The Politics of War and the “Battle of Balaklava”

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John Maynard


This paper seeks to aid and open further discussion on the impact upon Aboriginal communities and lives during and after World War One. We now know that over a thousand Aboriginal men enlisted and went overseas to fight for their so-called country during the Great War and that many made the ultimate sacrifice. But what was happening at home to their families and communities whilst they were away? Did they receive just recognition on their return home? These are some of the questions this paper will reveal and analyse.

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Articles (refereed)
Author Biography

John Maynard, University of Newcastle

Professor John Maynard is a Worimi man from the Port Stephens region of New South Wales. He is currently a Director at the Wollotuka Institute of Aboriginal Studies at the University of Newcastle and Chair of Indigenous History. He has held several major positions and served on numerous prominent organizations and committees including Deputy Chairperson of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), Executive Committee of the Australian Historical Association, New South Wales History Council, Indigenous Higher Education Advisory Council (IHEAC), Australian Research Council College of Experts – Deputy Chair Humanities, National Indigenous Research and Knowledges Network (NIRAKN) and the NSW Fulbright Selection Committee. He was the recipient of the Aboriginal History (Australian National University) Stanner Fellowship 1996, the New South Wales Premiers Indigenous History Fellow 2003, Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow 2004, University of Newcastle Researcher of the Year 2008 and 2012, Australian National University Allan Martin History Lecturer 2010 and recently elected a Fellow of the Australian Social Sciences Academy. He gained his PhD in 2003, examining the rise of early Aboriginal political activism. He has worked with and within many Aboriginal communities, urban, rural and remote. Professor Maynard’s publications have concentrated on the intersections of Aboriginal political and social history, and the history of Australian race relations. He is the author of several books, including Aboriginal Stars of the Turf, Fight for Liberty and Freedom, The Aboriginal Soccer Tribe, Aborigines and the Sport of Kings and True Light and Shade an Aboriginal Perspective of Joseph Lycett’s Art. He has appeared on numerous television and radio programs including documentaries The Track, The Colony, Vote Yes for Aborigines, Captain Cook Obsession and Discovery, Outback United, Lachlan Macquarie - The Father of Australia and The Years That Made Us.