationally renowned author and military historian, was the inaugural Australian War Memorial Boeing Visiting Fellow and delivered the keynote address. He was joined by experts from the United States, Australia, Japan, and Papua New Guinea who discussed their latest research. Speakers include Richard B. Frank, Dr Edward J. Drea, Prof. David Horner, Dr Mark Johnston and Phillip Bradley.
The conference was convened by the Australian War Memorial. The conference was proudly supported by Boeing Australia. The support of the Australian Government through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs is gratefully acknowledged.