Published: Thu 3 Jul 2014

The second of the proposed six-volume Official History of Australian Peacekeeping, Humanitarian and Post–Cold War Operations was launched at the Australian War Memorial today.  The official history is a joint project between the Memorial and the Australian National University.

The good international citizen: Australian peacekeeping in Asia, Africa and Europe, 1991–1993, by authors David Horner and John Connor, details six Australian peacekeeping operations in Cambodia, the Gulf, Iraq, Western Sahara, and the former Yugoslavia at a time when hopes for a new world order began to dissolve.

This volume shows how Australian policy in the post–Cold War era was driven as much by our obligations to the international community as it was by narrow national interest. These missions reflect the increasing complexity of peacekeeping as it overlapped with the enforcement of sanctions, weapons inspections, humanitarian aid, election monitoring, and peace enforcement.

David Horner is the Professor of Australian Defence History in the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University. In 2004 he was appointed the Official Historian of Australian Peacekeeping, Humanitarian and Post–Cold War Operations.

Dr Connor is a senior lecturer in history at the University of New South Wales, Canberra. He previously worked in the official history team at the Australian War Memorial from 2004 to 2007.

The Director of the Australian War Memorial, Dr Brendan Nelson, said the series was the fifth commissioned by the Memorial.

“It builds on the tradition of official histories at the Memorial, a tradition that began with C.E.W. Bean’s official histories of the First World War,” Dr Nelson said.

“While this latest official history volume, The good international citizen, describes six missions in the years following the Gulf War, Australians have participated in more than 60 peacekeeping missions across the globe.

“Fourteen Australians have sacrificed their lives while serving on these peacekeeping missions overseas.

“This volume includes the story of one of these Australians, Major Susan Felsche, a 32-year-old medical officer, who died in a plane crash while deployed to Western Sahara in 1993.

“In March last year the Council of the Australian War Memorial decided to change its policy and include their names on the bronze panels of the Memorial’s Roll of Honour.

“It now includes all Australian servicemen and servicewomen who have died on operational service, including non-warlike operations.”

The book was launched by the Minister for Defence, Senator the Honourable David Johnston. The first volume in the peacekeeping series was launched three years ago.


Contact:         Estelle Blackburn                  02 6243 4575    

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