Welcome to Our New Member – Dr Sally Percival Wood

Please welcome our new member, Dr Sally Percival Wood, who is a Melbourne-based historian, with an interest in the political, cultural and social upheavals brought about by decolonisation in the twentieth-century. Her PhD—‘Sovereignty and Resistance: India, China and the Asian-African Conference, 1955’—awarded by Deakin University in 2011, examined the disorienting impact that the Afro-Asian solidarity movement had on Western allies in the post-WWII years. Her thesis focused, in particular, on Australia’s response to the destabilising influence of the non-aligned movement and communism, promoted by India and China, and their influence over Southeast Asia in the 1950s. Sally was nominated for the Alfred Deakin Prize for Best Doctoral Thesis in 2011 and won the Neil Archbold Memorial Travel Award and Medal in 2009 for her paper ‘CHOU GAGS CRITICS AT BANDOENG OR How the media framed Premier Zhou Enlai at Bandung, 1955’ published in Modern Asian Studies.

Immediately following the completion of her PhD in 2010, Sally took up the position of Manager, Applied Research and Analysis with Asialink at the University of Melbourne. There she oversaw Track Two diplomacy initiatives in Southeast Asia and, working closely with the ANU’s Professor Tony Milner, they published Our Place in the Asian Century: Southeast Asia as ‘The Third Way’(2012).

Sally returned to Deakin University as Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation in 2013. Her postdoctoral project documented fort years of Australia’s Dialogue Partnership with ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and this resulted in an edited volume The Australia–ASEAN Dialogue: tracing 40 years of partnership (with Baogang He, 2014). During this time, she gave a series of public lectures for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia Brunei for the official anniversary of the Dialogue Partnership. DFAT subsequently invited her to write a commemorative history of Australia’s relations with Malaysia, 60 Years: Australia in Malaysia, 1955–2015, which Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull presented to Prime Najib Razak in 2015.

Sally has an impressive list of publications, the most recent of which is her book DISSENT: the student press in 1960s Australia (Scribe Publications, 2017), which examines another dimension of Australia post-WWII readjustment, expressed through student social movements. The book examines the role of the student press in campaigns for political, cultural and social change. Sally has also taught contemporary Australian and Asian history at Deakin University and Victoria University, Melbourne.

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