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Our histories of the First World War often focus on those who died. This project follows those who survived as they pursued their careers in the 1920s and 30s. It presents an alternate account of the importance of WWI to Australian nation-building, one founded not on the battlefield of Gallipoli, but in the expansion and professionalization of expertise.

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What's New

New additions to the University of Melbourne War Records

New additions to the University of Melbourne War Records

Dr James Waghorne one of the Chief Investigators on the Expert Nation project published an article for Remembrance Day, November 11 2017. Appearing in the University of Melbourne’s Pursuit publication the article reveals how research for this project has identified 156 additional names, which were absent from the original University of Melbourne’s War Memorial Book. One of the names added is Dr Mary De Garis, the second […]

ARC Research Highlight

ARC Research Highlight

To coincide with ANZAC Day 2017, the Australian Research Council has published the following piece on the ExpertNation project: Expert Nation: Universities, War and 1920s and 1930s Australia—24 April 2017 The First World War was a new kind of war, arguably the first ‘modern war’ in which science and knowledge were to play a critical role. In a conflict that was fought as much by experts as by expeditionary forces, Australian university graduates played an […]

Trixie Whitehead: Intelligence and the First World War

Trixie Whitehead: Intelligence and the First World War

British intelligence tends to conjure up thoughts of MI6, James Bond and of course the Cold War. It was WWI, however, that was the first international conflict that British intelligence agencies became an important part of the government’s overall war effort. This is of particular relevance to the Expert Nation project. While doing research on the graduates of the Women’s College within the University of […]

Announcements

This project has produced a collected volume, The First World War, the Universities and the Professions, which is due for publication by Melbourne University Press in February 2019.

The book examines how Australia’s extraordinary contribution to World War I extended well beyond the nation’s military forces to the expertise of its universities and professional associations, and opportunities for training its men and women.

In making these links between the war and its impact on the universities and the professions, and in examining the complex links that existed between the universities as educational and research bodies, and the professional associations and industry they served and shaped, it teases out a new history of the war’s impact on Australia’s workforce, economy and society.

For more information please contact expert.nation@sydney.edu.au

IMAGE: 1916 Science graduates - University of Sydney Archives M253 papers of Vera Adelaide Irwin-Smith