Cold War Era Conference Set for April in Melbourne

Air Force Association members interested in exploring the intricate dynamics of the Cold War and its impact on Australia are invited to attend the “Game Of Dominoes: Australia’s Security And The Cold War 1947-1991” conference in Melbourne.

This significant event, hosted by the Military History and Heritage Victoria (MHHV), is scheduled for 13-14 April 2024, marking the 5th Biennial two-day conference dedicated to a deeper understanding of this pivotal period in history.

The conference aims to examine the Cold War era (1947-1991), focusing on how it shaped Australia’s defence and security strategies and the country’s role in the Western alliance. Participants will gain insights into Australia’s involvement in Asia, particularly under the ANZUS treaty of 1951 and SEATO from 1954. Discussions will cover Australia’s participation in key conflicts such as the Malayan Emergency, the Korean War, Konfrontasi and the Vietnam War, all within the context of the looming threat of nuclear war.

A key aspect of the conference will be the exploration of Australia’s evolving security position from 1947, leading to its involvement in significant international alliances. The event will delve into the interplay of domestic politics within the larger anti-communist context, shedding light on strategic decisions that shaped the nation’s defence policies.

The roles and responses of Australia’s Navy, Army and Air Force during this era will be scrutinised, along with the effectiveness of Australia’s counter-intelligence operations. Key questions, such as the significance of Australia’s participation in the Vietnam War, the impact of the Soviet-CCP split on Australia’s security, and the implications of the Berlin Wall’s fall on Australia’s defence strategies, will be addressed.

The conference will feature distinguished speakers including Professor Craig Stockings, the Official Historian of Australian Operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and East Timor; Professor Peter Edwards, AM, the Official Historian for Australia’s Involvement in Southeast Asian Conflicts; and Major General Greg Garde, AM RFD, who will share his reflections on the Cold War at the Conference Dinner.

Ticket prices are set at $150 for early birds (payable by February 14, 2024), with varying rates for MHHV members, non-members and students post this date. The conference dinner, scheduled for April 13, is priced separately for MHHV members and non-members. 

This conference is an opportunity for Air Force Association members and others interested in military history, offering a comprehensive overview of a crucial period in Australia’s military and political history. Registrations for the conference and the dinner close on Tuesday, 9 April 2024.

For more information and to register, attendees are encouraged to visit the MHHV website




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