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The Australian National University

Les Hetherington

Position: PhD Student

School or Centre:

School of History
National Centre of Biography


Phone: 408643419

Location: HC Coombes Building, Room 3115


MA (University of Sydney)

LittB (Australian National University)


Les Hetherington completed an MA (University of Sydney) and a LittB (Australian National University) before becoming a PhD candidate here at the ANU. Les is a part of the National Centre of Biography within the School of History, ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences.


Les Hetherington was born and grew up in the eastern Riverina region of New South Wales, before attending the University of Sydney (BA (hons), MA) and joining the Australian Public Service. His public service career brought him into contact with a range of national and international government agencies and individuals in Australia and overseas, and had a focus on cultural diversity policy and practice. For his work on multicultural affairs at the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs he received two Secretary’s awards, and for later work at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, related to the Council of Australian Governments, two Australia Day awards. He retired from his permanent employment at the end of 2011 to pursue higher degree studies in history at the ANU.

Research Interests

Les’s research interests in part reflect his public service career and a broad biographical approach, and focus on the experiences of a French-Australian migrant family in France, England and Australia in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Other research topics include the Swiss-Italian, Italian, German, Indian and Chinese communities in Australia, particularly in the mid- to late-nineteenth century. This research requires study of Australian involvement in the South African and First World wars and Australian social, political, military, regional and local history from the gold rushes to the Second World War.


'Cooper, William (1856–1952)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University

'Harwood, Septimus (1854–1889)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University

'Niau, John Samuel (1882–1918)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University

‘The Sydney French Club, 1885 to 1893’, The French Australian Review, no 58, Winter 2015

‘An Emigrant not a Traveller: Adolphe Prosper Duprez’, Explorations, no 54, Winter 2013

‘”Wagga Boasts a Modern Pimpernel”: Dame Mary Gilmore, John Alexander Cameron and Jewish Emigration to Palestine, 1920 to 1923’, Australian Jewish Historical Society Journal, Vol XX, Part 2, June 2011

‘The Bluebirds in France’, Wartime, 45, January 2009

‘‘The Sacking of Albany’ – the image of the Boer War veteran in Australia’, Sabretache, Volume XLV, Number 2, June 2004

‘The Shy VC’, Wartime, Issue 18, 2002

‘Winning the Queen’s Scarf’, Wartime, Issue 13, January 2001

‘The Death of Daniel Boon’, Murrumbidgee Ancestor, No. 52, January 1997

'The Kangaroos March: Wagga Wagga to Sydney, December 1915-January 1916', Journal of the Australian War Memorial, number 26, April 1995

'Postscript to Mutiny, James Steele at Deniliquin, 1902', Sabretache, Volume XXXVI, January-March 1995


Institute for the Study of French-Australian Relations

Australian Historical Association

Wagga Wagga and District Family History Society

Updated: 14 August 2017/ Responsible Officer:  Head of School / Page Contact:  Web Publisher