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Paul Ham on The Atrocities of Sandakan


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In the fight against the Japanese during World War II, the most disturbing events endured by the Australian soldiers occurred at Sandakan, in North Borneo.

Join Sydney-based historian Paul Ham, as he recounts their barbaric and long-forgotten ordeal – a horrifying story that has largely remained buried but which, he argues, demands to be told.

Sometimes there’s nothing better than a good rant. Every Thursday, the Wheeler Centre hosts an old-fashioned Speakers’ Corner in the middle of the city, where writers and thinkers can have their say on the topics that won’t let them sleep at night.

Featuring some of our most compelling voices across just about every sector of human endeavour you can imagine, the themes dominating Lunchbox/Soapbox are proudly idiosyncratic. BYO lunch. Ideas provided.



Paul Ham

Paul Ham is a Sydney-based historian. His previous books include Hiroshima Nagaski (October 2011), Vietnam: The Australian War (November 2007) and Kokoda (November 2004). Vietnam won the NSW Premier’s Prize for Australian History and was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Prize for Non-Fiction... Read more


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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Centre stands. We acknowledge and pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their Elders, past and present, as the custodians of the world’s oldest continuous living culture.