The Military History Society of NSW is for those interested in military history from ancient and modern times from NSW, Australia and the globe.

Sunk Warships, 1942: HMAS Perth & USS Houston By Natali Pearson

The Military History Society of New South Wales Incorporated presents

Sunk Warships, 1942: HMAS Perth & USS Houston

By Natali Pearson

HMAS Perth’s ceremonial bell, circa 1984, with other salvaged objects (courtesy David Barnett) and Dr Natali Pearson (right).

 

The lightening advance of Japanese forces south to the Netherlands East Indies (Indonesia) in March 1942 spelt doom for two proud warships of the Allied navies.

Australia’s HMAS Perth and America’s USS Houston were attacked by Japanese destroyers and tragically sent to the bottom of the Sunda Strait separating Sumatra from Java.

In the decades since, these underwater wrecks have been the subject of expeditions, illegal salvaging and other cultural impacts, which have grown in scale over recent years.

Taking the history of salvaged bells from HMAS Perth (pictured) and USS Houston as a starting point, Dr Pearson will examine the meaning of protection and preservation in the case of underwater shipwrecks.

Should they be left undisturbed or is loss inevitable? Or should there be judicious intervention to remove symbolic objects fromthreatened warship wrecks?

Dr Natali Pearson is Deputy Director at the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre at the University of Sydney. Her research focuses on the protection, management and interpretation of underwater cultural heritage in Southeast Asia.

Biography – Dr Natali Pearson

Dr Natali Pearson is Deputy Director at the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre at the University of Sydney. Her research focuses on the protection, management and interpretation of underwater cultural heritage in Southeast Asia.

Her research seeks to make an intervention in museological and heritage discourses by theorising underwater cultural heritage as worthy of critical scholarly attention beyond that afforded by the prevailing, maritime archaeological, perspective.

By conceptualising underwater sites and objects as having agency, her research aims to expand popular curatorial approaches beyond tropes of treasure and pirates to a far broader understanding of underwater cultural heritage that accounts for the historicity and connectedness of the ocean and the material remains it contains.

Natali is co-editor of Perspectives on the Past at New Mandala (https://www.newmandala.org/seasiapasts/) and a regular contributor to The Conversation. Natali has completed a PhD on underwater cultural heritage in Indonesia (2018, USYD). She also holds a Master of Museum Studies (2013, USYD); a Master of Arts in Strategy and Policy (2006, UNSW); and a Bachelor of Arts (Asian Studies) with Honours Class One in History and Indonesian Studies (2002, UNSW).

She has worked at the Asia Society’s galleries in New York and Hong Kong, and as a consultant to the Asia Society Arts & Museum Summit. She is an alumni of the Australian Consortium for In-Country Indonesian Studies and the Asialink Leaders Program. Prior to this, she worked in Asia-focused defence and anti-money laundering / counter-terrorism financing roles in the Australian federal government.

Saturday 2 March 2019, 2.00pm – 3.00pm

PLEASE NOTE THE NEW VENUE

Goulburn Room, Level 4, City of Sydney RSL, 565 George Street, Sydney

Although entry is free, a gold coin donation is appreciated. RSVP is essential by Wednesday 27th February 2018 as numbers are restricted.

Call the President (Robert Muscat) on 0419 698 783 or email rsvp@militaryhistorynsw.com.au

adobe-pdf-logo1-150x150

Flyer – Sunk Warships, 1942: HMAS Perth & USS Houston

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this pageEmail this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on TumblrDigg this
Top