I was born in Canberra and, excluding a few years in New Zealand, have lived here my whole life. I’ve been lucky to travel as much as I have, seeing a lot of Western Europe and Japan. I don’t think that anyone sees their home the same way after seeing other parts of the world, and I’m lucky to be one of the people who loves Canberra all the more for having travelled.
I’d never studied History before coming to ANU, studying mostly maths, science, IT, and economics at high school, but the room in my degree for electives made taking up a history course impossible to pass by. Books like Saunders’ Mongol conquests, Macdonell’s Napoleon, Beasley's Modern Japan, and Polybius are what brought me into history in the first place; with the number of great books out there, I wouldn’t really have an excuse to not know my history, even if I didn’t study it. People in and around Classics, like Peter, Paul, Kat, and Ioannis, made deciding to transition from Science/Economics to History a significantly easier decision.
I think the real value in history is helping to understand the degrees of weird that can be found in people and problems. It’s a real testing ground for ideas to try and find them in the past and why they did, or didn’t work. The really great historians are the ones who teach you more about how their world works while you read about another time altogether. But I don’t think I could understand any history as well as I do without what I know in other fields, and the help of people who have studied those areas. History really is the melting pot of ideas.
(Profile originally published on Faces of ANU)