Please enable javascript to access the full functionality of this site


Prof Joan Beaumont

ASPI Council member

Contact information


Prof Joan Beaumont was appointed to the ASPI Council in December 2016.

Joan is Professor Emerita, Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Coral Bell School of Asia and Pacific Affairs, The Australian National University.

Born in Adelaide, South Australia, Joan completed a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in 1969 at the University of Adelaide. She was awarded a British Commonwealth scholarship in 1971 and completed her PhD in the Department of War Studies, King’s College, University of London in 1975. 

Returning to Australia, Joan took up an academic career in History, working at La Trobe, Deakin and Monash Universities between 1976 and 2008. From 1998-2008 she was Dean of Arts at Deakin University. 

In 2008 Joan moved to The Australian National University where she served as Director of the Faculty of Arts and Dean of Education in the ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences, before joining the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre in the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific.

Joan is an eminent historian of Australia in the two world wars, Australian defence and foreign policy, the history of prisoners of war, and the memory and heritage of war.

Her publications include the critically acclaimed Broken Nation: Australians and the Great War (Allen & Unwin, 2013), joint winner of the 2014 winner of the Prime Minister's Literary Award (Australian History), the 2014 NSW Premier's Prize (Australian History), the 2014 Queensland Literary Award for History, and the Australian Society of Authors' 2015 Asher Award. Other books include Ministers, Mandarins and Diplomats: The Making of Australian Foreign 1941-69 (ed., 2003); Australia's War, 1939-45 (ed., 1996); Gull Force: Survival and Leadership in Captivity, 1941-1945 (1988); and Comrades in Arms: British Aid to Russia, 1941-45 (1980). In 2011-13 she led the research team for the Department of Veterans' Affairs commemorative web site, The Thai-Burma Railway and Hellfire Pass

Joan is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences of Australia, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of International Affairs; and a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.).

She is currently funded by the Australian Research Council to research a history of the Great Depression and the legacy of World War I in Australia; and, with Mick Dodson and eight other historians, a history of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People in the Defence of Australia.