Professor Martin Thomas and Dr Béatrice Bijon, academics from the Australian National University (ANU), have been appointed Co-Directors of the Menzies Australia Institute (MAI) at King’s College London. The MAI is the leading centre in the United Kingdom for the study of Australian society and culture, and, is an essential hub for visiting academics and expatriate Australians in London. Located on the Strand, the MAI is metres from the Australian High Commission, with which it works closely.
The appointment results from a partnership agreement between King’s College London and the Australian Studies Institute at ANU. It is designed to foster deeper research synergies and promote teaching and student exchange.
AuSI + Menzies Australia Institute Podcast Series
The theme for Thomas and Bijon’s directorship is ‘Bearing Witness’. They will be curating a program of podcasts and events that explores how the testimony and responsibilities of the witness are both heightened and challenged by global events. The podcast series will provide a quality resource for the teaching and promotion of Australian Studies in a time of pandemic.
As they are released, episodes of the AuSI + Menzies Australia Institute Podcast will appear below. They can also be accessed via Soundcloud.
Series Producers: Professor Martin Thomas and Dr Béatrice Bijon
Both Thomas and Bijon have long experience as researchers and lecturers, and previously collaborated as producers of Etched in Bone (Ronin Films), a documentary film shot in Arnhem Land about the theft and repatriation of Indigenous human remains. The film had its UK premiere at the Menzies.
Thomas has been based at the ANU School of History since 2010 and is a regular interviewer for the oral history program at the National Library of Australia. Bijon was curator of the National Library’s centenary exhibition on women’s suffrage in 2018, a project she oversaw alongside lecturing in the ANU School of Literature, Language and Linguistics.
Produced by the Menzies Australia Institute at King's College London, in partnership with the Australian Studies Institute at the Australian National University in Canberra.