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Jeffrey Mellefont

Jeffrey is a specialist in Indonesian cultures and history who has been visiting the archipelago as a traveller, sailor and researcher since 1975. He has published widely on its diverse maritime traditions and speaks Bahasa Indonesia. Jeffrey is a research associate of the Australian National Maritime Museum, where he was a founding staff member 1987–2014.

Jeffrey Mellefont has been visiting Indonesia since 1975 as a traveller, sailor and researcher, fascinated by the amazingly diverse arts, cultures and history of this vast tropical archipelago. He is fluent in Bahasa Indonesia, a national language with roots in the ancient world of South-East Asian sailors and seaborne traders. His work in the field of Indonesian maritime ethnology has been published in both popular and academic journals.

Jeffrey graduated in anthropology from the University of Sydney, taught in the East African Kingdom of Swaziland and has pursued marine occupations including being a wharfie, fisherman, professional blue-water yacht master and celestial navigator, marine writer, photographer and publisher. He was a founding staff member of the Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney (1987–2014) and since retirement continues as a museum research associate. Jeffrey has shared his knowledge of the oceanic world of Indonesia by leading museum and ship-board tour groups exploring its cultures and history, with richly illustrated presentations drawing upon decades of experiences among its people, lands and waters.