University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba

22-23 November, 2017

USQ Community Engagement Public Lecture

‘London Calling: the BBC and the Origins of International Broadcasting’ by Prof. Simon J. Potter

'London Calling' filmed public lecture
Zubrzycki family message

This Conference is timed to mark developments in Australia’s migrant and minority printed press since 1967. It has been fifty years since Miriam Gilson and Jerzy Zubrzycki’s ground-breaking study on the foreign-language press in Australia. Australia’s cultural landscape has transformed significantly as a result of increasing understanding of, and services in support of, the diverse multilingual and multicultural communities across Australian society. Analysis of the printed press of such communities has also advanced through multidisciplinary and cross-disciplinary research from several substantial historiographical influences, including discourses of postcolonialism and methodological developments in cultural history and world history approaches.

The Conference brings together the latest research on Australia’s migrant and minority press from the colonial era to the present day, with an emphasis on themes of belonging, community and conflict. The convenors welcome papers exploring any aspects concerning Indigenous, migrant and/or minority community newspapers (print or digitised) in Australia, as well as their intercultural, transnational and diasporic contexts. Papers speaking to multidisciplinary and cross-disciplinary approaches are also of interest.

Prof. Simon Potter

Professor of Modern History

University of Bristol

Simon J. Potter is Reader in Modern History in the Department of History at the University of Bristol, UK. His interests in British imperial history and media history have resulted in three books and three edited publications, with another monograph forthcoming. His research specialises in the global reach of newspapers and the periodical press, radio broadcasting, and television, including in Australia’s history. He is a recipient of a Leverhulme Trust International Network grant (2016-2019) and a former Harold White Fellow at the National Library of Australia.

Twitter: @simonjpotter



Assoc. Prof. Richard Scully

Associate Professor of Modern European History

University of New England

Richard Scully is Associate Professor of Modern European History at the University of New England, Armidale. In 2012, he was awarded a DECRA by the Australian Research Council to explore the global history of political cartoons (2013-2015). In 2014, he was Visiting Scholar at the Flinders University of South Australia, and also accepted as a Visiting Scholar at the University of Cambridge. His main areas of research interest are the cultural history of Anglo-German relations, the Great War, and the political cartoon. He has published two books, one reissued, with another forthcoming.


  • Colonial and early Federation newspapers
  • Interwar migrant newspapers
  • Displaced Persons and post-war migrant newspapers
  • Current transformations between the migrant and mainstream press
  • National Library of Australia’s current and future digitisation of newspapers (Trove)

The Conference Program has been announced!

Click the link below to download your copy.


Conference Contacts

Dr Catherine Dewhirst:

Dr Jayne Persian:

Dr Mark Emmerson:

USQ Community Engagement Public Lecture

‘London Calling: the BBC and the Origins of International Broadcasting’ by Prof. Simon J. Potter

Date: Tuesday 21 November 2017

Time: 5.30 – 7.00pm

(Complimentary canapes provided, drinks available for purchase)

Location: Fitzy’s – Gaelic Bar Upstairs 153 Margaret Street, Toowoomba

RSVP:  Monday 6 November 2017 using BOOK NOW button above

The BBC World Service has broadcast from Britain to radio listeners around the globe for over fifty years, and its origins go back to the foundation of the BBC Empire Service in 1932. Listeners in Australia were part of the earliest audience for the Empire Service, with programmes that emphasised the British connection. Yet even in the 1930s, international broadcasting was as much about soft power and cultural diplomacy as about sentiment and identity. The 1930s saw the beginning of attempts to target listeners in politically and economically contested parts of the world, including the Middle East and Latin America, and thus to compete with Hitler and Mussolini’s own powerful broadcasting machines. This talk uses fresh evidence to think again about the role of international broadcasting in the past and in the present.


Professor Simon J. Potter is Professor of Modern History, University of Bristol, UK. He has specialised in the global reach of newspapers and the periodical press, radio broadcasting, and television, including in Australia’s history. His publications span the interplay between empire and the mass media over the 1800s and 1900s, and examine their relevance today.

Conference photos


‘…thank you … All the presentations were engaging and interesting and I enjoyed the opportunity to meet other historians with similar interests… a pleasure to meet you all and to participate in this conference.’ Angela Alessi (University of Adelaide)

‘… a wonderful conference. Such a wonderful collegial feel, great papers, great venue… Thanks again.’ (Dr Karen Agutter, University of Adelaide)

‘Thanks once again for a very enjoyable and enriching conference last week’ Dr Hilary Berthon (National Library of Australia)

‘Just a quick email to say ‘thank you’ yet again! I have had a fantastic time…’ Associate Professor Richard Scully (University of New England)

‘… a really interesting couple of days, and you brought together a very lively and engaged group, with many common interests, which I think really showed in the quality of discussions… Thank you again for all your kindness and generosity and for making me feel so welcome.’ Professor Simon Potter (University of Bristol, UK)

‘It was a pleasure being at the conference, in such a welcoming and stimulating environment.’ Marianna Piantavigna (University of Western Australia)

‘Thank you… for making my final conference as a USQ employee such a warm and collegial time.’ Dr Dianne Jones (University of Southern Queensland)

‘Thank you again… a wonderful opportunity which gave me many ideas for my dissertation and how I conduct my research.’ Natasha Walker (University of Southern Queensland)

‘I very much enjoyed the conference, the excellent presentations, and the conversation… a wonderful, enriching gathering.’ Meg McKie (Independent Scholar)

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With Thanks

Images generously provided by the National Archives of Australia (NAA).
The Ian Potter Foundation is one of Australia’s major philanthropic foundations. The Foundation makes grants nationally to support charitable organisations working to benefit the community across a wide range of sectors including the Arts, environment, science, medical research, education and community wellbeing. The Ian Potter Foundation aims to support and promote a healthy, vibrant and fair community for the benefit of all Australians.