By Ken Inglis, Bill Gammage, Seumas Spark and Jay Winter with Carol Bunyan

Monash University Publishing

September 2020 saw the 80th anniversary of the arrival in Australia of the MT Dunera carrying around 2500 refugees from WW2 Europe who were subsequently interned in regional NSW as “enemy aliens”.

Many of the “Dunera boys” stayed in Australia after the War. They contributed enormously to post war Australian life through their intellectual, educational, cultural, social, community, and business achievements. Several of these remarkable individuals also pursued education and research in the social sciences and were elected to the Academy and its precursor, the Social Science Research Council.

Notable among them were renowned economist Fred Gruen (President of the Academy from 1975 to 1978) and political scientist Henry Mayer.

The story of these refugees was a lifelong interest of Academy Fellow and eminent historian the late Professor Ken Inglis. This is the second volume in a series following Dunera Lives: A Visual History (2018),

The book was launched to commemorate the 80th anniversary on 30 August, 2020 by Professor Glyn Davis AC FASSA. A video of the launch can be viewed here. A reflection on the Dunera and its links to the Academy by former President Professor Leon Mann AO FASSA is here.

About this volume

This second volume of Dunera Lives presents the voices, faces, and lives of 20 people, who, together with nearly 3000 other internees from Britain and Singapore, landed in Australia in 1940. All over the world there were Dunera Lives, those of men and women who passed through the upheavals of the Second World War and survived to tell the tale. Here are some of their stories.

A contribution to the history of Australia, to the history of migrants and migration, and to the history of human rights, these two volumes put in the public domain a story whose full dimensions and complexity have never been described.


About the Authors

Ken Inglis (1929–2017) was an Adjunct Professor at Monash University, and Emeritus Professor at the Australian National University. He was elected as a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia in 1975 and was one of Australia’s most admired and warmly regarded historians.

Bill Gammage was a student, colleague and friend of Ken Inglis. He studied at the Australian National University, and taught Australian and Pacific history at the universities of Papua New Guinea and Adelaide. He was elected a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia in 1995 and is an Emeritus Professor Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University.

Dr Seumas Spark is an Adjunct Fellow in History at Monash University

Jay Winter  is Charles J. Stille Professor of History Emeritus at Yale University, and Honorary Professor at the Australian National University. He is a historian of the First World War.

Carol Bunyan  studied history at the Australian National University, and later was a public servant. She was born in Hay; this link led to her interest in researching the Dunera story. Her association with Ken Inglis began when they met at a Dunera anniversary function in 2011.