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Australia - Indonesia relations, 1945 - 1949

A guide to ANU Archives holdings relating to the Indonesian struggle for independence


This is a guide to resources relating to the Indonesian independence struggle held in the ANU Archives.

Please use the tabs on the left to explore different types of material.

When, on 17 August 1945 the Indonesian Republic was proclaimed, Indonesian soldiers, sailors and airmen in Australia refused to fight for the Dutch against the newly declared republic. They secured the support of the maritime unions, who refused to load any ships taking military supplies to the Netherlands East Indies forces or any ship declared ‘black’ by the Indonesians. Initially held for a period of nine months, the boycotts grew to become an official ACTU action. Thirty-one Australian trade unions and four unions of Asian seamen (temporarily organised in Sydney) became involved, to varying degrees, between 1945 and 1949.

The ANU Archives preserves the university's own archives and collects archives of business, trade unions, professional associations and industry bodies, to support research by the University community and the general public. 

In most cases material has not been digitised, but you can request it for viewing in the Archives reading room.

Please see Using the Archives for information on how to access the archives and use them for research.