24th - 26th August 2018
Power, Politics, Passion

Ian Burnet

Book Launch - Saturday 26 August, 2pm

Location: Ferguson Room, National Library of Australia

Where Australia Collides with Asia will be launched by Sally Burdon of the Asia Bookroom, followed by an in-conversation discussion and then a Q&A with the audience.

Ian Burnet has spent 30 years, living, working and travelling in Indonesia. His three books Spice Islands, East Indies and Archipelago show his fascination with the diverse history and cultures of the archipelago. His latest book Where Australia Collides with Asia follows the epic voyages of natural history undertaken by Continent Australia, Joseph Banks, Charles Darwin, Alfred Russel Wallace and the Origin of On the Origin of Species.


About the author

Ian Burnet has spent thirty years, living, working and travelling in Indonesia. His three prior books show his fascination with the diverse history and cultures of the archipelago. 

Spice Islands, tells the 2000 year history of the spice trade from the Moluccas of Eastern Indonesia until the spices reached Europe. It was the lure of the fabled Spice Islands and exotic spices such as cloves and nutmegs that drove ‘The Age of Discovery’ and the first circumnavigation of our planet.

East Indies begins in the port city of Malacca, and tells the story of the 200 year struggle between the Portuguese Crown, the Dutch East India Company and the English East India Company for trade supremacy in the Eastern Seas. It follows the rise of the world’s first joint stock and multinational trading companies and their conversion to huge colonial states ruling over millions of people in Indonesia, India and Malaya.

Archipelago takes us on a journey across the islands of the Indonesian archipelago, the most ethnically and culturally diverse nation on the planet. Through Ian Burnet’s eyes we see the layers of ethnicity, culture, language and religion that make up the nation of Indonesia, a nation whose national motto had to be ‘Unity in Diversity’. 

Ian lives with his family in Sydney, Australia, and is currently researching another book on Indonesia’s fascinating history.


About the book: Where Australia Collides With Asia

This book follows the epic voyages of natural history of Continent Australia, Joseph Banks, Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace. 

The voyage of Continent Australia after it breaks away from Antarctica 50 million years ago with its raft of Gondwanaland flora and fauna and begins its journey north towards the equator. 

The voyage of Joseph Banks on the Endeavour who with Daniel Solander became the first trained naturalists to describe the unique flora and fauna of Continent Australia that had evolved during its 30 million years of isolation. 

The voyage of Charles Darwin on the Beagle, who after his observations in South America and the Galapagos Islands, sat on the banks of the Coxs River in New South Wales and tried to rationalize his belief in the idea of biblical creation and understand the origin of species. 

The voyage of Alfred Russel Wallace, who realized that the Lombok Strait in Indonesia represents the biogeographical boundary between the fauna of Asia and those of Australasia. On the Asian side are elephants, tigers, primates and specific birds. On the Australasian side are marsupials such as the possum-like cuscus and the Aru wallaby, as well as birds specific to Australia such as white cockatoos, brush turkeys and the spectacular Birds of Paradise. It was tectonic plate movement that brought these disparate worlds together and it was Alfred Russel Wallace’s ‘Letter from Ternate’ that forced Charles Darwin to finally publish his landmark work ‘On the Origin of Species’.



View More...