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Brett, Andre Dr.

Honorary Fellow

Overview


André Brett is an Honorary Fellow in History, having previously been a Vice-Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Fellow, June 2017 to September 2020. He came to Wollongong via the Kāpiti Coast, Gold Coast, Brisbane, and Melbourne, and his interest in trans-Tasman and Australasian history reflects this background.

The University of Melbourne conferred his PhD in 2014. At that institution, he taught genocide studies for six years, held a Gilbert Postdoctoral Career Development Fellowship in the Faculty of Arts, and was a research fellow in Chancellery.

In semester two of 2020, André is tutoring HIST 281, Hands-on History.

André is also an avid live music fan, always happy to stop for a chat about good tunes and great tours. Perhaps don’t ask him to play guitar though. André is a more capable historian than he is a musician.

Top Publications


Research Overview


  • André’s research emphasises the political, economic, and environmental history of New Zealand and Australia. He takes a particular interest in in the formation, evolution, and demise of institutions, and in the ways that railways shaped Britain’s seven Australasian settler colonies.

    André has recently written a book on the expansion and contraction of New Zealand's passenger railways, in collaboration with mapmaker Sam van der Weerden. Titled Can't Get There from Here: New Zealand's Shrinking Passenger Rail Network, 1920–2020, it will come out via Otago University Press in 2021.

    At present, André is drafting a book manuscript entitled Scars in the Country: Railways in Australian and New Zealand Environments, 1850s–1915. This research examines the nexus of economic and environmental effects in the rapid growth of railways in Britain’s seven Australasian colonies. It focuses on the exploitation of natural resources made possible by railways, the railways as an industry unto themselves with a vast demand for resources, and the environments created within railway corridors. A National Library of Australia fellowship in 2021 will expedite completion of this manuscript.

    André is also currently researching colonial separation movements in Australasia. Two such movements succeeded, giving rise to Victoria and Queensland (three if counting Van Diemen's Land, which requires qualification). Many more movements proliferated, from Auckland and Otago in New Zealand to Princeland across the Victorian/South Australian border, North and Central Queensland, and the brief “separation for federation” Auralia campaign on Western Australia’s goldfields. These movements, often the first significant political campaign in an area, played a crucial role in defining Australasia’s political landscape and fixing local and regional identities and rivalries. This research was supported by a Gilbert Postdoctoral Career Development Fellowship at the University of Melbourne, 2015–16, and the Australian Academy of the Humanities has provided a travelling fellowship to support research in New Zealand in 2021.

    The breadth and scope of André's research is broad: he has also published in the fields of genocide studies, and higher education policy and history. He studies colonial genocide in the South Pacific, specifically the Moriori genocide on the Chatham Islands, and has extensive experience teaching post-colonial African genocides. His contributions to higher education policy and history include two monographs with Stuart Macintyre and Gwilym Croucher on the Dawkins reforms of Australian higher education.

Selected Publications


Advisees


  • Graduate Advising Relationship

    Degree Research Title Advisee
    Master of Philosophy -LHA The Economic Foundation and Framework of the New South Wales Colony from 1788 to 1855 Scott, Brian

Top Publications


Research Overview


  • André’s research emphasises the political, economic, and environmental history of New Zealand and Australia. He takes a particular interest in in the formation, evolution, and demise of institutions, and in the ways that railways shaped Britain’s seven Australasian settler colonies.

    André has recently written a book on the expansion and contraction of New Zealand's passenger railways, in collaboration with mapmaker Sam van der Weerden. Titled Can't Get There from Here: New Zealand's Shrinking Passenger Rail Network, 1920–2020, it will come out via Otago University Press in 2021.

    At present, André is drafting a book manuscript entitled Scars in the Country: Railways in Australian and New Zealand Environments, 1850s–1915. This research examines the nexus of economic and environmental effects in the rapid growth of railways in Britain’s seven Australasian colonies. It focuses on the exploitation of natural resources made possible by railways, the railways as an industry unto themselves with a vast demand for resources, and the environments created within railway corridors. A National Library of Australia fellowship in 2021 will expedite completion of this manuscript.

    André is also currently researching colonial separation movements in Australasia. Two such movements succeeded, giving rise to Victoria and Queensland (three if counting Van Diemen's Land, which requires qualification). Many more movements proliferated, from Auckland and Otago in New Zealand to Princeland across the Victorian/South Australian border, North and Central Queensland, and the brief “separation for federation” Auralia campaign on Western Australia’s goldfields. These movements, often the first significant political campaign in an area, played a crucial role in defining Australasia’s political landscape and fixing local and regional identities and rivalries. This research was supported by a Gilbert Postdoctoral Career Development Fellowship at the University of Melbourne, 2015–16, and the Australian Academy of the Humanities has provided a travelling fellowship to support research in New Zealand in 2021.

    The breadth and scope of André's research is broad: he has also published in the fields of genocide studies, and higher education policy and history. He studies colonial genocide in the South Pacific, specifically the Moriori genocide on the Chatham Islands, and has extensive experience teaching post-colonial African genocides. His contributions to higher education policy and history include two monographs with Stuart Macintyre and Gwilym Croucher on the Dawkins reforms of Australian higher education.

Selected Publications


Advisees


  • Graduate Advising Relationship

    Degree Research Title Advisee
    Master of Philosophy -LHA The Economic Foundation and Framework of the New South Wales Colony from 1788 to 1855 Scott, Brian
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