Public health in an industrial community: Port Kembla, 1907-2007



Publication Details

Mitchell, G. 2010, 'Public health in an industrial community: Port Kembla, 1907-2007', Health and History Special Issue: Isolated Cases The History and Historiography of Australian Medical Research Journal of the Australian and New Zealand Society of the History of Medicine, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 39-56.


For over two hundred years, Australia has been portrayed as a terminus rather than a hub for scientific exchange. Alongside narratives valorising the struggle for a distinct national identity, the motif of isolation abounds in the historiography of Australian medical research. Yet these orthodoxies are ripe for rescripting, as illustrated by a symposium held in Sydney in 2010:Isolated Cases? 100 Years of Australian Medical Research. Weaving together several historical themes from this conference with wider historiographic threads, this article questions many prevailing representations. In particular, the authors argue that rather than isolation or dependency, Australian medical science has been characterised by a profound interdependence across two centuries of antipodean endeavour.

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