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The Australian National University

Rosalind Hewett

PhD candidate

Thesis topic

'Left Behind?' Indos(Eurasians) in an Independent Indonesia


Robert Cribb (Chair), Ariel Heryanto, Ruth Barraclough

My research

My research looks at 'Indos' (Eurasians) and what happened to them after Indonesia became independent from the Netherlands in 1949. Indos with European status in the former Netherlands Indies were given two years between 1949 and 1951 in which to opt for Indonesian citizenship or retain Dutch citizenship. Most chose to leave Indonesia for the Netherlands or third countries of settlement, such as the United States and Australia. Many who remained faced difficulties retaining or obtaining employment and open hostility in the strongly nationalist environment of 1950s Indonesia. I look at the fate of these Indos 'left behind' who mostly vanished from official records, and trace how attitudes towards Indos have changed or remain the same for a younger generation, who are today most visible in Indonesian television and film.

About the student

Rosalind Hewett completed a BA with Joint First Class Honours in History and Indonesian at the University of Western Australia. She was a recipient of the Australia-Netherlands Research Collaboration PhD Overseas Travel Scholarship, which she used to undertake archival research in the Netherlands in October-December 2012, hosted by KITLV. She conducted interviews in Indonesia from February 2013-January 2014. She speaks fluent Indonesian, is proficient in Manado Malay, and reads Dutch. Her research interests include 20th century Indonesia, postcolonial history and memory.

Conference presentations

  • Rosalind Hewett, 2011. 'Shifting Representations of Indo Identity in the Netherlands Indies and Indonesia,' Indonesia Council Open Conference, University of Western Australia, Perth, 26-28 September 2011.
  • Rosalind Hewett, 2009. 'Student Interaction with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Staff beyond the Classroom,' Western Australian Institute for Educational Research Forum, Edith Cowan University, Perth, 1 August 2009.


Updated:  20 February 2015/Responsible Officer:  Director, Culture, History & Language /Page Contact:  CHL webmaster