Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Vidonja Balanzategui
James Cook University Townsville
Website URL
global sugar industry history, sugar cane, sugar industry, post-colonial studies, migration history, sugar country literature
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

Dr Bianka Vidonja Balanzategui is an adjunct lecturer at James Cook University, Townsville Queensland Australia, historian and historical consultant. She researches the sugar industry and migration history of tropical north Queensland, with published works such as Gentlemen of the Flashing Blade (JCU, 1990) and ‘Basking in a Different Sun: The Story of Conchi Mendiolea’ in Amatxi, Amuma, Amono: Writings in Honor of Basque Women, (University of Nevada, 2003) marrying those themes. She also has a keen personal and professional interest in the local history of the Herbert River Valley, north Queensland. Having lived in Ingham for over 30 years and having been commissioned to write The Herbert River Story, published in 2011, Dr Vidonja Balanzategui has come to a deep appreciation of the history of North Queensland and the Herbert River Valley in particular, its inhabitants, natural and built features. Her research explores that history within an international context in both colonial and post-colonial timeframes.

Recent Publications

1.”Window in Time, a Community Oral History Project: Its Challenges, Shortcomings and Lessons Learnt,” Studies in Oral History, Volume 43, 2021, pp. 214-217,

  1. Hidden women of history: Melanesian indentured labourer Annie Etinside, hailed as a Queensland ‘pioneer’ on her death
  2. “The mercurial Henry Alexander Wickham: ‘American tobacco planter’ on the Herbert,” Queensland History Journal, Volume 24, No 7, November 2020, pp 628-641.
  3. “The Hawai’ian Sugar Planters’ Association and the Herbert River Farmers’ Association: Regional Articulations of Agricultural Associations on the Periphery.” International Journal of Regional and Local History, Volume 15, Issue 2, November, 2020, pp. 111-130.
  4. “Female Invisibility in the Male’s World of Plantation-Era Tropical North Queensland.” Lilith: A Feminist History Journal: Number 26, October 2020, pp143-170.

Media Coverage
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
Expertise by Chronology
5, 8
Expertise by Topic
Colonialism, Food History, Local & Regional, Material Culture, Migration & Immigration, Rural & Agrarian History, Women