History Seminar Series – Nathan Coffey, 2 August 2017

Nathan Coffey will present his paper titled, “Using the People Speaking as a Weapon”, at this week’s History Seminar (Wednesday, 11am).


During the decolonisation process the most powerful weapon that anyone can wield is not a firearm, pitchfork or cannon – it is a voice. History has shown that throughout all major revolutions, uprisings and revolts a collective voice, or a collective idea can overpower even the oldest and most powerful regimes. This paper will explore how Charles Barnes used the Papuan and New Guinean people’s voices as a weapon. His target was the increased pressure, internally and externally, for immediate decolonisation in Australia’s northern territories. This paper will challenge previous reflections of Barnes during the 1960s. It will explore how Barnes was proactive in his fight against decolonisation through the examination of both events prepared and publications created during his time as Minister for Territories from 1963 until 1972.


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