Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Humanities and Social Inquiry


This thesis seeks to provide an historical context for the calls for the development of northern Australia as a major ‘food bowl’, as proposed in the 2015 Australian government white paper Our North, Our Future. I argue that this discourse has a long colonial history that can traced back to the early nineteenth century. This thesis explores the transnational and transcolonial history of food production in northern Australia focusing on the nineteenth century to the 1950s. Using the themes of food and colonialism, I examine the region’s enduring relationship with the Indo-Pacific region, as exemplified through the exchange of ideas, expertise, people and commodities. This is a food history that analyses the multiple networks that connected production in northern Australia to consumption elsewhere. This research in turn uncovers a long history of cross-cultural links between Australia and countries such as China, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, India, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji and Hawai‘i.

This thesis is unavailable until Sunday, June 05, 2022



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.