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Interview with Edward Duyker, historian and author [sound recording] / interviewer, Barry York
Bib ID 1906922
Format AudioAudio [sound recording]
Duyker, Edward, 1955-, Interviewee
Access Conditions Written permission required for research, personal copies and public use during the lifetime of the interviewee. 
Description 1994 
2 digital audio tapes (ca. 180 min.) 

Duyker speaks about his family background and upbringing in Melbourne; his parents; the family's socio-economic status and culture; experiences of formal education; alienation; family values; multiculturalism; his studies in science and history while at secondary school; his attitude to religion; admission to La Trobe University; Darwinism; the Radical Student Movement based at La Trobe University; his doctoral thesis on the Indian Naxalites; ethno-history; books on Mauritians and Dutch people in Australia; research method; role as a 'househusband' while writing; determination to become a writer; other books he has written; sense of personal cultural identity; subjectivity and the empirical basis of writing history; speculation about his future as a writer.


Edward Duyker is the eldest of eight children born in Melbourne to a Dutch father and a Mauritian mother in 1955. He graduated from La Trobe University in 1977 with a B.A. (Hons.) and received his Ph.D. from the University of Melbourne in 1981. He worked as an intelligence officer with the Dept. of Defence in Canberra until 1983 and was briefly a Teaching Fellow at Griffith University in Brisbane. In 1984 he settled in Sydney as an independent historian. Since 1996 he has also been the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Mauritius in New South Wales. Author, co-author or editor of fourteen books, including Tribal Guerrillas (1987), The Dutch in Australia (1987), Of the Star and the Key (1988), Molly and the Rajah: Race, Romance and the Raj (1991), The Discovery of Tasmania (1992), An Officer of the Blue (1994) and Nature's Argonaut (1998).

In 1998 he was awarded the New South Wales History Fellowship to write a biography of Jacques-Julien Houtou de Labillardiere (1755---1834), naturalist on d'Entrecasteaux's expedition and author of Australia's first published flora. Nature's Argonaut, his biography of Daniel Solander (1733---1782), the Swedish naturalist on the Endeavour, was shortlisted for the New South Wales Premier's General History Prize in 1999. In 2000 he was made a Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Palmes Academiques by the French government. Voyage to Australia and the Pacific 1791-1793, his most recent book (with his mother Maryse Duyker), is the first English translation of Bruny d'Entrecasteaux's journal issued by Melbourne University Press in April 2001. Dr. Duyker is associate editor of Explorations, published by the Institute for the Study of French Australian Relations; he is also a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London, the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Historical Society.


Later interview recorded on Sept. 1 & 2, 2004; located in the National Library of Australia Oral History collection at ORAL TRC 5306.

Recorded on Aug. 15, 1994.

Digital master available National Library of Australia

Index/Finding Aid Note Transcript available (typescript, 63 leaves) 
Subjects Duyker, Edward, 1955- -- Interviews.  |  Historians -- Australia -- Interviews.  |  Science -- History -- 19th century.
Occupation Authors.
Other authors/contributors York, Barry, 1951-, Interviewer


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    Details Collect From
    ORAL TRC 3101
    Copy: Recording
    Special Collections Reading Room
    ORAL TRC 3101 (transcript)
    Copy: Transcript
    Special Collections Reading Room

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