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Australian author Ian Burnet has spent 30 years living, working and travelling in Indonesia, and is fascinated by the diverse history and cultures of the archipelago. His first book, ‘Spice Islands,’ tells the 2000-year-history of the spice trade from the Moluccas of Eastern Indonesia through China, India and the Middle East until the spices reached Europe. It was the lure of the fabled Spice Islands and exotic spices such as clove and nutmeg that drove ‘The Age of Discovery’ and the first circumnavigation of our planet. Spice Islands has been described as “A wonderful book – a triumph of passion and scholarship.” ‘East Indies,’ Ian’s second book, begins in the port city of Malacca, and tells the story of the 200-year-struggle between the Portuguese Crown, the Dutch East India Company and the English East India Company for trade supremacy in the Eastern Seas. It follows the rise of the world’s first joint stock and multinational trading companies and their conversion to huge colonial states ruling over millions of people in Indonesia, India and Malaya. The book documents the founding of the historic port city of Batavia (Jakarta) and concludes with the founding of the modern port cities of Singapore and Hong Kong. His latest book was published in 2017 and is entitled Where Australia Collides with Asia: The Epic Voyages of Joseph Banks, Charles Darwin, Alfred Russel Wallace and the origin of “On the Origin of Species”, a must for any lover of history and the sciences.
Jeffrey Mellefont is a research associate of the Australian National
Maritime Museum, where he had a long career as a publisher and editor.
Formerly a blue-water mariner, celestial navigator and skipper, Jeffrey
became a specialist marine writer and photographer and has made a
lifetime study of the fascinating maritime world of Asia and in
particular of Indonesia. He has published extensively on these subjects
in both popular and academic journals. Jeffrey has been visiting
Indonesia since 1975 when he was immediately drawn into the maritime
life of this tropical archipelago with its extraordinarily diverse
cultures and history – as well as the study of Bahasa Indonesia, a
national language with its roots in the ancient world of sailors and
seaborne traders. Jeffrey’s richly illustrated presentations on your
SeaTrek cruise draw upon decades of research and adventures sailing with
the traditional seafarers and boat builders of Indonesia. He has also
sailed through the archipelago by yacht. Jeffrey has shared his
knowledge and enthusiasm for this oceanic world by leading tour groups
exploring maritime themes in Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia and India.