The 'spirit of berrington house': the future of Indonesia in wartime Australia, 1943-1945

Sean Brawley*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


During the Pacific War prominent 'neo-ethicals' H.J. van Mook, Ch.O. van der Plas and F.D. Holleman established a civil service school in Melbourne, Australia, to train a new generation of Indies administrators who would realise their vision for a post-war Indonesia. Reflecting the ambitions of this post-war future, the school's students would be both Dutch and Indonesian. This study explores the neglected Bestuursschool at Berrington House as a first step in wartime efforts to realise a neo-ethical future for Indonesia. A focus of the study is the experience of two of the school's students; the Ambonese war heroes Julius Tahija and Samuel Jacob. The neo-ethical future for Indonesia would not be realised. The 'Spirit of Berrington House' could not successfully negotiate the changes to Indonesian society brought on by the Pacific War.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-192
Number of pages18
JournalIndonesia and the Malay World
Issue number117
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes


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