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Home > View & Discuss > Ken Inglis on remembering the Dunera

Ken Inglis on remembering the Dunera

Speaker(s): Ken Inglis

  • Date recorded: 20 Apr 2011

  • Duration: 47:31

'I recall the 'Dunera boys' as an exotic band of teachers, fellow students and convivial companions at the University of Melbourne in the late 1940s.'

- Ken Inglis

About this video

Have you heard of the Dunera Boys? Historian and author Ken Ingliss was inspired to research and write about these men, and he shares their remarkable stories.

In September 1940 the Second World War was well under way when the transport ship HMT Dunera arrived in Sydney from Britain, carrying 2500 German and Austrian men.

The deported men were mostly Jewish refugees, yet in Britain they’d been suspected of being Nazi sympathisers or German agents, potentially helping to plan the invasion of Britain.

The displaced men were held as enemy aliens in detention camps at Hay in NSW and Tatura in country Victoria. Their stories of wartime exile continue to shock and inspire.


Ken Inglis is Emeritus Professor of History at Australian National University.

His books include The Stuart Case, This is the ABC, Whose ABC? and Sacred Places, winner of several awards including The Age Book of the Year and the NSW Premier's Literary Award in 1999.