associate professor Julia MartínezJulia Martinez

BA, DipEd (Melbourne), BA Hons (Wollongong), PhD (Wollongong)

Location: 19:2034
Phone: 61 2 4221 5666


Associate Professor Julia Martínez is an ARC Future Fellow in the Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts. She is a member of the Forum on Human Rights Research and the Centre for Asia Pacific Social Transformation Studies (CAPSTRANS). Her Future Fellowship (2013-2017) project is titled Networks and Narratives: Traffic in Women and Girls in the Asia-Pacific Region, 1865–1940.

As an historian working in the field of Asia-Pacific history my research interests span a number of countries, including Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, China and New Caledonia with an emphasis on transcolonial connections. My research interests include:

  • Asian and Aboriginal labour history
  • Indonesian Australian connections
  • Chinese diaspora in Australia and Vietnam
  • Trafficking in the Asia Pacific
  • White Australia in northern Australia

My PhD dissertation (2000) was a study of Asian and Aboriginal labour under the White Australia policy in the multi-ethnic port of Darwin. 

Current Research Projects

Traffic in women and children in the Philippines during the American occupation
US Studies Centre External Researcher Grant 2012 
This project explores the history of the traffic in women and children in the Philippines, in terms of immigration and emigration. It will map the extent to which such a trade existed during the period of American rule and will explore the politics of narratives of abolition produced by US officials.

Houseboys: Transcolonial histories of domestic service in the Asia Pacific 
ARC Discovery Project (2011-13)
I am lead investigator, collaborating with Future Fellow, Victoria Haskins (Newcastle), Dr Frances Steel (Wollongong) and Dr Claire Lowrie (Newcastle). We are exploring the development of a common culture of domestic service across colonies in Southeast Asia, Australia and Fiji. My contributions include studies of indigenous and Chinese servants in the Philippines (with Lowrie) and Vietnam; a history of cabin boys (with Steel); and the Chinese/Indian origins of domestic service traditions (with Haskins).

Indonesian labour migration to north Australia, 1880 - 1972
ARC Discovery Project (2009-11)
Working with Professor Adrian Vickers (Sydney) on this history of the northern pearl-shell industry we have traced migration between the islands of eastern Indonesia and Australia. In 2010 we hosted two workshops. One was a community presentation in Broome, where locals of Aboriginal-Indonesian heritage shared their stories. For more details see here Broome Indonesian Workshop. The second, hosted by UOW, was the Indonesians Overseas: Historical Perspectives workshop. Selected papers on are soon to be published in a special edition (Vickers and Martínez eds) of the SOAS Journal Indonesia and the Malay World. 

Recent Publications

Searchable RIS publications from 2000 to date

  • Martínez, J.T. (2012). Indonesians Challenging White Australia, ‘Koepangers’ in the north Australian pearl-shell industry, 1870s to 1960s’, Indonesia and the Malay World, 40, 117, 231-248.
  • Martínez, J.T. and Vickers, Adrian (2012). Indonesians overseas – deep histories and the view from below, Indonesia and the Malay World, 40, 117, 111-121
  • Martínez, J. T. (2011). Indigenous Australia-Indonesian intermarriage: Negotiating citizenship rights in twentieth-century Australia. Aboriginal History, 35, 177-195.
  • Martínez, J. T. (2011). Patriotic Chinese women: Followers of Sun Yat-sen in Darwin, Australia. In Lee Lai To & Lee Hock Guan (Eds.), Sun Yat-Sen, Nanyang and the 1911 Revolution (pp. 200-218). Singapore: ISEAS.
  • Martínez, J.T. (2010). 'The Chinese trade in women and children from Northern Vietnam', in J. Baffie, G. Beullier & P. Le Roux (eds), The Trade in Human Beings for Sex in Southeast Asia, (pp. 47-58). White Lotus Press, Bangkok.
  • Martínez, J.T. (2009). 'The evolution of 'Malay' labour activism, 1870-1947: protest among pearling crews in Dutch East Indies-Australian waters', Transforming Cultures eJounral, vol. 4, no. 2: 85-110. 

  • Martínez J.T. & Lowrie, C. (2009). 'Colonial constructions of masculinity: transforming Aboriginal Australian men into 'houseboys'', Gender & History, vol. 21, no. 2: 305-323.
  • Martínez J.T. (2007). 'When wages were clothes: dressing down Aboriginal workers in Australia's Northern Territory', International Review of Social History, 52, 2, 271-286.
  • Martinez, J. T. (2007). 'La Traite Des Jaunes: Trafficking in Women and Children across the China Sea'. In E. Christopher, C. Pybus & M. Rediker (Eds.), Many Middle Passages: Forced Migration and the Making of the Modern World (pp. 204-221). Berkeley, USA: University of California Press.
  • Martínez J.T. (2007). 'Chinese Rice Trade and Shipping from the Northern Vietnamese Port of Haiphong', in Chinese Southern Diaspora Studies, Vol. One: 83-97.
  • Martínez J.T. (2006). ‘Ethnic Policy and Practice in Darwin' in Regina Ganter with contributions by Julia Martínez and Gary Lee, Mixed Relations: Asian-Aboriginal Contact in North Australia (pp. 122-139). University of Western Australia Press.
  • Martínez J.T. (2005).  'The end of indenture? Asian workers in the Australian pearling industry, 1901-1972', International Labor and Working Class History, Vol 67: 125-147.
  • Martínez J.T. (2005).‘The limits of solidarity: the North Australian Workers’ Union as advocates of Aboriginal assimilation’, in Tim Rowse (ed,), Contesting Assimilation, API Network: 101-118.
  • Martínez J.T. (2003).  ‘Separatism and solidarity: Chinese and Aboriginal sporting connections’. In Penny Edwards & Shen Yuan Fang (eds), Lost in the Whitewash: Aboriginal-Chinese Encounters in Australia, 1901-2001, Canberra: Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University: 103-114.
  • Martínez J.T. (1999). 'Questioning "White Australia": Unionism and "Coloured" Labour, 1911-1937', Labour History, Number 76, May: 1-19.

Organisational Affiliations

Last reviewed: 12 November, 2015