Professor Tony Milner

Professorial Fellow & Director


Tony Milner is Professorial Fellow in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Melbourne and Visiting Professor at the University of Malaya. He was Basham Professor of Asian History and Dean of Asian Studies at the Australian National University. Tony has written widely on Southeast Asian history – particularly the history of the Malay world – and also on Australia-Asia relations.

In the 1990s he was Director of the Australia-Asia Perceptions Project of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, which brought together more than a hundred researchers from a wide range of fields.  He is Co-Chair of the Australian Committee of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific. Tony is co-author (with Sally Percival-Wood) of Our Place in the Asian Century: Southeast Asia as the Third Way (Melbourne: Asialink Commission, 2012).

He writes an annual report on Asian regionalism for the Routledge Press survey, The Far East and Australasia. He was co-editor of the Oxford University Press series, Australia in Asia (Oxford University Press, 1996–2001). His current research writing is on Southeast Asian, especially Malaysian, foreign policy. Tony’s main writings on Malaysia and Malay society include The Invention of Politics in Colonial Malaya (Cambridge University Press, 1994, 2012) and The Malays (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2008, 2011).

His influential work, Kerajaan: Malay Political Culture on the Eve of Colonial Rule (1982) was published in a revised edition and a Malay language edition in 2016. Tony has held visiting appointments at The Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, the National University of Singapore (as Raffles Visiting Professor), Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Humboldt University, Kyoto University and the Institute for Strategic and International Studies, Malaysia. He has been a member of a range of Australian Government committees and councils, and is a frequent commentator in the media. He is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia.